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(TwinCities.com)   Searchers looking for missing hikers. Search areas include the Arapahoe National Forest and the southern Indian Ocean   (twincities.com) divider line 111
    More: Sad, Indian Ocean, St. Louis Park, Colorado, St. Louis  
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3221 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Apr 2014 at 12:13 PM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-08 07:11:14 PM

Zul the Magnificent: M&P


M&C.

ftfm
 
2014-04-08 07:34:43 PM

Mentalpatient87: Good, good. Any advice for bringing along my dog? I was thinking about buying one of those little saddle bag things so she can carry her share...

How about wildlife? Is there any merit to the idea of "marking your territory" with bear mace at your camp site to keep them away? I heard that suggested from someone.


Get the Ruff Wear (?) hiking boots for your dog. Yes, I'm serious. There was a very sad story a year or two ago about a guy who took his dog hiking up Mt Evans without the boots. Dog's pads got torn up pretty badly and couldn't hike anymore. Bad weather was moving in and he (felt like he) had to leave the dog. Understandable, but then the guy couldn't figure out how to recuse the dog himself, so he called local authorities who were no help, He posted some signs in the area, and then that was about all he did. Some other hikers found the dog and organized a rescue via an online hiking community. Dog was rescued, guy was charged with some kind of crime - don't think it was animal cruelty, but something similar - and had the dog taken from him. The mountain trails are too rocky for unprotected feet.

And yes, the bear spray thing is BS.
 
2014-04-08 07:42:21 PM

cgraves67: I can never remember which syllable you are supposed to emphasize in Arapaho. Is it aRAPaho or araPAho?


I don't know the real Native American pronunciation, but the locals pronounce it aRAPaho.
 
2014-04-08 09:18:08 PM
Boots:
You can skimp out on some gear and equipment and get by but always buy the best boots you can afford from a top brand outdoor supplier (Merrell, North Face, Tewa, Keen, etc.).  If possible get an expert fitting from a knowledgeable salesperson, and NEVER hike in brand new boots - one month breaking-in period at a minimum. And for Pete's sake get the right kind of footwear for the conditions, I.E. don't get trail runners for rocky, uneven terrain, unless you enjoy falling down a lot.

At the other extreme, because the trails are so well-worn and maintained, walking shoes are a good choice for lots of popular National Parks trails. Heck, the Scouts use walking shoes in the back country at Philmont in New Mexico because the trails are so well-worn. Know what kind of trail you are hiking and get the footwear to match.

Water:
Never rely entirely on back country water sources unless logistics or distance leave you no choice. Always carry supplemental water and a filter bottle and/or tablets. You never know when a body of water might be undergoing an indefinite microbial contamination. And all the natural water in the world won't help you if your back is broken from a fall and you can't get to it. You still need to hydrate while you wait for rescue.

Trekking poles:
A good sturdy one is essential, two are even better. Walking on steep mountains trails eventually it WILL prevent you from falling over, count on it. Besides that, they're good for: using as tent poles, as emergency splints, for creating (along with some rope) a makeshift litter, as a weapon to fight off animals or other hikers, and for roughly testing the depth of rivers and streams. A good trekking pole in the back country is a hell of a multi-tasker.

Also, trail mix.
 
2014-04-09 05:19:26 AM

99.998er: I bet the boy wanted to go to Mexico with his mom and sister all along.
This:
[www.bigtravelweb.com image 497x331]
Or this?[www.mountainphotography.com image 700x525]


At 10,000 feet, no one can hear her scream in ecstacy. Except you.

Remember that.
 
2014-04-09 07:45:44 AM

Lamberts Ho Man: Mentalpatient87: I mean, how much weight am I looking at, as well as cost, for an emergency backup plan? Is it something you think I honestly NEED? it looks cool, but I don't know if I have the room for it.

That Yaesu is a relatively expensive radio - in the neighborhood of $600 I think.  And you're dependent on somebody happening to be listening/scanning on your HF frequency within the footprint of your bounce.  I haven't done much HF, so I don't really know how likely that is.  But it will definitely get out of places that a 2 meter radio won't.

On the other hand, a cheap handheld 2M radio and 1/4 wave whip can be had for < $50 and I've been pretty surprised what we've been able to hit with those.  And 2M repeaters very often have somebody listening to them, even if they aren't actively talking.  But you won't have repeater coverage everywhere, and a mountain or hill between you and the repeater can easily cut you off.  Did I mention they're cheap?

The satellite EPIRB units like the SPOT I linked to earlier will get out almost anywhere and will relay your message and GPS coordinates to the relevant local authorities.  They're somewhere between the 2M radios and the Yaesu (which is very much on my "want" list) in terms of initial cost and require an annual subscription.  The Ham radios also require a certain level of experience and knowledge to operate effectively, while the EPIRB can be as simple as basically a panic button.

You need to assess your need based on your experience and the area you'll be travelling in.


This is Fark, stop being reasonable.

As for the "you're dependent on somebody happening to be listening/scanning on your HF frequency within the footprint of your bounce.", it's actually very, very likely.

HF is as popular as ever.  The only time you wouldn't have someone listening is if you chose poorly band-wise (you'll generally want to use 40 meters during the day, 75 meters at night), or in the unlikely event of a CME farking up the HF bands.

But the *NICE* thing about a radio like the FT-817 is that it does it all:  It covers HF, VHF, and UHF with SSB, CW, and FM modes.  And if you're in the habit of carrying around a small computing device, you can even have it send and receive digital data.

Hell, if you go ahead and use the WinLink2000 system, you can send and receive e-mails from pretty much anywhere in the World, and it doesn't matter how far away you are from the gateway:  Your e-mail will get to the recipient even if they aren't a ham radio operator.

