There have been a couple of cases here in Washington State of people out for winter sports getting lost. here is an article about safety.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
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Winter hiking essentials
Another night could've meant death
Don't hike, especially in the winter, without the 10 essentials: map, compass, flashlight, extra food, extra clothing, sunglasses, first-aid kit, pocketknife, matches and fire starter.
They could save your life, but they won't necessarily keep you comfortable. That's where winter hiking's other "essentials" — mostly clothing items that can be layered — come in:
This may be the one true winter hiking apparel essential. Polyester underwear wicks moisture from the skin, preventing chills and keeping you warm when wet.
Gore-Tex is good but by no means essential. Less-expensive, coated-nylon parkas will do the trick. If air can escape, you'll stay drier and more comfortable.
Same rules as for parkas. But the Outdoor Research "Seattle Sombrero," a self-explanatory local Gore-Tex product, is the best all-around rain and foul-weather hat we've ever found.
Here's where larger investments pay off. A wide range of quality rainproof boots is available at local outdoor shops. Opt for fit over materials (such as Gore-Tex liners).
Make sure you have water, and it can be handy to have a cellphone .
Like the Boy Scouts tought....be prepared. Went on a hunt trip last week and wasnt more than a mile from civilization but I still had the gear to get me through a night or two, just in case.
Thanks Raven for reminding us why we should.
The frustrating thing often IMO is that ''city folks'' - well, compared with those who have excperience in the Boonies - will go off with minimal thought or preparation.
Next thing - they get lost or into trouble and then - unnecessarily - rescue teams have to put their own safety on the line to go find them. Often so avoidable.
Some basics are (or should be) so obvious that no one leaves them out - and need not mean a real heavy backpack either. I am about past those days but if going will prepare properly - it's my butt and for me to get home, unaided!
How many skiers carry a small redipack of emergency gear. O the last two people lost one was a skier (ended up with frostbit fingers and toes) . The other one was a snowshoer who was just found in the same area that the skier was. She probably wouldnot of survived the night, the weather has winter warnings for the mountains. She was already showing first signs of hyperthermia when found. She was not prepared for even the 2 nights already spent on the mountain. The rescuers were not expecting to find her alive. If she had just those simple thingsa shown in the first post she would have been able to survive at least a week if she was carefull, probably longer.
Funny thing is that it dosent take much. A good emergency blanket, fire starting equipment, small knife, water container and something to signal with, all would fit into a very small fanny pack. I just dont understand why folks wont think. Oh well its their right to be stupid.
I am amazed at how many people drive in Winter in sub-freezing temps on deserted country roads and do not take any precautions should they ever have vehicle failure or an accident.
They have no warm clothing - no hat - no water - no energy food - no blanket - no phone - no flashlight - no nothing...and they are totally unprepared for any unusual or unexpected event.
A snow storm, fallen tree..or a road or bridge out, maybe the engine stalls or they skid into a ditch...just try walking 5+ miles in sub freezing temps with absolutely nothing to keep warm.
Here is a question we all should ask ourselves, Can I make a fire from scratch? When was the last time you tried? One of the things everyone should carry with them at all times is either a cigarette lighter or matches in a waterproof container. Bic lighters are cheap there is no excuse to not have one whether you smoke or not.
With a leatherman and a lighter or matches anyone should be able to make a fire with what one can find in the area There are few places in the continental US thast one can't find something to burn. The trick is to make it burn.
A challange to all of you, this thanksgiving try and make a fire with just a knife and a lighter and whatever you can find laying around outside.
For survival a fire is one of the top important things .
Yep. Good gear helps, but the know how to survive is even better. Goretex clothes can be had cheap if you don't mind used mil surplus.
My wife was one of those unprepared. I was surprised that her growing up in Toronto that she did not have a winter surival kit in her car. I live in Alabama and had a better winter kit than her. I was also surprised with her being a Wildlife biologist (I'm a microbilogist) how unprepared she was when she went out in the field. This all comes from her growing up in a big city were everything is right at hand. I believe that most people are like she was and that her thought process did not change with her enviroment. She now is much better about planning for the unexpected.
"Yep. Good gear helps, but the know how to survive is even better."
This is something I have some experience in. Specialized, non cotton, clothing and proper layering can be a lifesaver. Winter hiking is generally harder work--especially in snow and especially if using snow shoes--and you can sweat like a big bear. Cotton shirts, socks and jeans can get pretty wet from that alone and will stay that way when you cool down. And if one gets wet in other ways too, under certain conditions, forget it. Then, 'course knowing how to get from A to B, some basic first aid, how to find or fashion emergency shelter, water sources, etc. all matter. But staying dry or having material that will still insulate when wet and fluids can get one through some pretty severe difficulty.
In my vehicle I keep a small backback with a full change of clothes, rain poncho, sneakers, hat, flashlight, a couple lightsticks, and an MRE. This thread is a good reminder for me to change out the clothes to warmer ones! I also have a first aid kit, e-tool, rope and various other things in my vehicle.
I've always found it fascinating that lots of city folk here in Nashville wear under the bare minimum in cold temperatures, excuse being, "well, I go straight from a warm house into a warm vehicle into a warm office." I've seen plenty of people shiver in light blouses, short skirts, and fashionable clothes, all with no practical outerwear.
I have the black version of the O.R. Seattle Sombrero mentioned in the article. It's a great warm hat I highly recommend - the brim is wide, and wider at the back so rain doesn't go down your neck. The only downside is if there's a hard wind, the brim blows up and velcros itself up. They also have the "Snoqualmie Sombrero" with additional built-in fleece earflaps, so that one would probably be better, especially for you short-haired guys.
Living in N. MI we experience some cold conditions. I keep the truck stocked with a few spare blankets, a full cold weather clothing set and lots of other extras.
I lived in the U.P. for 3 years...there were only two seasons up there...Deep Snow and Tough Sleddin'...
Originally Posted by rocky
I also lived in Alaska for 7 years...never went anywhere with out the needed gear...and more in the car. On Naval Air Station Adak...Adak, Alaska...the military required all individuals, both military and civilians to file a hiking plan if you were going out into the tundra for a trek. It was possible in the winter (45' with 60 mph winds) to go from a decent day to a blinding snow storm in 15 minutes...and I mean, not seeing your hand in front of your face...
Not being prepared could be life threatening!
Stay safe...plan ahead!
I'm getting into backpacking. I've done quite a few day hikes. I always take enough food to last me a day (read: gorp) and a camelback with water. Overnight clothing... And ALWAYS armed. I am one of those people who owns a few theigh holsters. But that is because of backpacks. Kind of hard to wear something on your hip that is on a suspension spot when hiking over rough terrain.
If I'll be gone overnight or two nights, I'll hump the SKS. Up in northern AZ, you never know what you might run into. Wild cats, coyotes, aggressive javelinas... and those are just the four-legged.
For those that don't know: If you plan on hiking in cold weather - do NOT wear cotton. Cotton anything. Retains water too well, weighs too much when wet, and does not keep you warm when wet.