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Risks And Dangers Of The Trade

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Guest tracker

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

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Guest fenris

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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Guest Spazmo

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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Guest

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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Guest LittleFeat

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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Guest tracker

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

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Guest fenris

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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Guest

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

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Guest vilnoori

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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Guest LittleFeat

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:

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

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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Guest LittleFeat

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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MagniAesir

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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Guest tracker

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 dry.gif

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