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Bernardo
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 8:53 pm 
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I'm of two minds on this.  If I were really old and the weight of a pack would prevent me from hiking, then I would not carry a pack.

Right now, 12 pounds or less is not really going to slow me down and given the limited time I have to exercise, I want to keep my back and shoulders in condition for tougher trips and train on every hike.  I see every hike as a chance to practice for the real deal.  So I prefer to carry enough gear to survive overnight unless it's a stroll.
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WaState
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PostFri Dec 20, 2019 10:36 pm 
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For about the size and weight of a cell phone one can carry in a pocket a SOL emergency poncho
or another brand emergency poncho. One can sit knees to chest totally protected for an overnight.
Also it can be used for hiking in bad weather.  In the same package I carry a mini bic and two bits of fire
starter , total weight 3.5 oz.  If one wanted to go whole hog, then carry a small puffy around the shoulders, and load a GPS app and the map of hiking area on that cell phone. That is being carried no matter what else is left behind.

If everyone did at least this  much,  and knew how to start a fire..
(Total weight added is 3,5oz plus jacket,)  and the number of unfavorable missing or hurt  people outcomes
would likely drop a good amount.

Simply , it is choices. The urban dweller mental dependence on the magical call via the cell phone has
left all thought of self reliance in the dark.
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WaState
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PostFri Dec 20, 2019 11:24 pm 
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Homework, scout fire.

Long before even the map and compass  humans navigated by the stars, if were out to be seen. They
navagated by memory, landmarks, and established trails, and by back tracking.

They had hides and skins for clothing and likely had a nice cloak for warmth. For a long time
humans had the skill to make fire, multiple thousands of years before these modern days.

One very simple way to survive and even do fairly well is a scout fire. To build a fire in the cascades
is often difficult, but certainly doable in the summer months. Which is the peak of hiking season and
even doable iin the winter at the lower elevations with no tools. Just look for several big evergreen trees in
a cluster to find tinder and fire wood.

It is simple if your a caveman use your cloak made out of hide,  sit down and drape it around yourself pulling it over the head. Then dig a small hole with a breathing hole out the side to supply air up under the fire.( To dig the hole just pick off the ground a sturdy digging stick) You need a realivity small amount of wood in this fashion, put  your back to a tree if you can, and put a log on the other side of the fire to reflect more heat toward you.  The hole around 12 inches in diameter.

Of course in modern times you can use a emergency poncho and a lighter with a bit of tender.  I dare say the weight  of this kit is a good bit less than a large cell phone, and it can fit in a pants pocket.

Like all skills it is much better to spend time practicing before the real thing,  Chances of success are pretty good with practice and zero with no practice. With practice you will learn how to start a fire and how and where to find dry wood.

It would also work fine building  a fire on the surface of the ground.

By the way know how to put fire totally out before leaving it.
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Gwen
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 12:20 am 
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catsp wrote:
If someone is day hiking Mount Pilchuk or Lake Serene in the summer, do they really "need" more than a water bottle and a phone? Do they really need to be prepared for an overnight? Even for a winter day hike of Mount Si or Mailbox Peak, do they really need to be prepared for an overnight?

Yes, they NEED to carry more than a water bottle and cell phone. They NEED to be prepared for a night out. That doesn't mean they have to be prepared for a comfortable night out, but survival, even in the summer, is granted to those who are prepared.

99.99% times, you won't use half of what's in your pack, but the 0.01% when it turn out you need it could in fact save your life. Bottom line is, if you're hiking in a non-urban environment, you need to be capable of spending the night out. This means extra water because dehydration is no bueno, extra food to keep your metabolism up, extra clothing to stay warm ('cause when the sun drops below the horizon, it gets COLD out there), it's nice to have some sort of insulation between you and the ground.  You should always have a first aid kit with you. Again, 99.99% on the time you won't ever touch it, but when you need it, it's a major game changer. In the end, we're only talking about 10# of gear, maybe, so I really don't get why the pushback from some is so strong. It's just not difficult.

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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Gwen
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 12:28 am 
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catsp wrote:
There are likely any number of things we could carry in our vehicles that would make us more "prepared" for any number of unexpected, bad things that can happen on the drive to the trailhead. But most don't, and few think anything of it. I just don't quite get why hikers see hiking as something entirely different.

Because when you're hiking, your miles, trail miles, from assistance. Your car, even if in the middle of nowhere, is road miles from help, and that's a BIG difference, plus, your auto is also a shelter in and if itself, and if the engine is running, you also gave heat, negating the need for extra clothing.  Anyway, vastly different scenarios, IMO.

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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Gwen
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 7:40 pm 
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catsp wrote:
I'd suggest that in general, people are "unprepared" for everyday life threatening situations with much greater odds for occurring. But it seems as soon as we push this risk into the woods, it somehow increases its apparent magnitude.

Because in the woods, access to resources  diminish greatly. Have a heart attack in the city and a call to 911 will have an ambulance there in minutes. Have a heart attack in Wilderness, death becomes a very more real possibility. Really, it all comes down to how comfortable you are in flirting with death.

You do you and I'll do me and I'll respect your right to your opinion, but I'll never hike with you (not that you were asking).

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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WaState
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 8:24 pm 
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What search and rescue workers may want you to carry? That is the question, so why the question ?

