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catsp
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 9:43 am 
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Doppelganger wrote:
Since this hypothetical day hiker cannot accurately and fully quantify the risks of a future trip while planning (this would require nothing less than a time machine or crystal ball to foretell the future), the hiker must choose to accept or ignore the possibility of an incident that incapacitates the hiker to some extent.

Seems like sort of an unnecessarily extreme way to word it. Doesn't assessing risk always involve the unknown? That said, I don't really dispute it as long as we can change "accept or ignore the possibility of an incident that incapacitates the hiker to some extent" to "be prepared for or decline to prepared for" that possibility. Stepping out of the house today I "assessed" the risk that I would get into an accident where having some blood clotting agents in my car might save me (or someone not themselves prepared) in an accident. I didn't "ignore" that risk (I understand that it's certainly a possibility), but I did decline to prepare for it.

Doppelganger wrote:
There is no way to accurately predict the possible chance for these incidents, we can only guess by gathering information on contributing factors.

Agree to some extent. We do such "guesswork" many times every day. And for many "risks" we can pretty accurately predict that the "chances" of it happening are pretty low.

Doppelganger wrote:
Thus, the hiker can only plan for what they will do when they are incapacitated...

If, not when. And I'd suggest the analysis is "if I'm incapacitated (but not unconscious), and if no one else is around, and if I don't have cell coverage, and if ...."

Doppelganger wrote:
Taking a day hike in the Issaquah Alps, yes I am probably leaving certain items such as my beacon and GPS behind, the phone will probably cover those needs. But most of my fast and dirty bivy stuff stays with me every trip, at the very least I will have something to keep me from getting bored while I am incapacitated. Never know what might happen.

Just a reminder that I am not in any way against being prepared for such things. I just wouldn't call someone day hiking Mount Si (or Coal Creek Trail) unreasonably unprepared if they didn't think an overnight kit was particularly necessary.
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Ski
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 11:09 am 
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Interesting discussion.

Certainly there will always be those who will criticize others they believe aren't "prepared" for whatever fate may befall them, and there will always be those who will go through life seemingly oblivious to the potential hazards that lie ahead, and yet manage, perhaps due to divine intervention, to get through it all unscathed.

Following the logic of those who argue that every day hiker should be "prepared for an overnight", I should be carrying water, and extra day's food, rain gear, map, compass, GPS, headlamp, knife, matches, and some sort of shelter with me when walking 3 or 4 or 5 miles down at the Park, which is just a few blocks away from me.

This would be analogous to me saying that you're doing it all wrong if you're driving your car to the grocery store and you're not carrying in your vehicle a spare tire, jack, lug wrench, heavy work gloves, jumper cables, flashlight, road flares, full sets of 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" drive 6-point sockets, as well as both open-end, combination, and offset double-end box wrenches (all in both SAE and Metric sizes), pliers (slip-joint and angle-jaw groove-joint), screwdrivers (slotted, phillips, and TORX), wire cutters, soldering iron, hack saw, hammer, and OBD code reader.

The reality in the latter case is that there's only so much crap you can fit into your car (regardless of whether you have the mechanical aptitude to be able to use all that stuff), and in the former we each make choices about how much crap we want to carry with us.

Sure, we could (and probably should) exercise good judgement and have what we might need should circumstances require it, but if we are not endangering the well-being of others, hauling around items that in reality serve only to provide ballast might well be completely unnecessary.

Remember that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you're stupid and make poor choices.

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RumiDude
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 12:31 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Sure, we could (and probably should) exercise good judgement and have what we might need should circumstances require it, but if we are not endangering the well-being of others, hauling around items that in reality serve only to provide ballast might well be completely unnecessary.

Bingo!!!

One size fits all approach makes for some really baggy and ugly clothing choices.

As I gain knowledge and experience I have learned to thrive with less extraneous gear. A bit of the adage "don't pack your fears" is well merited.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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WaState
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 3:41 pm 
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Try this out, gather your kit for a hike walk away from the car 20 yards. Hike back to the car and put your cell phone inside and then really start off on your hike.



That will sort out most average people in today's world.  As the butterfly's rise up and fear sets in, I say keep on hiking.  Maybe next time a few more items for self reliance will come along on the next trip out.

Also a greater awareness of environment.
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BigBrunyon
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 3:48 pm 
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Plus you look more pro when you've got a decent professional looking pack and you're "strapped in" for the trail. You've got tight waist straps and tight chest straps fully buckled in. Bright color scheme. Gripping the graphite poles and ripping miles down the trail, too busy to acknowledge anyone you're passing. No need to make eye contact cause you're rocking the polarized shades.

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WaState
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 4:45 pm 
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I will write that anyone who is reading this thread knows what their doing whatever they carry. What is far more important is skill, knowledge and care.

The bulk of those who get in trouble spend little effort on knowledge.


But they will have that cell phone if nothing else.
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 6:55 pm 
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Not the best idea to leave a phone in the car because trailhead break-ins.   frown.gif
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Bernardo
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PostThu Dec 19, 2019 7:53 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 9:36 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 10:24 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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PostFri Dec 20, 2019 11:20 pm 
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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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PostFri Dec 20, 2019 11:28 pm 
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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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catsp
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 5:56 pm 
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Gwen 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? 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. ....

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.

I respectfully disagree. It's not a matter of "pushback," strong or otherwise. To reiterate, I'm not in any way advocating against carrying such gear. And I agree that for the most part, it does not have to represent a lot of weight. I'm simply saying that I don't see someone declining to take such gear as rendering that person inordinately unprepared.

Gwen wrote:
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.

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.
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Gwen
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 6:40 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 7:24 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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