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HOW TO: Quick Field Reference

TLDR:

Use one of our ‘Ready to Print’ files with the following print settings - double sided, 4 pages per sheet, print page border, and flip on long edge. Print, cut, laminate, and hole punch. Done.


Otherwise, if you want a custom page order: Download the pages you want and combine them into the same PDF or file, to do this use either Adobe Acrobat or an Adobe Acrobat alternative. Use the same print settings as above noting that pages 1/6, 2/5, 3/8, and 4/7 will print back to back. Print, cut, laminate, and hole punch. Done.


Otherwise, stick around for tips, tricks, and troubleshooting.


What are Quick Field References (QFRs for ease of writing)?


QFRs are weather protected sheets that have reference information to make operating and planning slightly easier when in the field. They come in the form of either a performa (fill in sheets for radio calls, medical, planning) or as references for information you’ll never remember (conversion tables, local languages, guides).


Every Army has their own version of QFRs, the Brits use hard plastic A5 and A6 sheets, Americans have their THULs manuals, and Australians use some combination of wax coated paper sheets and a Vui-Tui (a water resistant plastic insert book).


We set up our QFRs with a few key principles:


Accessibility - Easy to procure resources and make.

Useability - Clear text, understandable under NVGs, and large spaces to fill in.

Durability - Waterproof, and long lasting.


So how do you make them?


Resources:


Printer,

laminator,

hole punch,

paper,

A6 laminating pouches,

large keyring/550 cord/hinged ring/steel wire keyring, and

Map markers.

Note: Laminating pouches come in many thicknesses 80 microns is standard and cheaper laminators are only able to laminate these pouches. If you have a laminator that can handle it, we recommend laminating with 100 or even 150 micron pouches to maximize durability. Laminating pouches also come in gloss and matte, we recommend not using the matte sheets as the matte surface poses issues when trying to use markers on the QFRs


Note: Map markers refer to any permanent marker. We recommend using 0.6mm marker tips. The reason we use permanent markers is because they will not erase with friction or water, only alcohol can remove the ink from the QFR.


Step 1: Prep


You can skip this step if you download one of our ‘Ready to Print’ files.


Download the pages you wish to use and combine them into one single document. You can do this if you have Adobe Acrobat by opening the first page you want to print, navigating to ‘organize pages’ and inserting the pages into the document. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat then free alternatives include Nitro-PDF, and PDF Extra. The process is much the same with these alternatives, look for a ‘combine files/PDFs’ option.


Note: Pages 1/6, 2/5, 3/8, and 4/7 will print back to back when printing double sided.


Step 2: Print


Use the following print settings:


Double sided,

4 pages per sheet,

print page border, and

flip on long edge.


If you don't want double sided then you can print one sided with no issues (other than the loss of our respect).


Step 3: Cut and Laminate


Cut along the page borders, we recommend using a ruler and a Stanley knife to achieve very straight lines.


(Read Step 4)


Laminate the sheets.


Step 4: Hole Punch and Bind


Here you have a choice of complete water-proofing or just the ‘good enough’ approach. You can laminate and use a hole punch, however, this will result in a very small area where water can leak in. To ensure complete water-proofing, before laminating, you will cut a larger diameter hole in the paper to ensure there is a border of plastic on the inside of the hole. As the standard size of hole punches is 6mm, we recommend using a 9mm spent casing to cut a hole in the paper before laminating.




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