Posts Tagged ‘Falls and Whacks


Seismic Activity Map (Interesting)

Global Seismic Map Here, Not Above…Open/Click on a Region for details


Winter Vehicle Stay Put Kit

Well, I don’t live in the most dangerous environ for Winter travel unless I decide to venture up the Columbia R. Gorge during a Winter Blast affair. But, I do drive to the coast on wet, dark, foggy mornings or push down a few logging roads to gain access to a drift. At any point, I might lose the fog line or sight of the edge of the road and take an unexpected diversion off the side of the road.

In such a case, I might be ok to hike out for help, but I might be better served to stay with my rig until conditions (weather/lighting) improve (stats suggest you will live longer if you stay with your rig). We all know the basic first aid stuff we tend to carry, but do you really know how to use it and do you have enough materials to handle a laceration or fracture? Pain?

Basics Again: Does anyone know where you were headed and/or your scheduled return? The benefit of staying with your rig is that people know the general area of your outing so you will be found. Truly warm clothing and shelter for inside your rig with broken windows or while upside down? Extra clothing? Light? High Energy Food/Calories? Water? Do you really know where you are up that watershed? Maps? Plastic tarp? Waterproofed matches? Light sources?

That survival kit: where is it in your rig? In the back under the canopy or in the trunk? Can you reach into that section now? It might be better to always keep that Winter (or any season) Survival Kit in the passenger compartment where you can access it when out in the wilds. 

Many of you travel in serious Winter conditions and are confident that you can handle most anything, because you have over and over. What if’s become muted with the routine of no mishaps or close calls. Your rig can go anywhere. You know better.

The rest of us, have no excuse because we should know we are headed into conditions we are totally unaccustomed to….no excuses…be prepared. 

Driver Dies….Not Wearing Seat Belt



Search & Rescue (SAR)…Time Considerations

Seems about this time of year with the change in the weather, I get into this ‘be prepared mode’. I probably go out into a wilderness setting more in the Spring and Summer, but the elements, light and the occasional lost hiker prompt me to at least share my concerns about being prepared and safe.

The just recent cases of an Oregon lady supposedly lost in the Mt. Hood Wilderness and the recovery/deceased of another woman in the nearby State of  Washington raised my awareness to an internal process in Search and Rescue (SAR) missions: The consulting with experts to evaluate your probable chances of survival given the factors: were you prepared (gear), do you have a history of knowing how to conduct yourself in the wilds, the weather, the terrain, your known health/fitness factors, etc.  

I want to share some very interesting stats and time line markers re the search and termination of the search should you become lost. The resources are very fascinating and should be read and shared.

OHSU Researchers Find Time Is Best Predictor Of Survival In Search And Rescue Missions (July 17, 2007)

Oregon Health & Science University emergency medicine researchers set out to develop a model that could be used by search and rescue teams to determine when a search and rescue (SAR) mission could be terminated without abandoning potential survivors. The model found time to be the most important variable in determining whether a person will be found alive. Ninety-nine percent of people found alive were found within the first 51 hours after being reported missing. Their findings are published in the most recent edition of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine.

The model found a high rate of survival for people found within 17 hours of first being reported missing, a moderate rate of survival for those missing between 17 and 51 hours, and a low rate of survival for individuals missing for more then 51 hours. The analysis also found people reported missing in May through October were less likely to survive, as were people older than 60. Individuals reported missing on land were more likely to be found alive than those reported missing from a water-based activity.” (Read the entire report)

The SAR Missions are now, and probably have been, but now it is more openly presented, using these timeline markers and ‘experts’ to decide if the search will continue. If you are lost, you need to stay safe, composed and alert to SAR operations trying to find you. If you are family/friends of the lost person, the difficult decision re termination of SAR ops will be presented to you given the above timelines at some point. The probabilities of survival will be used to protect the searching resources. A fact of life, maybe a fact in death. Be prepared!!!


Rock: 1 v. Rig: 0 (Rock Hits Rig)

After a nearly perfect day of fly fishing, I was departing the lake, driving along a narrow road, bordered on one side by a very steep bank down to the lake and on the other side by a steep embankment. I was enjoying the last glimpses of the lake on my left. I turned to the right to see a rather large rock/boulder careening down the embankment. I tried to accelerate. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.

