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Thread: Rescue in the Ossipees

  1. #1
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Rescue in the Ossipees

    Another lost hiker, this time on Mt Shaw. He was using a cell phone as a compass.... until the battery died.

    How hard is it to carry a REAL compass?

    cb
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    With a map and compass, not hard to carry. That's assuming that you know how to use them, and I would hazard a guess that not many people really do. A couple of years ago when taking the examination to qualify for a backpacking permit for the "long Range Traverse" in the Gros Morne Wilderness, Newfoundland, I asked the examining Ranger how many people failed the test. He said that a shocking large number of people could not successfully pass the map and compass test. At that time only a dozen people were allowed to enter the wilderness a day in three groups of up to four people. The three of us were supplied with a simple transponder so they could locate us in the event we didn't exit the wilderness when our permit expired.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Scubahhh's Avatar
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    It doesn't really look like you'd even need a compass to self-rescue in that area; just heading downhill in a roughly easterly or southerly direction would get you out fairly quickly.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillwalker View Post
    With a map and compass, not hard to carry. That's assuming that you know how to use them, and I would hazard a guess that not many people really do. A couple of years ago when taking the examination to qualify for a backpacking permit for the "long Range Traverse" in the Gros Morne Wilderness, Newfoundland, I asked the examining Ranger how many people failed the test. He said that a shocking large number of people could not successfully pass the map and compass test. At that time only a dozen people were allowed to enter the wilderness a day in three groups of up to four people. The three of us were supplied with a simple transponder so they could locate us in the event we didn't exit the wilderness when our permit expired.
    Any Polar Bear encounters?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    No, but black bears and Caribou abound. What look like trails through the Tuckamore (Krummholz on steroids) are Caribou trails. They always seem to lead in the wrong direction and have lead many a hiker astray thinking that they are human trails.

    I did keep my eyes out for spotting Alligator Eggs, but no luck.
    Last edited by Hillwalker; 06-21-2019 at 12:55 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubahhh View Post
    It doesn't really look like you'd even need a compass to self-rescue in that area; just heading downhill in a roughly easterly or southerly direction would get you out fairly quickly.
    But that's what you need a compass for!
    Tom Rankin
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Kudos to the newly formed Lakes Region Search and Rescue Team for their help here. The newest volunteer S&R group in NH is off to a solid start.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
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    All things connect.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Scubahhh
    It doesn't really look like you'd even need a compass to self-rescue in that area; just heading downhill in a roughly easterly or southerly direction would get you out fairly quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    But that's what you need a compass for!
    True, however, some of us with a bit of sunlight can find generally easterly or southerly with the sun. It was over there at 8:00 AM, it stayed over there all day, it just went from left to right. (if looking southerly) Other's need detailed instructions to find a general southern direction. In some places up near teh top, there are enough roads that I would have thought they could have followed one down and then figure out what side they were on from the safety of the road.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    I am an instructor for NY Homeland Security. With other instructors we run a land nav course open for NY law enforcement, EMS and SAR. Interestingly, in the months after the Dannemora prison escape, our LE attendance doubled. Most students, when asked about their prior experience with map and compass, will most often say something like "learned in the past (often when previously in the military), but now am a little rusty". That is often a severe understatement when we put them to a (mild) test.

    I carry a real compass (often 2 extras as backup), A map in a protective rain/wind proof case, and when I need it (usually only for SAR) I carry a real GPS. An old basic flip phone may or may not be with me.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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