Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

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sardude
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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by sardude » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:36 am

PCSO SAR update. The weather is perfect, thus, more calls.
3-9-11 Callout 1700. Missing 50 yr old, walked away from a nursing home in Santan Valley area. Teams dispatched. Deputies on scene found subject walking in the immediate area. Call cancelled 1800.

3-12-11 Callout 1800. Hiker down on Picacho Peak near the top. Leg injury requiring technical team. Made contact with subject approximately 1945. Assessed injury and decided short haul best option. Treated and bivvied with subject till Ranger available at daylight. Short haul to TH and transferred to ambo. Later, found out subject split his patella. Crews out of field at 0900 3-13.

3-12-11 Callout 2330 Peralta TH. Couple with dogs at Fremont Saddle without water needs assistance. They read about a nice 3 hour hike, Cave Trail? Leaving the TH at around 1200 they missed the Cave Trail Jct. They continued on and took Terrapin, to Dutchman, to Peralta. During the hike, the subjects used clothing to fashion booties for the dogs to minimize damage to their feet. Teams responded with hydration and our team vet took supplies to treat the animals. After rehydration and med care, group headed down from the saddle. Teams out of field approximately 0700.

3-13-11 Call from MCSO dispatch 0130. 911 call received, 5 overdue hikers on Reevis Trail. After updates it was determined that they were coming in from the north, Maricopa county side, near Reevis Falls. It was MCSO Sar's rescue. No updates on this one.

That makes 8 calls in the last 11 days. Twice we have had multiple calls while in the field. Root causes, the injured hiker was wearing appropriate footwear, he just fell on a very steep portion of the trail. The Peralta group missed a trail jct. and were ill prepared for an extended hike.

Jim Hatt

Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by Jim Hatt » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:10 am

Thanks for the updates Dude!

I for one never realized there were so many call outs like this. We never hear about them on the news, even though they are going on all around us here.

No wonder they call you guys the "Silent Heroes"!

Best,

Jim

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by TradClimber » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:07 am

I call them "The Unpaid Professionals".

Brace yourself for this weekend Dude - it's a full moon!

TradClimber

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by hikin_jim » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:07 am

SARdude, thanks for the updates.

I have read that falls are the number one cause of injuries to hikers. Your updates jibe with that.

The experience on the couple who missed a junction serves to reinforce one of the things I tend to stress: navigation. One thing that might have helped the couple is to have set mental "stop signs" and "check in" points prior to going. Before a hike in unfamiliar terrain, I'll do a "map reconnaissance" where I go over my route on a map. I'll look for things that I should see ("check in" points) and things that I shouldn't see ("stop signs").

Out on the trail, I mentally check off my "check in" points, meaning that I am verifying that I'm seeing the things I should see as I go along. If I come to something I shouldn't see (whoa! there's no power lines, stream crossing, etc. on this hike); then I stop. I mean stop. I really take a hard look at my map and think about what I've seen. Am I off track? Is there a way to explain what I'm seeing (recent development, trail re-route, storm damage, etc.)? If I can't come up with a good explanation, then it's time to seriously consider backtracking, that is re-tracing my steps until I get to a point where I'm sure I know where I am. A big mistake people make is trying to press on when they're not sure where they are. It really goes against the grain to give up ground that you've covered, but errors tend to compound. If you don't know where you are, are you sure you're making progress or are you really just getting more lost?

The "check in" points that I'm talking about tie in with the idea that the trick to not getting lost is staying found. In other words, it's a process of continuous orientation. As I walk, I normally am looking at distinctive terrain features (God help you if you're in eastern Kansas) and correlating them to my map. This practice pays off. Once in the Colorado Rockies, my hiking buddy was perplexed as to where we were. The trail signs at a junction made no sense vis a vis the map. I on the other hand knew right where we were. I had been mentally checking off the terrain features as we passed them. Since I had already accounted for the terrain features, I knew we were farther along than my hiking buddy had assumed. As it turns out, a trail had been taken out of service. My buddy, not keeping track, had just pulled out his map at the first trail junction he came to in order to get oriented, but the trail junction marked on the map no longer existed, he was at another trail junction, and things just weren't adding up. Had he been keeping track continuously, he would have known that he was much farther along. That's why I think it's a good idea to stay continuously oriented.

HJ

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by gollum » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:21 pm

The simplest and most important thing to ALWAYS keep in mind as a hiker is to know your limitations. You have to be brutally honest with yourself.

If you don't have excellent land navigation skills or know how to read a TOPO Map, stick to well marked trails in well traveled places. If you are going hiking in dangerous places, buy a SPOT (personal GPS Locator). You can get them for about $50 plus $113 per year for the service ($100 service and $13 for insurance for SAR Recovery).

