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Old 11-09-2003, 10:51 PM   #1
mtgoat
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How ready are you???

How prepared are you when you head out? What do you take for emergency and/ or survival gear? Do you plan out different senerios of things that could go wrong? What is your survival background and do you think you could do it if you needed to? Do you know first aid or CPR, how to make a fire with no matches when it's pouring rain and you are soaked to the bone? Are you familiar with hypothermia?
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Old 11-10-2003, 12:54 AM   #2
Kevin
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Hypothermia is my friend

But seriously, I learned the preparedness lesson the last time I went for a weekend. It rained. It was 35F. I was soaked from head to toe despite my $4 poncho . If it wasn't for Jeff having some hand warmers I'd have been a VERY unhappy customer! (not that hiking three hours back to the car soaked and cold was fun, but it wasn't the end of the world either)

I need better gear for inclement weather situations. New all season/weather coat, gators, etc...

I always carry a first aid kit, small hunting knife with sceraded (sp?) edge (for cutting wood and/or rope, water purifying tablets (incase the pump clogs/fails), map of area and compass, lots of granola/snack food, headlamp (in case the hike goes longer than anticipated and it becomes night)... hell, most of what I carry is in some way preparedness for the unexpected...

I may need to learn first aid/cpr someday. I'd hate to see my hiking partner collapse from a heat attack and all I can do is mimick what I've seen on TV. Maybe I'll have Jeff teach me

(okay, maybe not )

Can't talk much smack about Jeff until he gets his new modem installed...
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Old 11-10-2003, 07:47 AM   #3
mtgoat
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Something I always carry is one of the emergency space blankets and some small candles like the ones for those little Eddie Bauer lanterns. With this I can wrap the space blanket around me (including over my head) and light a candle to put between my feet. It is amazing how fast this technique works to warm you back up. I have spent a whole night this way more than once.

One thing about a lot of emergency techniques is to do practice drill at home. I even practice putting up my tent in the yard at home in the dark to be accustom to doing it in the field. Like mikey says; "Try it you'll like it!" And one day it may even save your life!!!
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Old 11-10-2003, 11:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by mtgoat
One thing about a lot of emergency techniques is to do practice drill at home. I even practice putting up my tent in the yard at home in the dark to be accustom to doing it in the field. Like mikey says; "Try it you'll like it!" And one day it may even save your life!!!
That's one thing I figured out on my own. Setup my current tent twice in the week prior to first needing it. Made sure there were no rips, how large the footprint was, and that I had enough stakes to anchor it.

I need to get an emergency blanket, thanks for the reminder. I also need to buy Jeff a bunch of hand warmers to repay him for the ones I used a few months back.
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Old 11-10-2003, 08:33 PM   #5
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MtGoat,

Thanks for the tip, I'd never heard that one before. Since, I'm guessing you couldn't sleep with that set up, I'm thinking it was an unplanned for event- what happened that you needed to use that technique to keep warm?
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Old 11-11-2003, 09:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bubbleguff
MtGoat,

Thanks for the tip, I'd never heard that one before. Since, I'm guessing you couldn't sleep with that set up, I'm thinking it was an unplanned for event- what happened that you needed to use that technique to keep warm?
It has happened to me 3 times and they were all in Alaska since I previously lived there for 20 yrs. Twice in the Wrangel mountains and once on Kodiak Island. One of those bivouacs was actually planned! I was out taking pictures and following / looking for animals (mostly Dall Sheep and Mt. Goats). I was actually able to sleep for about 1 1/2 hrs at a time because the candle burned out and I got cold again. I also include a piece of aluminum foil about one foot square to make a base and windbreak for the candle. I can actually sleep sitting up with only the support of my elbows on my knees and my head resting in my hands.
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Old 11-11-2003, 06:50 PM   #7
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Kevin Hypothermia is my friend hell, most of what I carry is in some way preparedness for the unexpected...

This is quite true. Really, how much gear would you carry if in somehow or someway you didn't need it. Hell, I would throw on my sneakers and go, no looking back.

