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hiflier

Low End Gear And Research Equipment

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Catmandoo
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Posted (edited)

I thought that I would post some low tech stuff because I am tired of the pseudo-squatch logging operation that is now 6 pages. BTW, shallow root ball trees fall over in wind storms. I am around a lot of trees that have shallow root balls. Dangerous in wind storms.  DDA had trail cameras on trees and the trees were pushed over from the non-cam side. Cryptic message ---- no translation needed.  I think the trees were alders.

 

I found my  animal scat and track guides that are available from North Woods  Field Guides. They don't include everything but they will help.

 

http://www.northwoodsguides.com

 

Beaver scat is easy when seen in shallow water. How are you on dog and coyote tracks?  Other animals;  claws in or claws out?

 

For the image, I took the cards off of the little ball chain. You can adjust the pack to your liking. The image does not show all cards that come in the packs. You have separate packs;  scat and tracks.

Animal tracks_IMG_3268.jpg

Edited by Catmandoo
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Explorer
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for sharing Catmando.

 

Years ago I downloaded an app for the i-phone that does something similar (shows tracks by animal type). 

I thought it was a neat app with lots of features and information on animal tracks and how to help identify tracks found.

However, I ended up not using it much because of the complexity of having to rely on an electronic device in the field and then searching for the track in the large menu of choices in the little iphone.

The old app I used was called iTrack Wildlife - but I did not re-load it with my new i-phone.

http://www.naturetracking.com/itrack-wildlife/

 

There is another app that is similar and in addition shows photos of scat for each animal - it is called Critter Trax - Animal Tracks (but I have never used it and don't know if it is any good).

 

I like the card idea better. 

I presume that the tracks and scat drawings are not to scale.

The website link that you provided said that the numbers on the right are a ruler to measure the tracks found and then to compare to the typical range of sizes.

Providing a range of size of scat for known creatures is very helpful because many times in the field there is debate among folks when they find a big pile (and there are no experts among us to make an accurate assessment).

The only drawback I see with the cards is the weight, since I usually go backpacking into wilderness areas and want to minimize the load.

 

Edited by Explorer

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Catmandoo
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^^^^ The cards have text on the back about the animal.  The selection has its limits. I would have liked to see a comparison of Lynx tracks to bobcat and the scrapes.  They caution not to handle raccoon scat as being very unhealthy to humans.  Damn, I wanted to get some raccoon terds, roll them in kitty litter to make Raccoon Roca, and leave it buy my trail cam to see who bites..........

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Catmandoo
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The cards do not require that one uses their phone battery. Phones seem to have battery issues at the wrong time.  I have several power banks for electronic equipment and I limit my phone use as in turning it off. Hard to believe.  Keep in mind that when you have your phone on, they ping your phone and are tracking you.  Turn your phone off to operate under the radar. Good luck with that ladies.

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gigantor
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1 hour ago, Catmandoo said:

Turn your phone off to operate under the radar.

 

Not good enough, you have to remove the battery, but they regulated that too. The only way not to be tracked is to have no phone, or to put it in a faraday cage...

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Catmandoo
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Good thing that we have tech guys here.  Faraday cage, for the times that you have to whip it out and make an emergency call for yourself or others.

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Huntster
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So what about in areas many miles away from cell phone coverage? Can a cell phone still be tracked? I believe DoD can do it, but they'd have to invest a lot of assets to do it.

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hiflier
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On ‎3‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 9:26 PM, Catmandoo said:

Good thing that we have tech guys here.  Faraday cage, for the times that you have to whip it out and make an emergency call for yourself or others.

 

A layer of tin foil around the phone works as long as there are no holes in the wrap, two even better. And people thought tin hats were only for crackpots ;) 

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gigantor
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2 hours ago, Huntster said:

So what about in areas many miles away from cell phone coverage? Can a cell phone still be tracked? I believe DoD can do it, but they'd have to invest a lot of assets to do it.

 

Correct, the cell phone will broadcast a "is anyone there" signal looking for a tower and they can detect that signal via satellite or a properly equiped aircraft.

 

It's cheaper now because they can use drones.

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SWWASAS
5 hours ago, Huntster said:

So what about in areas many miles away from cell phone coverage? Can a cell phone still be tracked? I believe DoD can do it, but they'd have to invest a lot of assets to do it.

If a cell phone is out of cell coverage  It takes special gear to ping the phone.     You basically have to have the equivalent of  a cell tower to talk to the phone.    I would imagine that the military,  CIA, FBI and other assets have that sort of gear.     If you have those folks interested in tracking you, you got some serious trouble coming.          Many of the lost in the Columbia Gorge climb out of cell coverage and get themselves lost because their mapping software does not work.     .    Without cell coverage the mapping functions in the phone do not work to down load the maps.    .