You also need to keep in mind how much water you really need to carry. The military has a formula; a person in good physical condition loses from 1.5 to 2.5 QUARTS of water per hour in a desert environment (rugged terrain). That means that you SHOULD carry one gallon of water for every two hours you plan on being in that rugged environment. A gallon of water weighs 8.34r pounds. So, for a good day hike, you should figure on an additional 17 pounds on top of whatever equipment you are carrying.

Like I say on my website:
The desert's heat, lack of water, and dangerous animals (both two and four legged) have killed many times the number of people killed by Spanish Booby Traps and Hostile Indians. So, BE PREPARED!
Best-Mike

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by sardude » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:15 pm

Great input from you all. We will not be looking for you gents. Appreciate all of the good advice from seasoned outdoorsman like yourselves.

By and far, the day hiker is our main customer. Seldom will we go out looking for a backpacker, they should be prepared. I stood next to a person on a trail looking at a topo map, being inquisitive (nosy), I asked him where we were. He was facing south and holding the map in front of him, north away from him, and describing everything in front of him. I smiled inside and asked him which way was north. Of course he pointed towards the top of the map then in that direction. "See this, that is that mountain over there." I turned him 90 degrees and asked him which way north was. He caught on and said, " I am kinda new at this map reading thing."

That is the person whom is probably hiking right now whom will be calling a little later.

If one person reads your posts and gets a hint that keeps him safe, it will be worth it. Again, thanks for the "sage" advice and keep it coming.
adios,

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by hikin_jim » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:40 pm

Mike,

I think that if one were to take a gallon of water for every two hours, in an eight hour day, you'd have four gallons, yes? Four gallons at 8.34 pounds each would be 33.36 pounds of water alone. Yipes! If you carried as little as 10 pounds in terms of pack, containers for the water, food, etc, you'd still be at 43 or so pounds for an eight hour day hike. :shock:

Maybe, in really hot weather, it's better to just stay home.

HJ

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by gollum » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:59 pm

hikin_jim wrote:Mike,

I think that if one were to take a gallon of water for every two hours, in an eight hour day, you'd have four gallons, yes? Four gallons at 8.34 pounds each would be 33.36 pounds of water alone. Yipes! If you carried as little as 10 pounds in terms of pack, containers for the water, food, etc, you'd still be at 43 or so pounds for an eight hour day hike. :shock:

Maybe, in really hot weather, it's better to just stay home.

HJ

But Remember,

That extra weight gets much less over time. After the first two hours, your pack weighs 8.34 pounds less. etc etc etc. I have jumped into places with a 150+ pound rucksack (that was because of equipment not extra water) including weapons.

Here is a quote from US Army (Field Manual) FM 90-3 "Desert Operations":
Units performing heavy activities on a sustained basis, such as a forced march or digging in, at 80 degrees wet bulb globe temperature index, may require more than 3 gallons of drinking water per man. Any increase in the heat stress will increase this need. In high temperatures, the average soldier/marine will require 9 quarts of water per day to survive, but 5 gallons are recommended. Details on water consumption and planning factors are contained in Appendix G.
I have posted this before, and will post it again; EVERYTHING anybody needs to know regarding operations in ANY environment is contained in the collection of military filed manuals available for free download from my website at:

http://1oro1.com/reference/fieldmanuals.html

I especially recommend FM21-76 (survival) and 3-25.26 (Map reading and land navigation)

Best-Mike

Jim Hatt

Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by Jim Hatt » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:50 am

Those are some nice manuals Mike, but a lot of what's in them just wouldn't work for me. I have found that I can get along alright on one gallon of water per day in triple digit temperatures. Some of that may be due to the fact that I am carrying no extra body fat... I know how to conserve water, and I know what parts of the day to hold up in the shade, and not do too much moving around between the hrs of 3 & 5 Pm.

Below 100 degrees... I know I can go in for a whole day with only 1/2 a gallon, and end up carrying half of it back out with me.

There are so many variables, that every individual has to learn his own limitations and requirements, by trial and error, under a lot of different circumstances.

I don't believe in any magic formula that works for everyone.

Best,

Jim

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by hikin_jim » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:52 am

Jim,

Just a thought, and I'm not a doctor, but my dad used to way low-ball it on the amount of water he would bring. He wound up with kidney stones. The doctor felt that his insufficient intake of water was the chief culprit. I can't say that's going to apply to everyone, but at least it might be worth checking out.

On the other hand, the amounts of water recommended in the army manuals would be impossible for me to carry and still function in hot weather.

Somewhere in between lies the optimum amount of water, at least for me.

HJ

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