Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor Survival


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




Fly Fishing: What if…………?

Body of Salem fisherman recovered

by Associated Press

Posted on February 13, 2011 at 12:25 PM

SALEM — Authorities have recovered the body of a 46-year-old Salem man who fell into the Santiam River Jan. 27 while fishing with a friend in Gates.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said the body of Troy Topper was recovered Saturday night after two fishermen in a drift boat spotted the body about 15 miles downstream from where he fell into the river.

The Salem Fire Department Water Surface Rescue Team assisted.

Topper was fishing from the river bank Jan. 27. He lost his footing when he went to the water’s edge to wash his hands.

His friend tried to pull him from the fast-moving, 38-degree water with a fishing pole but was unsuccessful.

The above news piece, is a sad and sobering reminder of what if’s and the attendant visuals of what friends and strangers went through over the man’s deadly mishap. I was reminded that a week ago, I hiked into the Sandy River at Oxbow Park. One spot in particular drew me and the one obstacle between me and the river was a ten foot+ high half a mile long pile of trees and debris from recent high waters. I made it to the river and out, but ignored a ‘what if?’ self check moment. What if I miscalculated and stepped into a hole at the top of the debris and plummeted downward out of sight? Sure, family knew where I was headed “Oxbow and if not there above Dodge”.

But, if I am late coming home, there is often going to be a delay filled, anxiety laden night for family and rescuers. Rescuers are not going to risk their safety climbing atop a drift pile, if they initially think I am even down in one of those crevasses of debris. Most logically they would assume I drowned or am down on a trail.

Outdoor pursuits are, of course, inherently dangerous for all manner of reasons. But, a primary danger are falls (even at home) for outdoor types.  So, my what if, self check mechanism should have been activated and more patience maintained to spare rescuers the dangers and costs and my family the nauseating gut check of their own what if’s. Exercise caution while having those alone moments and hearing the call of the river.  Condolences for the family, friends and those that recovered Mr. Topper.


Fly Fishing Survival Considerations (Are You Prepared For The Worst?)

Red Sky Morning.......   (SwittersB)

Red Sky Morning....... (SwittersB)

I have more gear and what if stuff in the back of my rig than a group of Explorer Scouts at a SAR Callout. But, often I hardly carry any gear with me once sauntering down the trail. Well, I am close to the truck, kind of. That is true more often than not. They would eventually find me upside down, over the embankment, where I slipped and tripped over the tree root that hooked my toe….eventually. Or, that short walk down to the drift results in “I think I will move on down below those rapids and fish there.” A mere 200 yards from the p-u.

The point is that, if alone, you have slipped, fallen, stumbled, broken rods, twisted your ankle, slipped atop boulders with wet boots on gritty sand, walked into bushes and branches narrowly missing your eyes, fallen so hard you had to stop and consider if you can actually break your ass. Well, maybe you haven’t but I have. I am clumsy at times. The older I get the more clumsy I seem to become. I recently mentioned a loss of hip/leg strength contributing to poor wading and I know it affects me boulder hopping and moving up and down muddy embankments crisscrossed with protruding roots.

I should be more prepared and certainly be prepared on a cold afternoon, when injured, to ride out the hours into the night or the next morning to avoid hypothermia and shock. This article by Kirston Koths is entitled How To Survive Fly Fishing (Preparing For Being Lost, Injured, and Other Angling Emergencies) is informative and a reminder to carry survival gear with you, not just in the back of your rig.

“The most likely serious injury that might happen while fishing is a gash, incapacitating sprain, or broken/dislocated bone as a result of falling. Over two hundred search-and-rescue operations occur in Yosemite each year, many for hiker with broken ankles.”

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