Think aboot it, Backpack, Shelter, Food, Stove, Filter, Headlamp, Footgear, Map and Compass, all basic equipment.

How about a couple of candle lanterns. With a couple of pieces of tinfoil to act as reflectors they can throw off a lot of light. A space blanket. Lightweight and well worth it's weight in gold.

Gore-tex- never worry about weather again, jacket and pants...WOW. Include a pair of gators and you are virtually waterproof.

A good multi-tool, waterproof matches, an extra candle(also good to help start fires when conditions are damp), a sleeping pad, sleeping bag.

First Aid kit. Aspirin, and neosporin two indispensible items.

Seasonal: Hat, Gloves, Bugspray, Bugnet, Handwarmers (can be used in your boots also)

Whistle, not necessary, but better safe than sorry. (By the way,
Sorry Kev )

There are some gearlists out there that I'll post when I find them, but these are some starters. Keep and believe the motto: Better Safe than Sorry!!
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Old 11-11-2003, 06:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff

Whistle, not necessary, but better safe than sorry. (By the way,
Sorry Kev )
Background info -- one peaceful, quiet morning sleeping 1000 feet above Lake George on Shleving Rock mountain, at about 5:30AM, just as the birds were starting to stir and sing...

Bwriiiiinngnnngnngngngngngggggg!!!! ..... !!!!

My heart stopped for a few seconds, I almost didn't believe or understand what I had just heard... I put my head up, look around the fire pit a few feet to jeff, and he's tucked in snug...

Turns out Jeff blew his safety whistle and ducked back into his bag before I even looked over... man, it was the wrongest thing anyone had ever done. My heart was racing so fast I couldn't even fall back to sleep, and I drove all the way back to Albany on 30 minutes total that night...
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Old 11-12-2003, 09:41 AM   #9
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Ten Essentials

Basically, carry the "Ten Essentials" and know how to use them! Recently the Mountaineers, who created the "10-E" list in the first place, revised it in a semi-generic way, so that you didn't need the "10 Essentials for Mountain Bikers" the "10 Essentials for Cross Country Skiers" etc. etc. You will also notice "cell phone" is not on the list!:

The Ten Essentials:
USGS map
Compass
Extra food
Extra clothing
First aid kit*
Flashlight/headlamp
Sunglasses & sunscreen (goggles are nice too)
Knife
Matches
Candle/fire starter

Years ago Pete Fish and Frank Dorchak, two now-retired NYS Forest Rangers, taught me to never go into the woods without my daypack. I have never forgot the lesson. Today I am a ranger myself, and this past summer I was out in my park backcountry, monitoring an orienteering meet, when I realized my pack was back in the truck. What would I have done if someone had gotten hurt? The point was really hammered home to me on my last vacation, when I sprained my ankle and badly abraided the other knee (4"x5"!) while hiking on the North Shore of Lake Superior. This time I was wearing my pack, and was able to clean up the wounds, bind the ankle, and hike out to the car on my own power.

*Oh yeah; Take the First Aid course!

Be safe,
Trailpatrol, WEMT
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Old 11-12-2003, 05:14 PM   #10
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I am generally pretty prepared when I go out: map, compass, rain gear, extra wool sweater (will hold in heat if wet), water-proof matches, and all the other ten essentials.......

One good thing I have going for me though is that I was a bad kid for a while, and was sent off to a wilderness program to try to get me back in line. There they tought me all kinda of survival skills (different fire making methods, how to make rope from tree bark, traps, weapon making (bows and arrows, kinves with rocks, etc.....), etc, etc...) I value those skill very much, even though I hope I am never in a situation where I truly have to use them.
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Old 11-13-2003, 01:22 AM   #11
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I really, really, REALLY hate to admit this, but for the sake of any of you checking out this site, I had a really terrible backcountry experience. Could it have been fatal, maybe not, but that's not the point. This however is:

I hiked into the woods, missed my trailhead, thought I knew where I was going (first mistake) Got lost. Crossed an intersection (4-way) didn't make a precise note of the fork I took (2nd mistake) Didn't have a map and compass (WORST MISTAKE!!!) I wandered around the woods for a few hours the next day looking for landmarks on the way I had come in. Pitiful! Before I had hunkered down that first night out I went to pump water and the water pump completely failed. I was thinking to myself what a complete disaster this is turning out to be. The only saving grace was the temperature was great. The downside to that, the bugs thought it was great also.

