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WaState
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PostTue Dec 31, 2019 9:47 am 
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https://www.heraldnet.com/news/hikers-urged-to-not-be-deceived-by-conditions-at-mount-pilchuck/
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WaState
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PostTue Dec 31, 2019 1:55 pm 
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So ,  I wonder if there is a tipping point , where as it is simply more trouble than it is worth to have the trails open?  I can certainlly see that happening as the weather turns to the bad.

Something like , to protect the public all of these certain trails are closed until late spring when given notice...

There are plenty of examples of similar events happening due to overuse and too much "stupidity" in use by the general public.

Lawsuits and money risk plays a big part in these things. One can imagine all sorts of ways lawsuits can cause trouble.  For any government enity all risk ends with a trail closure.
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Dec 31, 2019 4:35 pm 
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A trail closure does no good in snow or for off-trail travel; but aside from that, I think a weather closure would open up a can of worms; for instance, if they close the Pilchuck trail, what would they close exactly; just the trail? What about off-trail travel? Should they close every square inch of the mountain above 1,900 feet? Whose going to build that fence? What if the fence is down, or the sign ripped away or youre traveling cross-country and there is no sign - so someone relying on signs and fences instead of their own education might assume its safe, because theres no sign, no fence. Dumbing down even more would cause even more accidents, I think.

This sounds over the top, but after one of the Big4 disasters, someone on WTAs Facebook page actually gave other posters advice that the Forest Service closes the ice caves if there is going to be an avalanche. *

The travel at your own risk is the safest way to deal with public lands. Youre responsible for educating yourself and dealing with dangers inherent in the backcountry (that phrase is express on some trail head signs).

* Even with all the signs at Big 4 the caves are not closed to the public. They can enter them.

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Randito
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PostTue Dec 31, 2019 5:24 pm 
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No matter what measures the land managers make and no matter how reckless the undertaking that someone takes resulting in their death -- their estate can still sue and the land agency will have considerable legal fees dealing with such lawsuits.

E.g. The Grace Tam case was dismissed

https://www.heraldnet.com/news/lawsuit-dismissed-in-girls-death-at-big-four-ice-caves/

But I'm certain that the legal costs on the USFS side were many times more that the cost of erecting numerous warning signs year after year.
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texasbb
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PostTue Dec 31, 2019 5:37 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
Dumbing down even more would cause even more accidents, I think.

Amen.

Kim Brown wrote:
The travel at your own risk is the safest way to deal with public lands.

Preach on!
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Pahoehoe
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 2:10 am 
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On a summertime day hike with a high confidence good weather report...

A rain/wind shell, a puffy, a emergency blanket/bivy plus water and a few bars is probably sufficient.

Not a cushy night out, but you would survive.  All that could be stuffed in pockets except maybe water.

People like huge first aid kits but what will you actually be able to do in the wilderness?  Stop bleeding?  Make a splint?  Anything else is "comfort".

So some vet wrap, maxi pads, a bit of seran wrap, bandaids,  some drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc), and your blister kit.  Maybe some tweezers.

Think of what you have to make due.  Probably can find sticks and also have hiking poles.  No need to carry a "splint".  Probably have some clothes or something to add for stopping bleeding...

First aid is mostly a survive until help arrives and/or deal with minor issues.

I laughed at an outdoor activity group that wanted leaders to carry a syringe to flush wounds in a first aid kit for day trips not expected to last more than a few hours.

Stop bleeding/stabilize and get out or wait for help to evacuate.  No need to perform minor surgery.
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WaState
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 10:57 pm 
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Much of first aid can improvised with regular hiking gear. A pad and sticks for a splint. A cut up handkerchief or shirt for bandaging. I usually carry some electrolytes, a few tylenol sinus and ibuprofen and a few activated charcoal for stomach intestinal illness. Irigation of wounds (cleaning of wounds is very important to prevent infection) can be done with a water blader just pressurize it by pushing the bladder with hands and spray away. To stop major bleeding a bandage square and high force on the spot of the wound, very very high force for a cut artery will be needed with the patient screaming in pain., to save a life. Also a turnicut can be achieved with belts or straps or shirts.

Need for first aid is fairly rare except for foot blisters. The best blister treatment is to use duck tape on the blister. Make a small section that is smooth by taking a small square of duck tape and sticking on a larger piece of duck tape. Take this and stick on blister smoth section on top the blister. Custom bandaids are possible and duck tape also has gear repair potentual.

