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Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:50 am

I wish Tarptent would offer a bright colored option.


Ain't gonna happen, have inquired about this before, Henry falls into the environmentally proper, blend into nature camp.
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby longri » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:17 pm

I've always thought it better to blend into the environment given that it's shared. The whole notion of being alone in the wilderness is frequently just an illusion given the traffic and the relative nearness of civilization. So a big bright tent with reflective tape and a flashing superbright LED inside seems like too large a visual footprint.

With GPS technology it would seem much simpler to set a waypoint. A secondary approach is to memorize landmarks to build some temporary cairns if that's insufficient.

I've had trouble locating camp many times. Once we spent hours searching in the dark for our two bivy sacks that were placed in an inconspicuous spot amidst the talus. We'd actually walked right past them, within about 30 feet, an hour or so before we finally located them.


My favorite tent color is yellow though... so the heck with blending in.
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:59 pm

My favorite tent color is yellow though... so the heck with blending in.


:)

How about placing some strips of Luminous Marking Tape on each of your hiking poles, they are water resistant, and put them in an area, standing erect, near your tent so that they are visible from a distance.
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby Shhsgirl » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:51 pm

This is a great thread, and, being 65, I appreciate very much Anne's story. I am with Daisy, in that I never go far from the tarp to pee. I always wear my headlight and glasses when I leave my tarp at night, although I usually have the headlight off. I have temporarily lost my pack when scouting out campsites, and it has been aggravating. I can see how it can become scary very quickly, and am glad to have read this and gotten fair warning. I don't think I will be dropping the pack after this.

I have become seriously disoriented in car campgrounds at night, trying to get back to the tent from the bathroom. I developed the habit of carefully noting my way to the bathroom, landmarks, etc., so I can get back.

Thank you, Oleander, for a very useful discussion.
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby Ska-T » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:16 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Given the choice of bright colors or "environmentally" proper subdued colors, the older I get, the more I go for bright colors.

Years ago when I was a poor struggling post-doc backpacking near Bishop Pass with another impoverished academic a clothing cop from the subdued color school passed us in the opposite direction and said, with dripping sarcasm, "You guys certainly are a colorful group!". I laughed to myself because our choice of colors wasn't based on anything other than what was available on sale.

Nowadays days I am usually subdued if I take off my bright red bandana, leave my yellow shoes and matching Dirty Girl peace symbol gaiters back home, and don't put on my home-sewn bright teal rain shorts. :lol:
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby rlown » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:44 pm

I wear surplus marine desert pants and a grey flannel plaid long sleeve shirt. Try and find me. :)
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby franklin411 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:02 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Mountaineers usually prefer brightly colored clothing, packs and tents so base camp can easily be found at the end of a long day's climb and sometimes in a white-out.


I'm no mountaineer, so I pick bright colored gear in case anyone needs to be able to spot the corpse. Happy thoughts! :D
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby Shawn » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:33 am

Seems this is one of those "it could never happen to me" issues. When I first read the story I found it interesting, but of course "it could never happen to me". Um, except this similar story I remembered earlier today. Oddly it involves my car, a much larger object than a tent....and in the middle of the day. :o

Years back I made a trip to Courtright Reservoir for a quick hike up to Eagle Peak. Eagle Peak is a little off trail escapade which is achieved by walking up a ridge line to the west of the parking area for the Cliff Lake trail head (at the end of the dirt road on the N/W side of the reservoir). The hike was so simple, I didn't think much about it, I just parked my car at the end of the road, got out and started the short hike uphill. There was snow on the ground, and as fate has it, my car is the same color as the trees surrounding the parking area (Nissan calls it "Canteen").

So I got to the top, enjoyed the views for a few minutes and started my leisurely descent back to the car. I got to the bottom of the ridge and kept walking to, uh, where is my car? Seems I had walked just north of, and beyond my car. If I had been a little further south I would have crossed the obvious road or parking area, but with snow on the ground the trail was covered to the north.

While I did find my car soon thereafter, it was one of those moments. I now drive a bright red Jeep. :D

EaglePeak042.JPG
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby rlown » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:49 am

One in our group back in 2006 decided that in broad daylight on our way out down Rafferty towards that big slanty paved parking lot that he would just continue walking down the trail instead of making the turn towards the parking lot. Later in the day, we get this crackly call over the walkie talkie.. "Where are you guys? Where is the truck?" :nod: To be fair, as we all hike at different paces, we were way spaced out and he didn't see us. I was proud that they even turned on the radios..
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby Tom_H » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:36 am

The best part is that she made it back safely. The main thing I kept thinking about while reading the story was that many years of experience does give one a positive edge.......but only up through late middle age. One of the hardest things for me to accept was that my razor sharp instincts began to lose their edge as I got into my late 50s and early 60s. Acknowledging that strength and sensory judgement are not as keen when we enter older age is necessary if we are to still go into the backcountry and stay alive. Thinking we can still do the things we could way back then is dangerous. Though it sucks, we have to take extra precautions to compensate for decreased abilities.
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby hiac » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:44 pm

good post!

I lost once in a canyon and got panic. Actually I am on the right track, just thought I am lost. That dire thought put me into panic mode. that canyon is remote and less known, and I didn't see anyone that day.

Two reason lead me to this situation:
1) I carried a gps, but there is no signal in slot canyon
2) I got used to the time/distance during a hiking/backpacking trip, but scramble in the slot canyon is totally different. I have no way to know how far I have travel, and how far ahead of me.

lost itself is not that bad, even though I will be miserable during the night for sure. It's the panic that really drag me into danger due to losing judgement. I kept on moving trying to escape, and missed the only and vital cairn to climb out. Then I face a cliff, found a deadman anchor rope hanging there. I use that rope to climb down without a second thought, only to find out the rope is not long enough to drop me to the bottom. I am hanging there for a few minute, fighting for my life. I kept on yelling to myself “xxx, you will get out, you must get out". Eventually I got out the slot canyon, venture back to my tent in complete darkness.

Lost is not that bad, panic and losing judgement is bad.
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Re: Backpacking trip mishap from this summer

Postby rlown » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:56 pm

we've all been in that situation. at least a skunk wasn't waiting for you at the tent entrance. :)

"Lost is not that bad, panic and losing judgement is bad." Agree completely with that comment. It takes only a few minutes to figure out where you are and what you want to do next.
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