 

     Speaking of that there is an Application for cell phones that allows you to have USGS TOPO  maps saved into your phone.     The IPhone app is called TOPO Maps.   I have used that app.      You save an area into your phone by downloading it when you have internet access,    then can use it in the field well out of cell phone coverage.     Normal phone mapping software does not work out of cell coverage.    The app uses GPS data to fix your position on the TOPO maps.     I have a Garmin Oregon GPS and the screen is so small and lacking in detail that the phone TOPO map is much better.     That map is as big as your phone screen and many times larger than the Garmin screen.          But running GPS really runs down the phone battery quickly.      If away from your car it is good to have a little solar panel in your pack so you can keep your phone battery up.   In normal use,  I only pull out the phone and run the app if I need position information to verify I am where I think I am or find a target area.         I used it once  to find a mine location depicted on the TOPO maps and many times to confirm my position when in an unfamiliar area.   It is very comforting to work a research area you know well and not have to rely on maps and gadgets.         

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SWWASAS

Similar topic is the cars that start without inserting a key.      Key just has to be present.     The problem with this is thieves now have devices that detect and duplicate the key fob signal.       They lurk around parking lots, detect the signal when someone parks and when you leave the car,   simply activate their device to unlock and start the car,   and drive off.    The way to defeat this is put the key fob in a metal mint box when you leave the car.     Also be aware of people lurking around parking lots as they are up to something bad.   Steel works better than aluminum foil but anything is better than nothing to limit the distance the signal is transmitted.    I store my keys in a key holder box near the garage door.     I can literally get in the car and drive off without the key in the car.   Not good for getting back home.    The car tells you at some point but you might not notice the warning.      Apartment dwellers probably should store their key fob in a metal box to prevent the signal from being read from nearby.      I shake my head at some things that are supposed to be an improvement end up making things easier for thieves. 

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Huntster
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1 hour ago, SWWASAS said:

If a cell phone is out of cell coverage  It takes special gear to ping the phone.     You basically have to have the equivalent of  a cell tower to talk to the phone.    I would imagine that the military,  CIA, FBI and other assets have that sort of gear.  If you have those folks interested in tracking you, you got some serious trouble coming........         

 

LOL........yeah, but they aren't invincible (as Ho Chi Minh, General Giap, and Donald Trump prove), but I agree that they can be real PITAs if they're angry with you. That's why one might not want to be sending them signals.

 

.........Speaking of that there is an Application for cell phones that allows you to have USGS TOPO  maps saved into your phone.     The IPhone app is called TOPO Maps.   I have used that app.      You save an area into your phone by downloading it when you have internet access,    then can use it in the field well out of cell phone coverage.     Normal phone mapping software does not work out of cell coverage.    The app uses GPS data to fix your position on the TOPO maps.     I have a Garmin Oregon GPS and the screen is so small and lacking in detail that the phone TOPO map is much better.     That map is as big as your phone screen and many times larger than the Garmin screen.          But running GPS really runs down the phone battery quickly.      If away from your car it is good to have a little solar panel in your pack so you can keep your phone battery up.   In normal use,  I only pull out the phone and run the app if I need position information to verify I am where I think I am or find a target area.         I used it once  to find a mine location depicted on the TOPO maps and many times to confirm my position when in an unfamiliar area.   It is very comforting to work a research area you know well and not have to rely on maps and gadgets.

 

I had a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) with me when I drove my truck through the ice and on to the bottom of Big Lake. It was recovered months later, but the pressure at 44' deep finally got to it (unlike my Leica rangefinder). It was ruined. I've thought about replacing it ever since, because I go out alone regularly, and I might need to call the military, CIA, FBI, Coast Guard, etc if I get into deep water again, so to speak.............

 

I've been looking at the Garmin InReach units, and the Mini in particular. It pairs with your cell phone, so the communication with the satellites is through the InReach. Your map work and messaging is done through the cell phone. Unlike a PLB, the InReach/cell phone enables two way communication with anybody who has an email address, so the Big Boys don't come flying in with helicopters if your problems are simply a major breakdown. The InReach is cheaper than a satellite phone, and the subscription options are vastly cheaper.

 

But the PLB is still a very desirable asset. If well torn up by a bear or broken up after a fall down a cliff, all one has to do is get one hand on it and flick a switch with your thumb, and the Big Boys are on their way. That is tough to beat if you know you're dying. 

 

It seems like one really needs both the PLB and a remote communication device for the best insurance against remote disaster.     

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hiflier
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Posted (edited)

Carrying tracking a bit further, becoming a digital ghost- as I like to phrase it- doesn't stop at cell phones. Fully covert would mean owning a vehicle built before 1994. Black boxes which monitor vehicle performance and maneuvering were installed in a couple of test vehicles back in '74 but are now in all cars and trucks as of around 2002.

 

Like most things, being able to track a vehicle was a fairly old concept that only needed to wait until new technology could made it happen.

Edited by hiflier

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Catmandoo
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Hiflier, it is difficult to find a vehicle built before 1994 that is in good shape.  I would work on shielding the antenna(s)/black boxes in the way of a removable set up so one could remove the shielding to receive those important software/spying updates.

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hiflier
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The underlying point of my posts of course is for someone seriously out to take down a voucher specimen but isn't set up like Norseman is with his horses/mules. A Squatchin' built before 1994 isn't hard to find as you know but you're right in that finding a good one might be difficult. This wouldn't be a bad site to look through for anyone looking for a more digitally covert vehicle. No updates/spyware of any kind needed since the technology that would require wouldn't exist :) https://www.carfax.com/Used-1992-Chevrolet-Blazer_z2449

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