For summer to fall or spring  day hikes emergency gear can be less. A small day pack with a puffy jacket and If not that cold,  with a poncho  and a  light fire making kit can do very well.  SOL makes a good poncho for emergency usage. Any poncho that covers the whole body sitting can work.  The SOL emergency poncho can fit in a pants pocket, I have a mini bic lighter and two bits of fire starter in the same bag the SOL poncho is in, weight is about 3.5oz.   I see people on day hikes with nothing but a cell phone in the pocket. With good legs one can hike miles per hour, with a bad leg it can be hundreds of feet per hour.  Once you can't generate heat by moving can get very cold.
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Bronco
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 10:15 am 
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Pahoehoe wrote:
I laughed at an outdoor activity group that wanted leaders to carry a syringe to flush wounds in a first aid kit for day trips not expected to last more than a few hours.

Sadly outdoor activity groups get sued for not having first aid gear and/or training as recommended by best practices.  A flushing syringe is recommended in the Wilderness First Responder curriculum.  Not a bad idea to flush any wound before bandaging.

I submit that an organized group leader has a little more responsibility than an individual day hiker.
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 10:52 am 
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I like to hike naked (not afraid) and just carry the "Bare Essentials"....like Wild Turkey, a Fire Starter, and a Water Filter, when it's cold I will hike with a large partner for warmth.  wink.gif

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Kim Brown
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 11:19 am 
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Bronco wrote:
A flushing syringe is recommended in the Wilderness First Responder curriculum. Not a bad idea to flush any wound before bandaging.

I submit that an organized group leader has a little more responsibility than an individual day hiker.

Trail crew years ago got a giant wad of gritty mud in her eye. We would have had to call SAR to get her out if it weren't for the syringe the leader had.  Chances are high this won't happen to many hikers, but it certainly could (crawling under logs). A plastic syringe weighs practically nothing. We all tend to react to our own experiences. A plastic syringe seems useful to me because of the past experience. I'm kind've a freak about having a bright orange vest with me - seems dumb to someone else, but it's because of the woman who would have died her 4th (?) day being lost, if she hadn't happened to find a pair of bright yellow wading britches wrapped around some shrubbery; she used those to flag down the helo that had passed her by several times because they couldn't see her.

We all have our own deal.

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Ski
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 12:37 pm 
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^ yeah... I can see where that syringe would have helped when I fell down and punctured my leg on a pointy stick. hurt like hell.
hobbled down to the river and waded in thigh-deep and washed it out but it still had a mess of crap in it. syringe thingie would have done it much better and it might not have gotten all festered up like it did.

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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 1:02 pm 
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Sawyer water filters come with a plastic syringe.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Anne Elk
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 2:52 pm 
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brushwork wrote:
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...

Michael Leunig_Pants on Fire
Michael Leunig_Pants on Fire

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Cyclopath
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 3:11 pm 
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You only need that app if you lie all the time.
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RumiDude
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 3:11 pm 
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Bronco wrote:
Pahoehoe wrote:
I laughed at an outdoor activity group that wanted leaders to carry a syringe to flush wounds in a first aid kit for day trips not expected to last more than a few hours.

Sadly outdoor activity groups get sued for not having first aid gear and/or training as recommended by best practices.  A flushing syringe is recommended in the Wilderness First Responder curriculum.  Not a bad idea to flush any wound before bandaging.
I submit that an organized group leader has a little more responsibility than an individual day hiker.

Well the contents of a FAK for an individual vs a group are obviously going to be much different. And the contents of a group's FAK would vary according to the group itself. If it is a meet-up group, likely everyone is responsible for themselves. If it is an organizational group there may be insurance requirements as well as requirements from the group's association memberships.

When I led teen groups for week long trips in the Cascades, we had an RN or EMT travel with us with a full EMT FAK which included things like epipens and such. When I am out with WTA groups, there is always an WFA certified individual (usually more) with a big FAK which probably contains a syringe or two.

When my boys were young I took a more extensive FAK than I do now when I mostly hike solo. When I am on extended trips I usually throw in a few more items.

Something to consider, especially on extended trips are injuries/sickness that are not life threatening or crippling yet would necessitate cutting short a trip to deal with if you didn't have the proper supplies to deal with it. So yea you might use a piece of clothing as an emergency bandage, but that would not likely be sufficient for very long. Also some trips cannot be cut short easily. For instance, I did a nine day trip in the Grand Canyon last March/April. Once in for longer than a couple days I was pretty much committed to the full trip because there weren't any bailout options.

I have a FAK I have made up. It gets thrown in my pack whether it's a day hike or a week long trip. I don't have to have multiple FAKs or have to reinvent the wheel, customizing my FAK for each trip. I usually go through the kit once or twice a year to make sure everything is up to date and replace what is needed.

Rumi

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