168 TROOP WEEKLY DIARY
Week 10 consisted entirely of Exercise Hunters Moon in which our navigation and survival skills would be put to the test. This week has been by far the most challenging in all aspects.
The week started with an insertion yomp over Dartmoor done in sections, testing each individual’s navigational skill in glorious weather with the assistance of our knowledgeable section commanders should we have any queries. The week progressed with more difficult navigation over more variable (wet, dry, light, dark) conditions. This culminated in navigating in groups independent of the training team, with the majority of the troop completing the route in the allotted time. However, some groups couldn’t get enough of the babies’ heads and sideways rain and so decided to stay out for a few hours longer.
This part of the week has allowed 168 Troop to collate all that they have been taught and to work on areas needing improvement. The second part of the week was ever so slightly different. An extraction yomp as a troop over Dartmoor was followed by a coach journey to a derelict location somewhere on the moor. At this point the survival exercise started with a further yomp during which we had no idea where we were going or when it would end. As the hours crept by the strain of our loaded and wet bergans pulled on our aching traps. At a point when we were thinking it was never going to end the glow of multiple cylumes could be seen in the distance. As soon as our bergans were taken off us we were faced with a ‘dislocation of expectation’ that caused some confusion through the night before we were give our areas for survival, having been stripped of our personal belongings and given nothing but a clasp knife and a survival tin. Once our shelters were constructed and our fires were roaring and our chickens made headless we went on to fight the night. For most the shelters were warm and welcoming, but for those with less shelter the spooning began, reluctantly at first but progressing in intensity as the temperature dropped. Once the sun rose we knew the end of the exercise was close at hand, and so was the start of summer leave.