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Posted: 5/26/2003 7:25:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 7:51:35 PM EDT
Have you considered that this is simply God's way of thinning the herd? [;D] On a serious note--I keep hearing of stupid people in the woods, who expect to go out into the wilderness and have it behave like downtown Manhattan. Remember, about two months ago, the couple in Utah who drove over roads the local ranchers wouldn't travel that time of year--she was wearing slacks and dress shoes, he was wearing a windbreaker--got caught in the snow and tried to walk out, she died in the process. What idiots! While every life is precious, and I applaud your selflessness to go and get them (as the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center Motto goes, "These things we do, that others may live"), it still galls me that people get themselves into those situations in the first place. Good luck finding them, and stay safe in the process--no sense losing a good man to track down a brainless one.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 7:56:44 PM EDT
Doesn't everyone have a GPS? TT
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 8:03:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2003 8:03:58 PM EDT by Garand_Shooter]
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 8:05:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2003 8:08:10 PM EDT by TitaniumT]
Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
Originally Posted By TitaniumT: Doesn't everyone have a GPS? TT
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GPS can give a false sense of security almost as bad as a cellpone. Most people I know that have em don't understand enough about how to use them to actually do any complex navigation with them, and without a basic understanding of how to navigate via map and compass the GPS will never be used to its full potential. Most GPS owners know how to turn it on and mark a waypoint and not a whole lot more....... And of course lots of folks figure they don't need spare batteries just for a day hike......
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Well my post was facetious! And I wouldn't know what to do with one even if I had one! Regardless, lets hope the wayward arrive home safe. TT Edited to add: BTW how are those satellite phones? Any good or worth the investment for someone into serious wilderness hiking?
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 8:12:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
Originally Posted By TitaniumT: Doesn't everyone have a GPS? TT
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GPS can give a false sense of security almost as bad as a cellpone. Most people I know that have em don't understand enough about how to use them to actually do any complex navigation with them, and without a basic understanding of how to navigate via map and compass the GPS will never be used to its full potential. Most GPS owners know how to turn it on and mark a waypoint and not a whole lot more....... And of course lots of folks figure they don't need spare batteries just for a day hike......
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I worked with a guy in Colorado who bought a GPS to go deep in the woods deer hunting. Never bothered with good orienteering skills, after all, "I've got a GPS!" Got lost, turned the thing on, then panicked when he realized he hadn't waypointed his parking spot and had no idea which way to go. Four hours of wandering in the woods later, he made it home--late, cold and tired, but safe. Went out and bought a compass the next day, I gave him orienteering classes at work for a while. One less rescue mission to get called out on! GPS is not the magic bullet--you still need a functioning brain, some basic tools like a map and compass, and an understanding of both the capabilities and limitations of the technology you have! Of the three, the brain is the most important.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 8:32:28 PM EDT
I refuse to put all my eggs in the "electronic basket". GPS is a wonderful tool but you have to have a plan for when it does not work, you don't know how to get the answer you need or any other failure of your neat "gadgets". In VFR flying GPS is wonderful - leads you right to where you told it you wanted to go. If it craps out or you told it to take you to the wrong place, that map and a little basic skill sure is comforting!! I do not fully trust ANY device, mechanical or electrical! It can be as simple as never leaving home in the car without adequate clothing and water to walk home or to known source of help. It never ceases to amaze me the people who head out without even a heavy coat in the winter.....
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 8:35:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 8:39:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MickeyMouse: I refuse to put all my eggs in the "electronic basket". GPS is a wonderful tool but you have to have a plan for when it does not work, you don't know how to get the answer you need or any other failure of your neat "gadgets".
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So true, I even have one 'non-battery' AR. Tritium sights and reflex..Just because of Murphy. BTW, Darwinism does cure stupidity.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 8:40:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 8:46:48 PM EDT
My first question about any new "whiz bang" is WTF do we do when it screws up? Good question to ask about ANY tool! Thats all a gun, GPS, compass, map, etc. really is - a tool. Among the best skills to ensure survival is the ability to remain calm, THINK, come up with improvised solution(s) to problem at hand. The tales of disaster when people placed too much faith in their equipment are long. The incredible stories of survival when faced by near impossible odds by those who used their brains are even MORE remarkable!
