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Risks And Dangers Of The Trade


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#1 tracker

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 12:39 PM

Let talk about some of the other Risk and Dangers of the trade besides attacks.

I just posted some tips in the thread about confrontations. Anyways there's a lot of enthusiast, novices and experienced investigators/researchers out there that could get hurt in the bush at anytime. So maybe we could share some tricks of the trade or advice and what to do in other situations besides running into an angry Sasquatch or bear.

I'll list some of the other dangers and risks to get the ball rolling. Please add in your own or tips & other risks ( snake bites etc) and counter measures if things turn ugly. I am no expert but I am fully aware of some of the other risks involved in the back country where i go.

As stupid as this may sound a lot of researchers/hikers even with a compass or GPS get lost for one reason or another. Then you got the others who don't have the basic field equipment or training.

The weather can play havoc with your expedition it can turn a great trip into a nightmare fast. Hyperthermia, dehydration is no joke if it's serious enough and there's no help near.

The terrain it self can be very dangerous if the area is unknown or the conditions are wrong for you to be out there hiking about especially at night. Leg related injuries are very common and can be life threatening if you become disabled.

A few years back I tore all my Achilles tendons in half on my left leg and had to use my knife to crawl back up a wet slope hidden by the morning mist and back into camp. How stupid did I feel when I drove myself to the hospital with my left foot flapping like a fish when I hopped into emerg. Surgery, a big cast and learning how to walk again adjusted my fearless attitude.

Anyways crap happens even to the best of us so maybe we could talk about some of the other risk and what to do. Who knows it may save someones butt sometime maybe even yours? :(

Edited by tracker, 07 November 2010 - 01:10 PM.

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"tracker,you make it look so easy! HOW do you get them on video?Are they just use to you being around?"par5sn2

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#2 fenris

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 01:41 PM

I was out briefly today and slipped on loose leaf litter on a steep incline and fell on my backside. In the right conditions that could lead to injury.
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#3 tracker

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 04:19 PM

I recommend cleats and how to walk down hill lessons. :)
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"tracker,you make it look so easy! HOW do you get them on video?Are they just use to you being around?"par5sn2

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#4 Spazmo

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:40 PM

If you can afford it, and you know you'll be out of cellphone range, it's not a bad idea to rent a satellite phone. It will also have a built in GPS.
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#5 damndirtyape

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 07:26 PM

When I was doing pre-commercial thinning I worked with some guys who would get pretty crazy antzy out there... We would work for about a month far from people or roads, then come back to town to refuel and spend a little money. One of the guys I worked with told me about his dad who ran out into the woods one night hearing a noise that seemed to be taunting his crew and put out his eye running in to a bare branch.

I have seen many would be Sasquatch investigators do the same thing. I don't know why that is. Do they really think they are going to catch what ever they are running after? In the dark? And what if they were with a whole team of people who spent money and took time off from work to be there as well and that person just ruined everything by creating a medical emergency where someone had to go to town, call for medical assistance, fill out reports, etc.

Know who you go out with and the maturity level you can live with in them.
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#6 LittleFeat

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 09:23 PM

I try not to do anything too stupid when I go out hiking. I don't jump from boulder to boulder, walk the tightrope across a fallen log, cross a raging river, stay exposed in an electrical storm, etc. There are too many things that can happen by accident without tempting fate.

I also invested in a SPOT satellite receiver which provides another measure of safety by enabling me to summon help. I use a GPS to navigate with but if it loses power, up-to-date maps are essential as is a compass and understanding how to navigate with one. I'd rather err on the conservative side so that I can live to hike another day.
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#7 tracker

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 06:05 AM

I am a map and compass guy myself. When it's dark you stay put, especially if lost. This might be easier if I just ask or pose some questions?

What are some of the precautions people should take before and when in the back country?





ps. hey littlefeet cool avatar.

Edited by tracker, 08 November 2010 - 06:05 AM.

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"tracker,you make it look so easy! HOW do you get them on video?Are they just use to you being around?"par5sn2

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#8 fenris

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 10:33 AM

I am a map and compass guy myself. When it's dark you stay put, especially if lost. This might be easier if I just ask or pose some questions?

