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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Maine Ranger Deb Palman said, "This is some of the worst country in Maine. It's hard to understand how logistically difficult this area was on any given day, by the time a searcher would get close to where Largay was found, they'd have to turn around to make it back to their vehicles by nightfall."

    This I find perplexing. I would assume searchers could backpack in and spend the night and continue the search---so they won't have to turn around and "make it back to their vehicles by nightfall."

    About 20 years ago I went on a backpacking trip in Pisgah NF with a friend and he had the worst balance of anyone I've ever known. Each step on the trail, some of it rugged, was like watching someone soaked in molasses moving in slow motion. It was mind blowing and infuriating but I kept my mouth shut.

    I imagine Geraldine had the same sort of impediment---not lack of balance but maybe terrible spatial awareness.
    Excelent point on the “stay out over night” makes sense. Spatially speaking I’m blessed, but I can’t schpell for shyte, maybe she was a good schpeller.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by cneill13 View Post
    I hate to bash a dead person but .........
    She paid the ultimate price so can't we give her a break?
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    Excelent point on the “stay out over night” makes sense. Spatially speaking I’m blessed, but I can’t schpell for shyte, maybe she was a good schpeller.
    To stay overnight, they would have to carry a lot of extra gear and that would slow them down and make bushwhacking a lot harder. It's not like they are just hiking a trail.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #24

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    I was on a trail this weekend with lots of leaf cover. I could see how it is easy to lose the trail.

    I need to become more familiar with how to off-trail. Any suggestions on where to start?

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundracamper View Post
    I was on a trail this weekend with lots of leaf cover. I could see how it is easy to lose the trail.

    I need to become more familiar with how to off-trail. Any suggestions on where to start?
    In the old days I carried relevant 1:24,000 topos of the areas I was backpacking and bushwacking. These help tremendously. A good way to start bushwacking is to follow a creek up or down. You can't ever really get lost on a bushwack if you stick to a creek and use it as your "trail".

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    To stay overnight, they would have to carry a lot of extra gear and that would slow them down and make bushwhacking a lot harder. It's not like they are just hiking a trail.
    I won’t claim to know how to run a search rescue, so point taken.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    In the old days I carried relevant 1:24,000 topos of the areas I was backpacking and bushwacking. These help tremendously. A good way to start bushwacking is to follow a creek up or down. You can't ever really get lost on a bushwack if you stick to a creek and use it as your "trail".
    which is kinda how my mind works, if I walk 10 min West, then 10 min East should eventually run me across trail, and I got 26 days to find it.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    which is kinda how my mind works, if I walk 10 min West, then 10 min East should eventually run me across trail, and I got 26 days to find it.
    You bring up the good point of being "boxed in" with land features---a road to your west, a creek to your south, a ridge spine to your east---and the trail to your north. Go in any direction (with a good map) and you'll hit one of these features. Impossible to get lost?? NO, because lost hikers tend to not have a decent map and tend to go in circles, thereby actually covering a small area even though walking for several miles.

    This reminds me of a lost dayhiker in the Smokies and everyone here on Whiteblaze should study his report---(His name is Mike Gourley)---

    http://gosmokies.knoxnews.com/profil...-and-misplaced

    This is relevant to the Largay discussion as he was lost for many days and "walked in circles" as shown in his blog map---

    3.jpg

  9. #29
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundracamper View Post
    I was on a trail this weekend with lots of leaf cover. I could see how it is easy to lose the trail.

    I need to become more familiar with how to off-trail. Any suggestions on where to start?
    Get the old standby BEWMAC book (Be Expert With Map and Compass), and practice. In New England, it's very easy to know when you're not on the trail - the trees and brush are so dense that it's usually immediately apparent when you stray. Lots of folks get disoriented on the rocky summits and can't find the right trail down, often backtracking or going way down a side trail.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    Get the old standby BEWMAC book (Be Expert With Map and Compass), and practice. In New England, it's very easy to know when you're not on the trail - the trees and brush are so dense that it's usually immediately apparent when you stray. Lots of folks get disoriented on the rocky summits and can't find the right trail down, often backtracking or going way down a side trail.
    You bring up an important point---It's easy to bushwack up a mountain to its summit; it's almost impossible to bushwack down the same mountain and arrive at your starting point. Why? A bushwack route up narrows down to a point---you have only one choice; a bushwack down fans out all over the place with dozens of choices.

  11. #31

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    I got lost this fall just looking for water when I decided to keep going when the trail started to peter out. In the dark, tired, dehydrated, hungry and with a headlamp with weak batteries. If my partner Rafe hadn't gotten worried after I had disappeared for an hour and started blowing his whistle, I would still be there. We'll probably not but I would have had to sit on a rock until morning to find my way back out. I wasn't that far from the campsite, but I was not moving quite in the right direction to find it again. In this case a map would have been useless. What would have helped is if I had brought along my tablet phone which I had been using to track our path all day and it knew where the campsite was.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    You bring up the good point of being "boxed in" with land features---a road to your west, a creek to your south, a ridge spine to your east---and the trail to your north. Go in any direction (with a good map) and you'll hit one of these features. Impossible to get lost?? NO, because lost hikers tend to not have a decent map and tend to go in circles, thereby actually covering a small area even though walking for several miles.

