Wednesday, November 27, 2013
By Peter Kummerfeldt
Based on what we read there should always be a convenient hollow tree, rocky overhang or cave a person in trouble could use for shelter. It’s strange how when you are not in trouble any number of suitable shelters can be found but when you really need one – they are in short supply. Murphy’s Law I guess!
I have always believed that if you are going to need a shelter you had better have the materials with you to build it! I also believe that it is impossible for the typical survivor to build a waterproof, wind proof shelter from natural materials!
To read the rest of the post go here.
To read the complete post go here.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Check out Peter Kummerfeldt's short video on signalling with a mirror here.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
This is a fine article from http://seattlebackpackersmagazine.com/ about the myths associated with Search and Rescue teams.
by Erika Klimecky
So now you know who they are. They are the people that the news stations refer to when “a search is underway”. They are the teams that roll out of bed at all hours and go out into the back-country to find missing or lost people. They find evidence, follow tracks and bring people out of the wilderness and back to safety. But there is still a lot of confusion and questions about how Search and Rescue operates. So let’s straighten that out a bit.
Let’s debunk some myths about search and rescue.
To read the rest of the post go to here.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
For the last several days I have been working with my Search and Rescue (SAR) team on a forest fire in the Pacific Northwest. The team has helped to coordinate the potential evacuation of a small community and has worked with Forest Service staff to assist stranded hikers. Getting these hikers out safely has been a priority.
To read the rest of the post go here.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
To view Dan's complete post go here.
Friday, November 15, 2013
A few months ago, I was trying to determine a focus for the next CleverHiker video series. For our second season, I wanted get away from gear and focus on teaching skills. The idea came about to make a 10-episode series on the most critical trail skills and I started to scribble down ideas.
It didn’t take long to realize that there were far too many critical skills to cram into a single series. So, instead of filming one full series, I decided to film two. I’m calling the two-part series Essential Trail Skills I & II and I’m excited to hear your thoughts. The series will be 20 HD instructional videos to teach the most important trail skills for backpackers of all levels and it’s set to launch in early 2014.
To read the rest of the post visit sectionhiker.com here.
Check out Dave Collins' web site at www.cleverhiker.com
Thursday, November 14, 2013
There is nothing magic here. Nothing novel. Nothing original.
People enjoy talking about new technology, equipment or skills that they have learned. They are justifiably proud of their new knowledge.
A good friend got me very interested in using an alcohol stove while backpacking. It is economical, takes up little space and weighs but a few ounces. The problem is, that I can't get mine going reliably. I need more time with it to learn the basics; how simple can that be. But still, it is not working for me.
In SAR training two years ago, one team member told me how a computer mouse pad is great as a stove platform, in the snow while winter camping. So I try it out. I accidentally spill come Coleman white gas fuel on the pad. When I light the stove, of course the pad catches on fire; just great. The spot fire on the pad quickly burned out and just singed the top surface of the pad other wise it was just fine. This works for me.
There are a lot of books out there on backcountry travel and survival. Survival has become very popular. I suggest reading these with a critical eye. If there is a particular technique or skill set that you want to adopt, test it at home first. Though the author may be on the speaking/sportsman show circuit, has his own cable show or is repeatedly on network news be critical. Remember, when you are in a jam, you are responsible for you.
Become cautious when reading old and dated material. For example, in the late 1960's I was give a copy of Colin Fletcher's book, "The Complete Walker." This book got me hooked on backpacking. That said, the book is based on lessons and experiences from almost fifty years ago. Doing some research and review of current methodology may be best.
Interestingly, I am hearing from my students more often, "I heard this was used by the Special Forces," or "I read in a magazine that this is what Special Forces do." Well, OK, but is that really true or better yet, is that important for your needs. It gets down to research and experience.
So my point would be, as you prepare for a trip or hike, as you put new gear into your pack, test it in advance. Make sure it works for you.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
by Peter Kummerfeldt
The single most important step in getting rescued quickly is to leave a trip plan with two reliable people you can count on to raise the alarm when you don’t show up on time. It follows, then, that having left a trip plan you abide by it and if you deviate from the plan, inform those with whom you left the original plan.
Include in the Plan:
To read the rest of Peter's post go here.
Friday, November 8, 2013
This is a site that is serious about land navigation and GPS in particular. I subscribe to their newsletter - great info.
Here is a sample from Peter at their site. This came in their latest newsletter.
He has a info sheet on using Google Earth too.
|About Google Earth|
"Your Did you know how easily you can use Google Earth as a planning tool? Gone are the days when GPS owners had to pay for access to Google Earth; anyone can now import/export gps data to/from Google Earth, create a pathway in Google Earth (the equivalent of a GPS track),save to a computer and import into their gps device or favourite computer mapping software.
The secret of easy exchange of data is the compatibility of computer mapping
like Basecamp with Google’s file format (KMZ) and or an ability to accept and
exchange gps data in both KMZ and the International GPS file format GPS eXchange
OK in some cases it may be a two-step process and you may have to use something like BaseCamp to convert a saved KMZ file into a GPX file, but it’s still a straight forward process. If you would like to know more we've added our worksheet to the technical support pages of team membership and a new lesson to our online resource."
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Read my other post on topographic lines here.
Monday, November 4, 2013
There are lots of references to help the hiker use a topographic maps.
Sometimes there is nothing better than using a quality power point presentation.
There are two that I recommend taking a look at.
www.landnavigation.org is a comprehensive site dedicated to map and compass training.
A site at the World of Teaching presents a good introduction to topographic maps. Go here to their web site.