What are some of the precautions people should take before and when in the back country?





ps. hey littlefeet cool avatar.



Sage advice on the compass, I've been in a sitch where a friend's high end gps unit failed and the compass was what got us back to camp. And as far the walking down hill lessons, I offer this; leaf litter and wet rock underneath are not your friend.
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Enter the Wolf, "Out beyond the ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing" sang Rumi, "There is a field. I'll meet you there."

#9 NDT

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:44 AM

Depending on where you live & do your snooping, running into a grow op, delivery op, or meth lab is a very real possibility with obvious danger.

then there is stuff like hogs, cats, coyotes, and bear, any can get cheeky. In particular after the couple times I bowhunted them, I don't trust hogs as far as I can throw them. Quite a few years back I was snooping around an area in Minn that had a history of local sightings. The primitive campground I started out of had been torn up pretty fair by bears looking for chow, including the outhouse. Discretion being the better part of camping in a place bears regularly visited looking for an easy meal and in which a guy couldn't take a safe dump, I elected not to stay there...

These dangers are why, when I'm snooping around, I carry a shotgun or rifle. I only carry a handgun if I have no other alternative. Even though I've carried a bellygun professionally for 30 years both off & on duty, I share Matthew Quigley's opinion of them...

Edited by NDT, 08 November 2010 - 11:51 AM.

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#10 vilnoori

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:04 PM

Sage advice. I too take it easy, also since I'm a middle aged lady and no longer slim and young. I thoroughly study the area I'm going into, using topographical maps. I leave very careful instructions about where I'm going and when I can be expected back and I don't detour from my original destination. I take along a survival kit including preparations for emergency camping and unexpected injury, very important because I usually go alone. I make sure my vehicle is working well. If I can I take a cell phone. It might not get service but at least they can track the signal.

The most I've been in trouble was putting my foot down in a slough and nearly getting caught in it (went up to my thigh in mud). That is serious business in this cougar and bear country. Thankfully I was using a walking stick and managed to lever myself out using the stick and a nearby sapling. I'm much more careful about bogs now.
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#11 LittleFeat

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:15 PM

I am a map and compass guy myself. When it's dark you stay put, especially if lost. This might be easier if I just ask or pose some questions?

What are some of the precautions people should take before and when in the back country?





ps. hey littlefeet cool avatar.


Wow, that is going to be along list; it might be easier to list the precautions you shouldn't take. :lol: Seriously though, here's a start:

  • Leave information on your whereabouts and time table with a person that you can trust.
  • Leave the same information in your vehicle.
  • If you're going off-road, check road conditions and perform a vehicle inspection.
  • Check weather forecast.
  • Wear blaze orange if it's rifle season.
  • Check and double check equipment that you're taking.
  • Take more than enough food and water.
  • Bring medications and a first aid kit.
  • Plot your route using a GPS and/or compass.
  • Make sure you have enough batteries.
  • Allow plenty of time to reach your destination before dark, especially if you're hiking in.
  • Don't tempt fate with your actions. Be conservative.
  • If you're in bear or mountain lion country, wear bells or somehow make some noise. I put bells on my hiking staff.
  • Familiarize yourself with the area to determine evacuation routes.
  • Don't camp in the middle of trees, you might get squashed.
  • If there's evidence of trees that have been struck by lightning, choose another place to set up camp.
  • Keep your fire small.
  • Don't keep food in your tent, including the clothes that you wear while cooking.

I solo a lot, but if you have a hiking partner, the list should be the same. Please be careful. Just a start, so please add your suggestions.

P.S. Thanks tracker for the avatar complement. I have a mousepad that matches it. :huh:
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#12 tracker

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 02:48 PM

Hey good ones,

Ok lets raise the bar

What about treating leg or back injuries and Hypertherm?

Or how about if you got lost or need to locate a lost person? Gsp not working no compass & it's getting dark and cold out?

