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Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
01-12-2019, 04:49 AM,
#1
Thumbs Up  Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
I keep reading repeatedly that we shouldn’t be hiking into the mountains alone. I grew up in the Adirondacks so I’m a bit more mentally prepped for mountain weather than some but ultimately solo searching is a terrible idea...I still have never done a BOTG search with a partner because I’d feel safer by myself with 40 pounds of gold than with a stranger...anyone else in this same boat? I’ve ONLY solo hiked in the Rocky Mountains and as dangerous as it is I wouldn’t want to give up the experiences I’ve had.

I fly into my search state cross country and drive into the middle of nowhere by myself. Got a ruck sack and emergency supplies...let some people know my time of return and my coordinates to come look for me in case things go sour and then I go tromping off into the woods. I believe Fenn would say what I’m doing is foolish. I also think he’d be proud Smile
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01-12-2019, 06:46 AM,
#2
RE: Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
(01-12-2019, 04:49 AM)thrilledtochase Wrote: I keep reading repeatedly that we shouldn’t be hiking into the mountains alone. I grew up in the Adirondacks so I’m a bit more mentally prepped for mountain weather than some but ultimately solo searching is a terrible idea...I still have never done a BOTG search with a partner because I’d feel safer by myself with 40 pounds of gold than with a stranger...anyone else in this same boat? I’ve ONLY solo hiked in the Rocky Mountains and as dangerous as it is I wouldn’t want to give up the experiences I’ve had.

I fly into my search state cross country and drive into the middle of nowhere by myself. Got a ruck sack and emergency supplies...let some people know my time of return and my coordinates to come look for me in case things go sour and then I go tromping off into the woods. I believe Fenn would say what I’m doing is foolish. I also think he’d be proud Smile

I'm proud of y'all. "Tromping", indeed.
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01-12-2019, 07:57 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-12-2019, 08:00 AM by John Brown.)
#3
RE: Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
I hike alone in the mountains almost every day. I recommend it. I also recommend you have a satellite e-mail tool if you're going somewhere without cellular data. I use a DeLorme which was recently bought by Garmin. I often waste money by chatting with my wife but on one occasion I needed to call EMS for someone. On another occasion I was in deep snow in the family vehicle. I should have been in my pickup with the winch. A huge tree had fallen across the road. I didn't have a chain saw. I was trapped. With the satellite gizmo I got help and made it home for dinner. The first use might have saved a life. The second saved me a long walk in deep snow, a hell of a lot of time and likely a few hundred bucks. That's another thing I recommend you have: a couple or 3 C notes in your bill fold. I've never had to use them and the time I tried to pay someone for their help they refused them, but many mountain people aren't exactly flush.

One other thing. You read about hiking in the wilderness and you'll inevitably come across lists of the so-called "Ten essentials." Now there's a new list and an old list and they're different. So clearly the things on the old list that aren't on the new list weren't essential after all. There's only one essential and you must keep it with you at all times: YOUR WITS.
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01-12-2019, 09:17 AM,
#4
RE: Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
I hike alone all the time. I usually dont backpack alone and if I am car camping, it is either with others, or in an established camp ground. Someone always has the complete details of where I'm going, when I'm leaving, when I will return, description of the car and where it will be. If I'm going off trail, I have a GPS with me. I dont go out in bad weather or where I think there will be "deep snow", unless I am parking and snowshowing. I use a number of weather sites from which I can generally predict the weather for the next 24 hours and wont get caught out in a bad storm. The advantage of working with forecast meteorologists, I guess.