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 9:11:43 PM EDT
I do my long hikes in my Cadillac with the Northstar system. No sense taking any chances. [;D]
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 9:36:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter: [ Yeah, we look at night on most cases, a strobe is not a bad thing to have. In the mountains here if you had it would be visible from opposite slopes and could be a great help. It definitly couldn't hurt. On the following water, we do 10-25 searches a year depending on luck, and most people are lost a day or more before they get reported. Yet there is not a place in the county where you are more than 6-8 hours max from a road or more using that method, and most of the county is more like 3-4 hours.
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Well, the summer idiot season is now officially open in WNC. I guess that some of our hikers will fall off of one of our waterfalls in the next few days. We average 1-2 fatalities a summer at the falls. They never seem to learn that rushing water, slick rocks and gravity will put them over the falls every time.... Hang in there GarandShooter. At least it's quit raining and has warmed up. Good luck, and be careful.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 10:37:02 PM EDT
Out here in AZ when you are lost in the woods... you set them on fire!!! You get found really quick using this method. Rodeo Chediski fire!!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 11:37:24 PM EDT
This is all the more reason why tracking implant chips should be made mandatory for all civilians.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 3:38:04 AM EDT
When I was in survival school we were divided into pairs for the cross-country E&E exercise. Out of a class of 40 the only pair that got lost in the mountains of Washington was led by a navigator. Go figger. I read in another post that one of the most dangerous things in the military is a LT with a map & compass.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 4:23:07 AM EDT
Linville Gorge?
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 4:27:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: This is all the more reason why tracking implant chips should be made mandatory for all civilians.
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got yours yet, Brog?
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 4:37:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 4:46:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/27/2003 4:55:02 AM EDT by Garand_Shooter]
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 9:46:47 AM EDT
I'll second Garand Shooter's advice. If you plan on going out into the woods, out of sight from the road, get a good map, a compass and know how to use them. Basic orienteering skills are FUN to acquire, and rewarding, but they need regular practice or you'll get rusty. I've seen people get turned around ON THE TRAIL! Usually when they get tired, dehydrated, or hypothermic, but also when they just aren't paying any attention to what they are doing. I was staying at a hut in the White Mountains of New Hampshire one night, and had just finished dinner. I went outside to enjoy the charged up air from the storm that was heading our way when I heard someone calling for help. I grabbed my water bottle and headed down the trail to find the guy. I had passed him and his buddy earlier in the day. His buddy had arrived in plenty of time for dinner and didn't seem particularly worried about his friend. So I didn't worry. I figured they knew each other and their capabilities well enough to know whether to worry or not. The guy was soaking wet with sweat in a heavy cotton sweatshirt and jeans. He didn't have a map or compass, was out of food and water, and was exhausted, both physically and mentally. He was also hypothermic and dehydrated, so his cognitive functions were severely impaired. He had passed the trail junction up to the hut, turned around, gone back aways, turned around again, and was, when I found him, totally confused about which way he had originally come from. I gave him my water, put on his pack and helped him stagger the third of a mile to the hut, stopping about every 50 feet or so for him to rest. The storm hit when we were still a few hundred feet from the hut. I feel certain to within a few percentage points worth, that if I hadn't gone out after dinner to take in the storm, that guy would have died in it. His "friend" was too clueless to consider that his buddy might be in trouble. I didn't beat the crap out of his buddy, since the court time would have ruined my hike, but I did read him the riot act for leaving his buddy behind. We poured hot fluids into the victim for a few hours to give his body something to work with, got him into dry clothes and then stuck him in a warm sleeping bag to recover, monitoring him regularly. By morning he was looking a lot better. I advised him to buy extra snack foods, a map and a compass at the hut "store" (overpaying by at least 50%, but it's worth it). I also told him he needed to find the easiest route down and out, and get to town where he could rest up properly from his ordeal and not to let his buddy leave him behind again. Bottom line folks is that the distance between tired, but OK and dead meat lying by the side of the trail is razor thin. You've got to be able to self-monitor your condition and have enough kit on you to feed yourself to a minimal standard, provide shelter in an emergency, gather and purify water, build a fire and to fix your position on a map and find your way out. I was AMAZED by the number of long-distance-hikers on the Appalachian Trail who did not feel it necessary to carry maps. They felt the trail was so well marked, you couldn't get lost. Strangely, I often encountered those folks bumming a map to figure out how long to the next road crossing, shelter site, water point, etc. and none of them could tell you where they were at the moment, what mountain they happened to be on right now, etc. Many got temporarily lost when they took the wrong trail at a trail junction, at road crossings, etc...despite the incredibly well-marked trail. Essential stuff you should never go into the woods without: 1. flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries 2. pocketknife (sharp) 3. firebuilding tools 4. spare food 5. water (minimum of 1 liter, I prefer 2) 6. first aid kit and the KNOWLEDGE to use it 7. a map and compass and a working knowledge of them 8. Emergency shelter ( a cheap tube tent or a "sportsman's" blanket/tarp are sufficient, as is a pair of large garbage bags 9. Some supplementary insulating layers 10. raingear 11. rescue whistle on a lanyard and readily accessible A small daypack will hold all this stuff just fine.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 9:47:20 AM EDT
Garand Shooter, did they find the last missing hiker? Where did they find him?