Well, I found my way out, obviously. It taught me an extremely valuable lesson, Preparedness! Never leave something at home just because you THINK you know what you are doing. It's not worth dying over or maybe even getting someone else even less experienced than yourself killed. Would you be able to live with that on your concious?

Bring all the proper gear for the situation for which you are going out. I can't express myself enough to help everybody. I'm sure one of you will read this, chuckle to youself and maybe even think Idiot! Then go out and do something stupid yourself. Try not to be a statistic.

Try to instill in your mind, and others, the importance of safety above all else. It will help to keep you safe and alive!

This experience shaped me into the enthusiast I am today. I became a sponge for knowledge on the subject of backpacking. Sure I have had a few accidents over the years. Sometimes they can not be avoided, but I was prepared when they happened. Nothing beats the right gear for the wrong situation.

I wish you all well and happy outings.
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Old 11-13-2003, 10:26 PM   #12
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Even on a day hike im perpared for a night or two if it happens. You must be. Sometimes its not just a walk in the park. One thing that goes with me on any trip is my trusty roll of duct tape. Not a whole roll due to its weight but enough to bail me out of a repair to gear or any of the 101 other uses.

Bill.

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Old 11-13-2003, 10:38 PM   #13
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Here's an emergency shelter for you - Tyvek housewrap. Super lightweight, compresses to nothing, and comes in any size you choose to cut it to.
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Old 11-14-2003, 12:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by AlpineSummit
Here's an emergency shelter for you - Tyvek housewrap. Super lightweight, compresses to nothing, and comes in any size you choose to cut it to.
That is basicly the reason behind my carrying a 6'x10' piece of visqueen. I make it into a "Handy Shelter" wher it is folded in 1/2 to make a V with one side on the ground and the other 1/2 over top of you under some brush for support. Sometimes I go for the duct tape and some times I go for rocks, sticks and parachute cord. With this you have shelter from above, a layer between you and the ground and an efficient windbreak/heat reflector.
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Old 11-14-2003, 11:49 AM   #15
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What is visqueen?
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Old 11-14-2003, 12:22 PM   #16
mtgoat
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What is visqueen?
Plastic like they use in construction such as protecting a floor or to cover things. When you buy the roll it is only about 2ftlong but unfolds to about 20 ft wide by the length of the roll. I beleive what I use is 6 mil. thick. I use that name as that's whats on the packageing. It is very inexpensive and available at all hardware or construction supply stores. Since it is so cheap it doesn't matter if it gets thrashed so I just throw it away when I get home and cut a new piece.
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Old 11-14-2003, 02:32 PM   #17
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Oh, ok. I know what you are talking about now.....one of my good friends takes that stuff with him whenever he goes out also. I had no clue it was called visqueen though.....we always just called it "that plastic crap".
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Old 11-14-2003, 07:32 PM   #18
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I used to use that "plastic crap" to enclose shelters years back. My 2 sons and I would each carry a section and spent many toasty nights along the AT/LT by hanging it in the open side of the lean-tos.

Good stuff.
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Old 11-14-2003, 08:59 PM   #19
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I always carry a small fanny pack with a compass,space blanket,dryer lint ( great fire starter) and lighter in a ziploc. an emergency candle, extra matches in a waterproof case, a little metal signal mirror, mini first aid kit, whistle, hand warmer, magnifying glass,some water purification tablets, and one black garbage bag to rip a hole in for my face and pull over my head, if you're squatting it will cover your whole body and provide some protection. The thing doesn't weigh more than a pound or so. Take it whenever I go out, for a few hours or a few days.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:34 PM   #20
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Want a great firestarter in a waterproof container, that's cheap/small/and you can eat it?
Get a little can of Pringles.....
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