March 24th, 2005

Long treks

Question from a couch potato:

I have a group of four fit, healthy men (three military, one with extensive experience of living and surviving in the field), who have to walk a distance of 800 miles without support or much equipment (no tent, a couple of axes, knives, three blankets, rope and that's about it). Allowing for the fact they need to spend time to forage and make a camp from scratch each day, what the a reasonable distance they could expect to cover each day, assuming no accidents and flat terrain. I want to take into consideration that they won't want to exhaust themselves, and that their food supply will be intermittently scanty. The civilian in the group is rather slight of build for a man, though of normal height. None of them have ever walked that kind of distance before.

Also, how much would they deem it worth carry with them from camp to camp, as a payoff for not having to cut branches/ make shelters each night? Would the effort of carrying the weight on their back mean they were more exhausted and travel more slowly, and so gain nothing? How much can a healthy man carry without it causing a problem? They will already be carrying water and their few possessions, as well as grass blankets. Is more than that feasible?

Thanks in advance for the help.

2 non-related questions

1) Does anyone know which herbs were used for abortion in olden times (ie, medieval or pre-19th century), or has that fallen out of knowledge?

2) Regency period: The main character's brother is an earl. However, he doesn't want to be an earl, and so he has signed the earldom over to his son so he can traipse the high seas. I know this wouldn't be acceptable in Society (which is ok), but is it illegal? Anyone know? Also, can you recommend some good Regency resources? (mine are strictly Will Durant & Internet sources)

(no subject)

My character has just gotten back to her... base, for lack of a better word, from a combat situation in the tropics. She's not badly injured, but has enough injuries - all from wild animals, none from bullets or anything like that - to require medical attention.
One of the.... oh, screw the vague descriptions - she's been on a dinosaur-infested tropical island and has spent most of her time fighting velociraptors, which seem to be the staple in most dinosaur fandoms.

So, her wounds range from bites to slashes with the scythe-claws - one species has acidic saliva that it spits at its prey (this same species is also prone to going Jet Li on your face, so she may have some scratches there, too), which she has been on the receiving end of; all wounds have had some basic treatment by an amateur (not her).

I have some ideas of what they might do for each type of wound, but what might be the first thing the medics would take care of? (This also takes place five years in the future, so I think I do have some leeway when it comes to the technology in use)