    This reminds me of a lost dayhiker in the Smokies and everyone here on Whiteblaze should study his report---(His name is Mike Gourley)---

    http://gosmokies.knoxnews.com/profil...-and-misplaced

    This is relevant to the Largay discussion as he was lost for many days and "walked in circles" as shown in his blog map---

    3.jpg
    thanks for the link, always interested to learn from other mishaps.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    which is kinda how my mind works, if I walk 10 min West, then 10 min East should eventually run me across trail,
    This is kinda what I do. When I take a day hike on the FL Trail in the Ocala Forrest I like to step off the trail to have lunch and set up a little mini camp for the afternoon. Before I step off the trail I take a compass heading and write it down and the time of day. When I stop I write the time it took. One time after having lunch I was returning to the trail and I realized I had walked 5 minutes more than it took to walk in. At that moment I realized I was lost (sort of). I check my compass heading to make sure I was returning in the right direction (the Ocala Forrest is pretty flat and everything looks the same). I thought I must not have been paying attention and crossed over the trail and didn't notice it. So I turned around and started walking back in the original direction I went when I stepped off for lunch. Within a few minutes I stepped back onto the trail. Sure enough, when I was returning from lunch I had stepped right over the trail and didn't know it. In that section, the trail is in a bit of a rut and the grassy vegetation around it made it impossible to see the trail until you're standing on it. Close call. I would not have tried hiking to the nearest road if I were actually lost because there may have been swampy spots.

  14. #34

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    Replying to post #24....
    Take an Orienteering course. Find an Orienteering club near you and go to some meets. You will gain a lot of "woods navigation" confidence. Carry a decent base plate type compass (in the reports, she carried a tiny compass which was of questionable accuracy). It is fairly easy to take a compass bearing, set your direction of travel. So if you are going off to "do some business", first, pick a spot where the woods are less dense. Then, bearing.....Site the bearing but do NOT attempt to eye the compass....hold it up, spot something as far away as you can on that bearing....put compass down and walk to the tree/bush/whatever. You COULD count your steps....but only count like "Left foot down", cuts the number in half that way. Do that perhaps twice and you could be hidden off the trail. To return....don't change the compass, just reverse it (so if you have the North arrow in the 'dog house' as we call it, to return, simply have the South arrow in the "dog house") and count your paces back. You will at least hit the trail. Easy to go to most any decent sized city park near you and try it out.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    You bring up the good point of being "boxed in" with land features---a road to your west, a creek to your south, a ridge spine to your east---and the trail to your north. Go in any direction (with a good map) and you'll hit one of these features. Impossible to get lost?? NO, because lost hikers tend to not have a decent map and tend to go in circles, thereby actually covering a small area even though walking for several miles.

    This reminds me of a lost dayhiker in the Smokies and everyone here on Whiteblaze should study his report---(His name is Mike Gourley)---

    http://gosmokies.knoxnews.com/profil...-and-misplaced

    This is relevant to the Largay discussion as he was lost for many days and "walked in circles" as shown in his blog map---

    3.jpg
    That was some story! And certainly one to learn from. Tom Brown’s book he mentions “The Tracker” is in my library, and is a great book, I liked the trickster wolf reference. Thanks again.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    You bring up an important point---It's easy to bushwack up a mountain to its summit; it's almost impossible to bushwack down the same mountain and arrive at your starting point. Why? A bushwack route up narrows down to a point---you have only one choice; a bushwack down fans out all over the place with dozens of choices.
    Exactly opposite as it is in the desert.
    Going down, you hardly can miss your goal (as long as you are in the correct corrie) - all the gullies will end up concentraing into a single runoff.
    Going down, its extremely hard to tell which of the many and ever fanning out gullies you have to take to reach the saddle.

  17. #37
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    sad... we will never know what the real story is....#1 question I have is..why did she stop walking/moving???? 18 days to go a couple miles...im going to rethink the SPOT device..we all should

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood44 View Post
    ...im going to rethink the SPOT device..we all should
    Personal Locator Beacon. GPS coordinate transmission. 5 year battery life. Dual high power SOS signals. Waterproof. Floats. No subscription fees. Mature proven technology.
    Wayne
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Exactly opposite as it is in the desert.
    Going down, you hardly can miss your goal (as long as you are in the correct corrie) - all the gullies will end up concentraing into a single runoff.
    Going down, its extremely hard to tell which of the many and ever fanning out gullies you have to take to reach the saddle.
    Sorry, distracted and tired I wrote complete nonsense.
    Going down is easy, going up is difficult.
    Thats how it is in the desert

    As far as it concerns the sad case of Inchworm (which I was following closely):
    I'm wondering that maybe, given the fact that she ended up close to the border, but inside this military area, maybe the civilian SAR didn't like to enter the area too much, and the military ones didn't bother searching places so close to the trail?
    Kind of a no man's land, she got stuck into?

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Personal Locator Beacon. GPS coordinate transmission. 5 year battery life. Dual high power SOS signals. Waterproof. Floats. No subscription fees. Mature proven technology.
    Wayne
    I'm almost about ready to make such a purchase, probably something like this---

    https://www.acrartex.com/products/ca....ZRUUfttO.dpbs

    I keep putting it off as my cellphone seems to work 30% of the time and after 40 years of Backsackpackaging I haven't yet needed one. But . . . . ain't getting any younger . . .

    And as everyone knows, a PLB in this category is a One Shot Deal, used only for crippling situations; and not necessarily used on the first day of a hike and getting lost. Truly lost by Day 10? Sure, fire that baby up. Partially crushed by a tree in my tent? Sure. Rattlesnake bit? Press YES. Falling with my femur sticking out of my thigh? Yup.

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