The only time we had to call for help was for a rock climber who had fallen at an established climbing area. But my backpack partners do have a lovely Explorer that we always take.
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01-12-2019, 09:39 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-12-2019, 09:40 AM by John Brown.)
#5
RE: Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
(01-12-2019, 09:17 AM)brubr Wrote: I hike alone all the time. I usually dont backpack alone and if I am car camping, it is either with others, or in an established camp ground. Someone always has the complete details of where I'm going, when I'm leaving, when I will return, description of the car and where it will be. If I'm going off trail, I have a GPS with me. I dont go out in bad weather or where I think there will be "deep snow", unless I am parking and snowshowing. I use a number of weather sites from which I can generally predict the weather for the next 24 hours and wont get caught out in a bad storm. The advantage of working with forecast meteorologists, I guess.

The only time we had to call for help was for a rock climber who had fallen at an established climbing area. But my backpack partners do have a lovely Explorer that we always take.

I love being out in snow storms. The snow was predicted; 2' fell as predicted. I wanted to know what that would be like in our tipi. The unexpected thing was that it was warm wet heavy snow. I don't know if they failed to predict that or I didn't pay close attention to the forecast. If I'd expected it to be so heavy I'd have been in my ancient pick-up with chains on all 4 wheels and a winch and chain saw. During the night I had to get up every few hours and go out to brush the snow off because the walls were closing in. I had to get completely dressed for that including gators. It wasn't a quick process. It was maybe 10-20 minutes to brush the snow off the sides but it would collect on the bottom of the tipi and that had to be pulled back so that the walls could stand free. It got pretty saggy.
The same wet heavy snow brought the tree down across the road.

GPS on my phone is great but I always plan on it failing even though it never has. Phones do fail though. Go out enough times and one will fail in the wilderness. It's inevitable. I have a Garmin GPS that I never carry anymore. I use EarthMate on my phone either paired or not paired with the DeLorme.
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01-12-2019, 10:03 AM,
#6
RE: Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
DeLorme from Garmin (now called inReach) - very good idea!

Hiking alone in the Rockies, especially in the Winter - very bad idea, unless you're an expert like JB and others!
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01-12-2019, 10:38 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-12-2019, 10:43 AM by brubr.)
#7
RE: Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
(01-12-2019, 09:39 AM)John Brown Wrote: GPS on my phone is great but I always plan on it failing even though it never has. Phones do fail though. Go out enough times and one will fail in the wilderness. It's inevitable. I have a Garmin GPS that I never carry anymore. I use EarthMate on my phone either paired or not paired with the DeLorme.

I have a Garmin GPS that I use infrequently, mostly to tell me where I am off trail and, if I get lost, I can turn around and retrace my steps. It also serves up coordinates really easily that I can go home and plug into GE. Havent pulled the trigger to the new InReach systems yet, but close. I still love all my old Garmin tracks and use them occasionally

(01-12-2019, 09:39 AM)John Brown Wrote: I love being out in snow storms.

I dont enjoy being cold and wet all the time. Maybe that's why I'm in the Grand Canyon at every opportunity. Besides, I love rock.

People, in general, do not appreciate the danger of hypothermia. Hypothermia is most likely to strike when its wet and in the 40s, so be aware in spring time hiking. I am always prepared to spend a night in the wilderness, if necessary. But if I cant carry enough to stay warm and dry through a night, I wont go. THIS old lady gonna live into her 90s.
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01-12-2019, 12:20 PM,
#8
RE: Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
Another thing the inReach is good for is enabling people to contact you. I've started leaving mine turned on. I used to leave it off to save battery and not even use it most of the time. Then I had it turned off on an occasion when my family really really needed me. It took way longer to return home than it would've if I'd had the inReach turned on the night before.
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01-13-2019, 04:15 PM,
#9
RE: Anyone Solo BOTG searching in different states?
(01-12-2019, 12:20 PM)John Brown Wrote: Another thing the inReach is good for is enabling people to contact you. I've started leaving mine turned on. I used to leave it off to save battery and not even use it most of the time. Then I had it turned off on an occasion when my family really really needed me. It took way longer to return home than it would've if I'd had the inReach turned on the night before.

The thing I really like about the system is that people can follow your progress at home. Its the best way for my BFF to follow along on trips that she could never physically participate in.
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