Hey fenris, maybe we can get a two for one deal on decending lessons? :)

Actually I find decending harder then climbing especially if it's wet. Well mountains anyways with all the loose shale above the tree line. That shale can cut you up good and leave your shins bleeding for all the other preds to smell. It's like ringing the dinner bell.

Trackers tip of the day. Always treat wounds and injuries asap. Many reasons blaa blaa blaa, don't tough it out just do it. ;)
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"tracker,you make it look so easy! HOW do you get them on video?Are they just use to you being around?"par5sn2

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#13 LittleFeat

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 04:02 PM

Hey good ones,

Ok lets raise the bar

What about treating leg or back injuries and Hypertherm?
If you have a severe or back injury or notice the signs of hypothermia, I'd stay put. You might just hurt yourself more by trying to continue and with hypothermia your mental processes are impaired. I'd bivy in one of those reflective survival sacks until I'm feeling better or until I can flag someone down or help arrives. Drink plenty of water. This where your itinerary and time table that you left with someone and in your vehicle becomes extremely important.

Or how about if you got lost or need to locate a lost person? Gsp not working no compass & it's getting dark and cold out?
I've never worked in SAR, so I don't know how they go about locating or evacuating someone, but I would call out, whistle, use the itinerary that they left to navigate to as close as possible to where they are. Who knows maybe a BF will carry you out as some injured outdoorsman have reported. ;)

If your GPS is not working and you don't have a compass, you can navigate using the sun, moss on the north side of trees and ant hills face south. Also, if you're familiar with the local flora, some types of trees like south facing slopes and others like wetter north facing slopes.


Hey fenris, maybe we can get a two for one deal on decending lessons? :)

Actually I find decending harder then climbing especially if it's wet. Well mountains anyways with all the loose shale above the tree line. That shale can cut you up good and leave your shins bleeding for all the other preds to smell. It's like ringing the dinner bell.

Are you referring to the Well Mountains in Utah? We have a lot scree and talus slopes here in Colorado that can turn you into hamburger real quick if you're not careful. Talus slopes and boulders fit into the "don't do anything stupid like hopping from rock to rock" precaution and scree is just plain unstable, so I avoid crossing scree slopes, otherwise you could be in for a speedy decent.

Trackers tip of the day. Always treat wounds and injuries asap. Many reasons blaa blaa blaa, don't tough it out just do it. ;)
I agree, even minor cuts and blisters can get badly infected without treatment.


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#14 MagniAesir

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

I just throw a couple of oreos in my pocket, slip on the flip flops and tee-shirt then head off in whatever direction pleases me.
Nothing can go wrong as mother nature will look after me.




















Good info so far, but to add.
Carry a pealess whistle such as a fox 40, it can be heard much farther then a voice.
Dress in layers and be prepared for all types of weather for your area.
Carry insect repelant or bug clothing if ticks or lyme disease is a concern.
Take a basic first aid course.
If you are new to the outdoors, try to go out a few times with someone with experience.
Learn about wild edibles in your area.
Do not buy cheap equipment as it will let you down.
Inexpensive does not always equal cheap.
Expensive does not always equal robust.
A good headlamp can be a life saver.
A good sharp knife, many experienced bushcrafters swear by moras (less than $20), depending on your area a folding saw, machete or axe/hatchet may be a good idea.
Pack more then 1 fire starting kit on you, if you plan to use a fire steel or magnesium bar, get proficient with them at home.

Have a personal emergency kit that never leaves your person, this should be in addition to what is in your pack.
Be realistic about your abilities, if it has been 5 years since your last 10 mile hike, this trip is probably not the time to try it out again.
Wear comfortable clothing.
If you take medications, make sure you have at least enough for 3 days more then you plan to be away.

Try new equipment at home before you really need to depend on it.
Two hours after dark is not the time to figure out how to set up your brand new tent.
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#15 tracker

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 09:42 AM

Good one guys, yep, know your gear before you head out.