I regularly send and receive e-mails (with attachments) via that system, using a 40+ year old tube radio and this laptop I'm typing on.  When I do happen to get a small, portable HF rig that can do SSB*, I'll put the RMS Express client on the netbook and use that.  Plus, you can use WinLink to beacon your position:

http://www.winlink.org/userPositions

See all those ones in the ocean?  Those are sailors using the system to report their positions.


*The only rig I have that's portable is an old Heathkit HW-8 low power rig.  It can receive single sideband, but only transmits Morse code.
 
2014-04-09 08:15:28 AM

RockyMtnGirl: Get the Ruff Wear (?) hiking boots for your dog. Yes, I'm serious.


I'm not doubting you. Her pads got raw and crappy this winter from just running around the snow and cold in Indiana. I'll be getting those boots for her to just wear to go take a poop every day.

RockyMtnGirl: and he (felt like he) had to leave the dog.


Couldn't do it. You'd read about me being found dead on the trail of exhaustion with the dog still on my shoulders... Thus, I'll make damn sure she can walk her own self out instead.

Texas Gabe: You can skimp out on some gear and equipment and get by but always buy the best boots you can afford from a top brand outdoor supplier (Merrell, North Face, Tewa, Keen, etc.).


Timberland okay? I did that Cumberland Gap hike in some crappy sneakers. That convinced me to go out and spend a hundred bucks on some boots. Talked to the guy at Gander Mtn, he said he'd been hiking and climbing since the 70s so I listen to him. Got the boots, some nice thick socks to go with. Even broke them in already.

Texas Gabe: Never rely entirely on back country water sources


Nope. Half the weight in my pack was just making sure we had enough water for the whole trip. I've watched Bear Grylls drink enough pee, thanks.

Texas Gabe: Trekking poles


On the list, trust me. I saw someone with those last year and was pretty jealous.

How about a bunch of pictures from my trip?
Trails
Rocky trails
White Rocks Overlook
Misty Forest (it rained quite a bit day 2, the fog stayed with us until we left)
The Sand Cave (HUGE! picture doesn't do it justice)
Martin's Fork Cabin (panorama mode)
Hensley Settlement (that's a private residence there, according to the sign)

Again, thank you all for your advice. I'm feeling like I'm getting a good perspective on what I'll be up against. Still intending to take it easy.
 
2014-04-09 09:00:06 AM
BTW, it used to be that there were several APRS-enabled ham radio satellites, and a small radio like a Yaesu VX-8 series handheld could beacon your GPS position to them (GPS is built-in to the radio), and they would retransmit that position to be picked up by the numerous APRS to internet gateways..  Unfortunately, there is only one that I know of that is still doing that, the International Space Station, and it's not always on.

Still, a radio like that set to beacon your position every half-hour or so would be quite useful to anyone looking for you.  Saves them the time and effort of having to look for you, they just sent up a plane with an appropriate receiver and a computer of some sort (even a tablet or smartphone:   http://aprsdroid.org/  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocketpacket /id336500866?mt=8 ) and by virtue of your height above ground (say, 4,000 feet above local terrain), you'd be able to hear such a packet from at least 1.4*sqr(4000) = ~88 miles away, assuming there isn't a mountain blocking the view and you aren't getting some knife-edge diffraction.
 
2014-04-09 10:18:52 AM

dittybopper: BTW, it used to be that there were several APRS-enabled ham radio satellites, and a small radio like a Yaesu VX-8 series handheld could beacon your GPS position to them (GPS is built-in to the radio), and they would retransmit that position to be picked up by the numerous APRS to internet gateways..  Unfortunately, there is only one that I know of that is still doing that, the International Space Station, and it's not always on.

Still, a radio like that set to beacon your position every half-hour or so would be quite useful to anyone looking for you.  Saves them the time and effort of having to look for you, they just sent up a plane with an appropriate receiver and a computer of some sort (even a tablet or smartphone:   http://aprsdroid.org/  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocketpacket /id336500866?mt=8 ) and by virtue of your height above ground (say, 4,000 feet above local terrain), you'd be able to hear such a packet from at least 1.4*sqr(4000) = ~88 miles away, assuming there isn't a mountain blocking the view and you aren't getting some knife-edge diffraction.


Thanks - Interesting stuff.  I really want to get further into the ham stuff, just to many hobbies not enough time.  Mostly use it as a glorified high power CB for vehicle based back country stuff right now.  One of the guys in our club has a nice APRS setup.
 
2014-04-09 10:55:15 AM

Lamberts Ho Man: Thanks - Interesting stuff.  I really want to get further into the ham stuff, just to many hobbies not enough time.  Mostly use it as a glorified high power CB for vehicle based back country stuff right now.  One of the guys in our club has a nice APRS setup.


It doesn't take all that much.  You might want to look into HF mobile:  Slap a hamstick on the jeep, and use any old, cheap HF rig you can get, and bingo, you've got communications over hundreds or thousands of miles.  You can still do the NVIS thing by angling the hamstick so it's mostly horizontal (less than 45 degrees).  If I were to pick a single HF band for that sort of thing (and hamsticks are only good for one band, but they're cheap), I'd go with 40 meters.

A good used radio for that sort of thing is the Ten-Tec Scout:  50 watts output, very simple front panel with a minimum of controls, and you change bands with plug-in modules, but pretty much any used or new HF radio will work.
 
2014-04-09 10:58:58 AM
Thanks - Interesting stuff.  I really want to get further into the ham stuff, just to many hobbies not enough time.  Mostly use it as a glorified high power CB for vehicle based back country stuff right now.  One of the guys in our club has a nice APRS setup.

BTW, favorited as a ham for the next FARK QSO PARTY.
 
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