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 9:59:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/27/2003 10:05:18 AM EDT by Garand_Shooter]
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 10:05:46 AM EDT
So for you people recommending that we learn navigation/orienteering and map skills. How do you suggest we do it? Have any good books/websites to recommend?
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 10:18:11 AM EDT
Boy Scout Handbook and Field book used to have some good basic skills material I wouldn't be surprised if the Sierra Club (gaack ptooey) don't have books on it. Depends on where you are Sierra Club (the practical side (not the whacko side) even though the lawyers kiboshed the climbing lessons) used to put on a lot of good courses here in So Cal. Maybe Applachian Club near you?? The basic advice here is to grab a tree and stay put, have your 10 Essentials and know how to use them. Had our first multi-person rescue yesterday in Eaton Canyon. Supposedly they were standing there minding there own business and the trail gave way. Luckily they ended up in a patch of chapparal just literally before the last drop of several hundred feet. The San Gabriels and San Bernardinos have a tremendously bad reputation for decomposing granite and people staying lost. So it could be it did in fact self destruct under their feet.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 10:20:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 10:58:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 11:18:20 AM EDT
I visited a friend on elmendorf (sp?) airforce base in Anchorage, Alaska in the mid-90's. We did several midrange to long hikes in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. I can honestly say that was the absolute best time I've ever had. And I'm glad it all turned out all right, hearing some of these rants/stories you guys bring up. We were by far not as prepared as we should be, but we were young and (at least I was) still in shape enough to deal with some bad situations. On one occasion, we were following a 5 mile trail back to some lake in the mountains, when the trail literally disappeared. I am not joking, we looked back, and there was nothing there, nothing anywhere around us. That was one of the scariest moments in my life. We walked back thru the brush and found out we somehow had got onto a trail made by some animal that went straight when the main trail zigzaged. I think we were both pretty glad to find the main trail after about 15 minutes of trying to figure out what happened. (lesson NOT learned at the time, dont hike at midnight, even if it's still fairly light out) With the exception of our 26 mile hike, we didn't really bring much in the way of food, or equipment. Even on the big hike, we didn't have a map, or compass, or really much of anything. I'm glad to have got out of there in one piece. I think on the 26 mile hike, my gear consisted of: Ruger P90 (or was it 95?) .45 (in case we walked into a bear... which we did, ahhh... that was a good adrenaline rush) 2 lb bag of skittles 2 lb bag of peanut m&m's knife roll of TP probably 1.5 liters of water water purification tablets one spare set of clothes deet (mosquito repelent... didn't help, they bit thru my jeans) lighter soap, toothbrush, etc. 4 lbs of candy kept me going for the (about) 60 hour hike. Thankfully, there was no forks in the trail, and it was pretty straight forward. Oh, and the big lesson learned: Don't shoot at a groundhog without hearing protection when you're in a sheer rock wall canyon. I swear, I couldn't hear a thing for 15 minutes after that. And to boot, I missed the little fooker, too.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 1:00:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Brohawk: When I was in survival school we were divided into pairs for the cross-country E&E exercise. Out of a class of 40 the only pair that got lost in the mountains of Washington was led by a navigator. Go figger. I read in another post that one of the most dangerous things in the military is a LT with a map & compass.
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My dad (retired USN Senior Chief--NOT an E-8!!!) used to say the most dangerous thing in the military was a 2d LT with a good idea and a screwdriver. Even worse would be two of them with the same idea.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 6:36:32 PM EDT
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