That was one of the things i forgot to mention was coming across newbs trying to figure out their new walmart or probass gear as its getting dark. Car lights on, the radio or genny going. chatting up a storm that would scare away everything with in 10 miles. Keeping a huge fire going enough to light up their entire camp. Then trying to lure one in with wood knocking and call blasting 10 feet inside the tree line of their brightly lit campsite.

If your that scared of them or the forest in the dark why go out for fudge sakes? :angry:
Just do daytrips, sorry some venting, my bad Posted Image




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"tracker,you make it look so easy! HOW do you get them on video?Are they just use to you being around?"par5sn2

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#16 LittleFeat

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 11:59 AM

Good one guys, yep, know your gear before you head out.

That was one of the things i forgot to mention was coming across newbs trying to figure out their new walmart or probass gear as its getting dark. Car lights on, the radio or genny going. chatting up a storm that would scare away everything with in 10 miles. Keeping a huge fire going enough to light up their entire camp. Then trying to lure one in with wood knocking and call blasting 10 feet inside the tree line of their brightly lit campsite.
Making noise might actually attract them, but they most likely already know you're there. Once you're settled in at camp(not sleeping), I agree with keeping the fire small, if you must have one. It's going to be hard to see anything in the dark if you've been staring at a fire. You'll be surprised at how well you can see in the dark when there's no light source.

If your that scared of them or the forest in the dark why go out for fudge sakes? :angry:
Just do daytrips, sorry some venting, my bad Posted Image

Fear of the dark is a natural thing, but repeated trips at night without actually staying overnight will most likely ease the fear. Once you've gotten to that point, you can take a stab at an overnight car camping outing. Then if you so desire, up the ante to a short hike (during the day) and set up an overnight camp in a more remote location, yet still fairly close to your vehicle. Acclimation to the dark is the most important thing.

Great points tracker.


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#17 tracker

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 01:02 PM

Hey good word use littlefeat

Acclimation is one of my favorite words. :D

Yea sometimes they will come closer to a discrete fire and a low chatter. The way i figure it is from being in the bush looking in. the bigger the commotion and fire the more people there usually are and higher the risk. But then again i heard two people make as much noise as a platoon. Even researchers keep yapping until they figure something is around. thats if they can hear them over there own chatter. I guess they wait until they smell something or someones doing the zap jig dance. Meanwhile the big buggers been watching for an hour or so waiting for them to quiet down before approaching.

Why not keep it quiet like it's all ready late so they come in sooner?

Ah what do i know anyways, sometimes they will start screaming just to drown out the intruders racket. Posted Image

Edited by tracker, 09 November 2010 - 04:48 PM.

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"tracker,you make it look so easy! HOW do you get them on video?Are they just use to you being around?"par5sn2

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#18 LittleFeat

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 10:20 PM

I don't like to act like I'm sneaking around, because that could make them a little skittish. I try to keep a set routine so that I become predictable to them. I'm always amazed at how much the woods come alive when the animals get used to seeing me around. That's just what I do though.

Many people swear by other methods, including making a lot of noise or whatever and that's all good, because we all need to try different approaches to understand their behavior. Heck, it's darn near impossible to keep a bunch of friends quiet around a camp fire!
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#19 TooRisky

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:17 PM

The first and foremost in my mind is those damn "Pink Monkey's"... Out there poking my nose into all kinds of deep forest area's scouting, I may just stir up some pot growers or worse those damn Meth labs and the zombies that run them... And some ask me why I am armed... LOL

Other than that there is nothing in the forest that I fear, respect greatly yes, but do not fear...

Edited by TooRisky, 10 November 2010 - 10:19 PM.

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#20 MagniAesir

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:53 PM

The first and foremost in my mind is those damn "Pink Monkey's"... Out there poking my nose into all kinds of deep forest area's scouting, I may just stir up some pot growers or worse those damn Meth labs and the zombies that run them... And some ask me why I am armed... LOL

Other than that there is nothing in the forest that I fear, respect greatly yes, but do not fear...

This thread shows a lot of undesirable type of things in the PNW
http://www.ifish.net...ad.php?t=148441
very cool read though
Not BF related
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