Regardless the rock smacked into my right, rear quarter panel and did what big rocks do best to cars. I am thankful it didn’t come in slightly higher at the window level.

The Rig After Impact ~SwittersB~


Fly Fishing: A Hitch in Your Giddy Up…..

Fly Fishing, Outdoor Safety: It’s a bitch getting old. That could suffice. Says it all. But, then I wouldn’t have anything to write. Random recollections: back pain, hip pain, joints tight, balance issues, tentative moves, a little mounting anxiety, you get there yes, but you still have to climb out.

Muscle pulls and injuries are seemingly normal, early on, if you play hard, work hard. They heal. Some linger. You deal, you wear them like a purple heart…been there, done that. But, later the purple hearts acquire a patina, crusty like coating of something more intrusive…Arthritis

We hear this word, I heard this word, and associated it with little, elderly women with the sadly gnarled fingers/knuckles of their hands. Poor girls. Such dignity while continuing forth. Well, the insidious ‘A’ word does not confine itself to little old hands. It creeps into joints and the spine, into those that are not that old.

Back to the river. As I stood atop the rise above the river, I remarked that the distance and pathway are almost always more cumbersome than it appears from atop. Those rocks are bigger than they look from above. The water is bigger, faster, less than you think from above. So, before you commit down over the edge make sure you size it up well before you make the decision to commit your body to the downward and lateral trek across those boulders.

The ankles, hips and back are tight. The reduced range of motion catches up with you. You commit to those steps out over deep, jagged holes. You reach and place the foot and feel restrictions you didn’t use to feel. The next step is not as fluid as you support your body in a tenuous position over a hole. It dawns on you that your body is tight. You also notice that when you stand upright for a moment you are a bit wobbly. Balance is impeded and you lurch this way and that. Not good. You reach out for the rocks, bent over, holding closer to those abrasive supports. No warm ups or stretching will do much for this reality. You best pick your routes or places to fish with care. The old Clint Eastwood admonition of ‘a man’s got to know his limitations’ is true.

Back Side Creek, Poking Around (SwittersB)

Descending down, fly rod in hand is supposed to be exciting anticipation. A stalking of sort. Don’t let your limitations hinder you, plan ahead. Calculate your route and once you learn that those rocks are bigger than you realize, avoid those routes in the future. Leave it to the younger person that has a bit of Parkour hops in their steps. This is a reality moment that we all must accept. If you don’t, well you will be wearing a bigger purple heart.  


Outdoor News: Grizzly roams free after fatal Yellowstone mauling

100 Yard Gap Closed by Protective Mama Grizzly. What if”s didn’t help here. Grizzly Chases Down Hikers   Offered up as a reminder only. I have only had one random, fairly uneventful incident with a bear out by Stargaven Creek near Sitka. Yes, we knew there were bears. Yes, they were nearby. But, when you hear that nearby people are running in a panic to get to the ‘safety’ of their cars, you do start looking over your shoulder. Then you realize you are cut off from the car. Gives you pause and you do see your vulnerability. Time to exit.    

Frankly some of this stuff plays out so quickly. Last week I was working along the shoreline with an overgrown area behind me. I suddenly heard this rapid, snorting sound behind me and rocks being displaced. I turned and as I did a large German Shepard was powerfully moving toward me. Any gap would have been quickly closed. I squared up. No conscious plan on my part. Frozen, tightening. Had that sudden gut check of ok here it comes and just as quickly the fierce face stopped and the dog turned away running back up river toward an angler 50 yards up stream that I had not seen. The incident struck me at the time as no place to run; didn’t occur to me to run and as usual I self critiqued of what if’s. What would you do? During and after? 


Bushcraft: Organizing Gear to Link Together

Most of us park near the water we intend to fish and don our gear, hike in, fish and walk back out. No fuss. No concern. I have previously written about letting someone know where you intend to fish or trying (if cell coverage allows) to let someone know when you have moved. Proper clothing, water, a whistle, fully charged phone are all a good idea. More challenging hikes up stream drainages or cross country to find that lake you saw on Google Maps require more planning. I came upon this piece @ Stumbleupon that provides some organizing suggestions for your review and possible adoption. Leave room for the fly box and rod/reel case (4 pc.)

Bushcraft Hiking Gear



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