SAR people are mostly volunteers that care enough to put in much effort to help others in need.
We can imagine that it is not much fun to get a call out 1am in the morning in bad weather or spending weeks
looking for a lost soul that is never found.

So for those who are interested carrying a few extra items to help yourself and maybe others is good for the community. Other than a few extra items more important is gaining/having skills  and having good enough sense when out there.

For instence if low top hiking shoes work good for  you, then that is fine or if you need hiking boots then go with that, just use best judgement for what works best for you. Further even if you cannot afford a satalite signal device,  a signal fire can be started- another old school skill that can be used.

Just know these days a lot of people only have the ability to cell phone call for SAR if they lose the trail or sprain a ankle. ( no extra clothes or back track skills etc)

Choices.
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Gwen
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 8:58 pm 
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catsp wrote:
Gwen wrote:
You do you and I'll do me and I'll respect your right to your opinion, but I'll never hike with you (not that you were asking).

TBH, it sure doesn't sound like you respect my opinion. smile.gif† But TBF, I'm not sure you actually know what my opinion is. smile.gif

Never said I respected your opinion; said I respected your right to your opinion. smile.gif

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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Brushwork
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 11:10 pm 
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I know of 2 people who had to wait at least 2hrs till help arrived on the trail.  They were both within a mile and half from the trail head and had cell reception and were on popular trails. One had a broken leg.  The other was lost.   Both had enough gear to stay warm, which was a few layers.  Both times It was winter and cold.   Though neither got hypothermic, they were still cold and were glad to have the layers they did.   Were it not for cell reception,  it would have been a much longer wait.   

I personally think itís irresponsible not to carry enough to keep oneself warm, unless itís a really short trip.   More than once, Iíve experienced a degree of hypothermia, and it was no joke. itís way easier to be prepared ahead of time.   

Since part of the reason I go out, itís for exercise, so itís a no brainer to carry a pack with gear.  So what if go a little slower.   It keeps in shape for backpacking and I doubt Iíll have to worry about bone loss.   Way more fun to carry a pack hiking than work out in the gym!

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Cyclopath
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 12:49 am 
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Schroder wrote:
catsp wrote:
If someone is day hiking Mount Pilchuk or Lake Serene in the summer, do they really "need" more than a water bottle and a phone?

I've personally seen minor injuries in both those places become life-threatening situations because the hikers weren't prepared

Especially if you're also talking about summer time, I'd love to hear more about those incidents if you're able to share.  Many in this forum consider a stroll up Pilchuck on a warm dry summer day a walk in the park.  Maybe people are getting complacent.  What risks do people need to be more aware of in these easy, crowded places?
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WaState
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 6:59 pm 
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Where the easy mountain  hikes really get more dangerous is the fall season moving from summer to
winter weather. During fall and spring seasons can have one day like summer in weather,  the next day like winter.

Even the smallest mountain can be dangerous in a winter storm, or even in mildly bad weather for those unprepared to sit still because of a broken leg.

There is an army of summer day hikers that carry little more than a cell phone .for survival gear. As the weather
turns worse there are are fewer hikers, but still, many who are out continue on with little survival knowledge  or preparation.

In the summer that person who goes off the main trail onto a game trail and keeps on going until totally lost, the  odds of consequences are less, especially if they are in cell phone coverage.  Same with a twisted ankle , broken leg or busted hip.  But move into winter like conditions and out of cell phone coverage, a Darwin like weeding out really starts to kick in place for the I'll prepared and the strain on SAR volunteers goes up as well.

The basic cut off point is footwear, those who invest in winter capable boots are likely prepared , those in lesssor footwear are more likely to stay home as it gets colder. Those who go out anyway in winter conditions with less than good boots are likely less prepared. There are intermediary weather conditions from good to bad, some snow etc. On a day hike then weather turns very bad that night or next day,  margins for survival shrink toward zero for the unprepared if something happens.

It is more than money and gear, a smart cell  phone can cost a lot, a person can be decently outfitted with overnight emergency  gear for that cost. Yesterday I bought a blizzard survival blanket from Ebay for 10$ including shipping. A mini bic lighter and tinder costs next to nothing. Most everyone has extra clothing,  a poncho can be inexpensive.
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Cyclopath
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 9:10 pm 
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I got the campfire app for $3.  It keeps you warm at night and you can use it to make s'mores.
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kevperro
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PostMon Dec 23, 2019 11:30 am 
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I carry enough on day hikes to spend the night if needed.    Not that I'd be comfortable but I'd live.

In all the cases where my emergency supplies come in handy is because of other people who have no business being where they are when they are.    That is 'ok'....  I get to help someone in need and hopefully, they learn a lesson.
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Brushwork
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PostTue Dec 24, 2019 12:21 am 
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Cyclopath wrote:
I got the campfire app for $3.  It keeps you warm at night and you can use it to make s'mores.

Maybe I need to get that campfire app.... I am waiting for the Sherpa app - to help with my overnight gear.   There needs to be a sunshine app,   And a few others...

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BigBrunyon
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PostTue Dec 24, 2019 12:36 am 
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The most annoying thing about the campfire app is when you try to change the background audio settings and the big bright google add starts screaming in your face. Very disruptive!! I always tell myself I should just keep it on the "crickets" setting but then I always end up getting sick of it and tryin' to change the audio again!

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