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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colter View Post
    There is no single answer in navigation. I've had compasses fail: one literally pointed south after years of pointing north (a magnet had reversed its polarity), one or two others broke.
    Wow! One of my compasses reversed as well this year, and it really confused me at first! I began to doubt if I remembered the rhyme "put the red in the shed" correctly until I had a chance to place it side-by-side with my other compasses. I don't know what could have caused it but it was a really strange experience. Luckily I had my GPS with me and I also had a pretty good idea where I was supposed to go.

  2. #122
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    Tipi--I've read your posts, and you're spot on. In the book, I go into the spatial orientation some people have/don't have in some detail. There are some lessons in the book, especially for you young hikers among us. I certainly hope you get to read it when it comes out. Gerry was a wonderful person. --Dee; www.ddauphinee.com

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by piscatore View Post
    Tipi--I've read your posts, and you're spot on. In the book, I go into the spatial orientation some people have/don't have in some detail. There are some lessons in the book, especially for you young hikers among us. I certainly hope you get to read it when it comes out. Gerry was a wonderful person. --Dee; www.ddauphinee.com
    (You and I are about the same age, I think...and we're still young!)

  4. #124
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    Shelb...could you please snap a photo of the token and send it to me? I'd love to see it. Thanks! --Dee... piscatore6@gmail.com

  5. #125
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    For # 73...

    I took us 4 hours to walk straight in from the closest place to park. I had already been into the site several times, so I knew where we were going. We spent about 1 1/2 hours there before hiking out. Cheers--Dee

  6. #126

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    There are some people in this world who don't belong in the woods! The first thing they drilled into our heads as Scouts was how not to get lost in the woods. (Any ex-Scouts out there?) No matter what, you knew what to do if fate dealt you a bad hand.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother Natures Son View Post
    There are some people in this world who don't belong in the woods! The first thing they drilled into our heads as Scouts was how not to get lost in the woods. (Any ex-Scouts out there?) No matter what, you knew what to do if fate dealt you a bad hand.
    "Well, I think we tried very hard not to be overconfident, because when you get overconfident, that's when something snaps up and bites you." - Neil Armstrong

  8. #128
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    In my Army days, I was part of a search for a missing soldier in Camp Bullis, Texas. She was found perched on a big boulder about 50 yards from a road. She had seen search vehicles going by, calling her by name over the loudspeaker, but was literally too afraid to get off her rock and walk to the road in the dark. I've been involved in other searches since then, and none of them made any sense. Trying to analyze or predict or explain a lost person's behavior is impossible, beyond the maximum distance a skilled wilderness athlete could have traveled in a certain time in a certain region. Also, SAR is a very "niche" skill; most folks who write about it haven't been involved in many real searches. I've been a military policeman and game warden since 1987, and I can count my SARs on my fingers. I admit I know very little, which is the first step to knowledge.

  9. #129
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    Poop on the trail. The life you save may be your own.

  10. #130

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    Wheni get off trail to "go" i have a small light that set to flash and put on top of my pack. I just look for the flashing light to guide me back. Its about the size of the tip of my thumb

  11. #131
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    I now have a bunch of fishing line to tie around a tree close to trail and reel back up thanks to the suggestion from somebody I met on trail. I don't actually have a reel so it's by hand but a tiny little lightweight reel would be nice. Much better option then pooping on trail, which I actually saw right directly on the AT last year. That must have been some jerk doing it on purpose... or maybe somebody hiking in the dark not afraid of anyone seeing? toilet paper and all in the middle of the trail.
    NoDoz
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    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  12. #132
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    I have hiked through a few areas that were so incredibly dense that I could easily understand how someone might lose the trail after just a few feet. If I ever have to leave that kind of trail to attend to business, I now have a few pieces of bright green/reflective surveyor's tape in my lil' poop kit...I tie one around a branch within sight of the trail, then another one within sight of that. I collect them as I walk back.

    I do know how to use my map & compass, which I do bring on everything including dayhikes, but this has been a very easy and helpful trick (at least the two times I've used it.)

    Inchworm's story was cautionary tale, as was Aaron Ralston's (the guy who had to cut off his own arm.) I'm a firm believer that personal experience is the best teacher, but I also try to learn as much (or more) from other people's experiences -- both good and bad.

    Good luck with your book.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  13. #133
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    I carry a few pieces of marking tape but have yet to need it.At night I find my way back to my tarp with reflective tape on a hiking pole.Reflective tape on hiking poles and bear bags is incredible if you have a decent pen light.

    But staying on topic here,Mrs Largay would most likely have been rescued had she been able to maintain a fire and burn resinous material like evergreens etc.Smoke can be seen for miles by search and rescue.I think I read somewhere that she did attempt a fire unsuccessfully.We have no idea what sort of physical condition she was in.
    What we do know is that she had completed many miles of trail before tragedy ensued and I respect that.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyLightning View Post
    I now have a bunch of fishing line to tie around a tree close to trail and reel back up thanks to the suggestion from somebody I met on trail. I don't actually have a reel so it's by hand but a tiny little lightweight reel would be nice. Much better option then pooping on trail, which I actually saw right directly on the AT last year. That must have been some jerk doing it on purpose... or maybe somebody hiking in the dark not afraid of anyone seeing? … toilet paper and all in the middle of the trail.
    Wow, somebody really did do that? Gross! (I was only kidding)

  15. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by piscatore View Post
    It's all in the book, due out next summer. Hope it helps you understand how/what happened-- and others to survive if they get lost. Cheers, D. Dauphinee
    This post was written 11-24-2017 so I thought that the book would be out in summer 2018. I followed the link to the author's website which said the book is available for preorder. When I followed that link, it says the book will be out June 2019. I'm not one to preorder but I will buy it when it is out. Here's the url in case anyone wants to preorder: https://rowman.com/ISBN/978160893690...alachian-Trail

    Thanks to those who had positive suggestions in this thread for those of us who are not expert woodspeople. I've written several down that I think will help me.
    Trillium

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    But staying on topic here,Mrs Largay would most likely have been rescued had she been able to maintain a fire and burn resinous material like evergreens etc.Smoke can be seen for miles by search and rescue.I think I read somewhere that she did attempt a fire unsuccessfully.We have no idea what sort of physical condition she was in.
    What we do know is that she had completed many miles of trail before tragedy ensued and I respect that.
    She would have been rescued if any of a dozen things were done different.

    It was a perfect storm for her, and each opportunity to turn things around didn't work out in her favor.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  17. #137
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    It's my understanding that the only navigational aid she had was a cheap button compass.The one I had on a keychain failed pretty quickly.I never used it though as I always have a Real compass in my pocket and larks headed onto my belt.(yes,I learned as a child that you really do walk in circles unless you have a compass or something like a stream,fence,or road to follow.)If the sun is out and you have a watch,you can also navigate by knowing time of day. https://geographyfieldwork.com/WatchasCompass.htm

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    It's my understanding that the only navigational aid she had was a cheap button compass.The one I had on a keychain failed pretty quickly.I never used it though as I always have a Real compass in my pocket and larks headed onto my belt.(yes,I learned as a child that you really do walk in circles unless you have a compass or something like a stream,fence,or road to follow.)If the sun is out and you have a watch,you can also navigate by knowing time of day. https://geographyfieldwork.com/WatchasCompass.htm
    that or, you know, remember that you just crossed a road at the bottom of the hill you're currently climbing up because you're trying to find a cell signal.

    the best compass money can buy isn't going to save someone who can rationally think their way through the situation.

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    She would have been rescued if any of a dozen things were done different.

    It was a perfect storm for her, and each opportunity to turn things around didn't work out in her favor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    It's my understanding that the only navigational aid she had was a cheap button compass.The one I had on a keychain failed pretty quickly.I never used it though as I always have a Real compass in my pocket and larks headed onto my belt.(yes,I learned as a child that you really do walk in circles unless you have a compass or something like a stream,fence,or road to follow.)If the sun is out and you have a watch,you can also navigate by knowing time of day. https://geographyfieldwork.com/WatchasCompass.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    that or, you know, remember that you just crossed a road at the bottom of the hill you're currently climbing up because you're trying to find a cell signal.

    the best compass money can buy isn't going to save someone who can rationally think their way through the situation.
    According to her hiking partner who had left the trail in NH, Gerry had a terrible sense of direction - she was reported to not remember/know which way to go after taking a break, wander off on the wrong trail at intersections, etc. She had waterproof matches, etc., when found and had tried to start a fire, but not succeeded. She also had run out of her depression/anxiety meds at some point. So, yeah, a perfect storm, but part of that storm seems to have been a lack of skills/awareness and perhaps even resignation to her fate. It's a sad tale, but honestly, many if not most people probably would have survived and "got themselves found" in a similar situation.

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    According to her hiking partner who had left the trail in NH, Gerry had a terrible sense of direction - she was reported to not remember/know which way to go after taking a break, wander off on the wrong trail at intersections, etc. She had waterproof matches, etc., when found and had tried to start a fire, but not succeeded. She also had run out of her depression/anxiety meds at some point. So, yeah, a perfect storm, but part of that storm seems to have been a lack of skills/awareness and perhaps even resignation to her fate. It's a sad tale, but honestly, many if not most people probably would have survived and "got themselves found" in a similar situation.
    Of course.

    Had she not left spot in hotel.....
    Had she successfully started a fire....
    Had she explored farther around her.....
    Had she payed attention to surroundings leaving trail....
    Had she at least known what direction she left the trail...
    Had she known how to use map/compass she had...
    Had she stayed put at first sign of being lost, while still near trail...

    Sad story...thats the thing about it. But yeah, it comes down to lack of awareness and lack of skills, and a perfect storm of conditions that challenged what she did have.... and overcame her in each case.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-25-2019 at 20:57.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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