Author Topic: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued  (Read 809 times)

ninthace

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #15 on: 21:56:04, 02/03/20 »

Main lesson in my mind is once you are lost, admitting it allows you to take control of the situation, always focus on re-location rather than continuing in the hope you'll stumble upon a 'known point', which is the main issue with solo male wandering in particular.
Indeed.  I have seen people under training, who having got themselves lost, end up bending the map to the point of breaking it in an effort to make it fit where they think they are rather than looking at what the countryside and map is telling them.
Solvitur Ambulando

fernman

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #16 on: 22:41:12, 02/03/20 »
Main lesson in my mind is once you are lost, admitting it allows you to take control of the situation, always focus on re-location rather than continuing in the hope you'll stumble upon a 'known point', which is the main issue with solo male wandering in particular.

But it worked for me when I became lost in mist in the Moelwyns. Although I had only a very rough idea of the area I was in, I worked out that if I kept walking south-eastwards I couldn't fail to come to somewhere I recognised. I crossed a lot of up and down country that was completely unfamiliar to me and even passed a circular, featureless lake that could have been one of a number. Eventually I found myself following the side of a lengthy lake, here I still wasn't sure, however when a smaller lake backed by a cliff appeared to one side of it I then knew precisely where I was. My strategy had worked.

Of course if I didn't have a compass it would have been a totally different story, while the difference between then and now is that I'd get my phone out to give me an eight figure grid reference of my location.
« Last Edit: 22:46:34, 02/03/20 by fernman »

BuzyG

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #17 on: 00:05:12, 03/03/20 »
I was thinking along the same lines.  A gps with a decent memory card should be able to hold the whole map of the trail so, provided the map was of sufficient detail, a lost hiker should be able to relocate the the trail or an escape route,  A gps will work in forest but it can be a less accurate if the foliage is dense and wet.


This reminded me of a simplified situation I got myself into a couple of weeks back.  I set off up Great Links tor, intending to continue on to kitty tor, during one of the recent storms. Complacency with the area meat I had not put a paper map in.  I still did what I always do on open moorland though, I set my compass for where I was headed.  I reached the tor no trouble at all.  Then the snow and low cloud hit and I couldn't see 30 yards. 

I crouched down sheltered by the granite monolith and switched on the GPS on my phone. Nothing, narder, sod all, would make it work.  After 15 mins hands now getting very cold, I called it a day and turned on my compass bearing using my trusty silva and headed straight back down the way I had come up.

Only after I reached the calm warm safety of the car, did it occur to me that the granite was probably making it really hard to find the satellites.  Of course the GPS now worked faultlessly.


It"s all about, having a back up plan and making simple safe considered decisions.  But crouched down getting chilly behind that tor, my brain was not working the same way it was back in the warmth of the car.  No real surprise when you think about it.  But I had never really thought about it before.


Life's one big learning curve. :)

« Last Edit: 00:13:48, 03/03/20 by BuzyG »

Doddy

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #18 on: 15:15:25, 03/03/20 »
On the Appalachian Trail (AT) if I ventured of the trail for bathroom break or a wild(stealth)camp I learnt to put twig arrows in the needed direction of travel. Similarly if you venture off down hill to water or to a shelter to sleep and it is surprising how overnight you are not 100% sure which way to go. I was about three weeks crossing Virginia which is nearly all in forest so each direction looks very much like the other. On the AT there white blazes on trees and rocks every 400 metres so in the main it is easy to follow.
I got turned around twice; the second time in Maine I stopped and then in a short while I thought - they look like my footprints and they were-I had been there before! I take note of my shoe footprint for this very reason now.

Patrick1

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #19 on: 16:01:03, 03/03/20 »
Its interesting. I've never hiked in the USA, but its clear that you can get lost there in a way which it is essentially impossible to do in the UK. I've got a bit "lost" in a British forest - not being able to see anything but trees is a nightmare for the sort of landmark based "navigation" that most of us do most of the time. However, there's really no UK forest which you wouldn't get out of by walking on a (random) compass bearing for a few hours. The thought of a USA style forest, going on for hundreds of miles and obscuring the landmarks throughout would make me quite nervous!

fernman

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #20 on: 18:49:12, 03/03/20 »
The problem with British forests, which I've got lost in a couple of times, is the curving forest tracks which can deceptively lead you in a different direction to where you thought you were going. I frequently find junctions for tracks that are not shown on OS maps, while branching footpaths that you intend to take are often overgrown and thus easily missed.

BuzyG

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #21 on: 23:26:34, 03/03/20 »
They are also often too dence to simply walk through on a set bearing. Meaning you are force forced to follow the meandering tacks like it or not.

Jac

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #22 on: 07:38:40, 04/03/20 »
I seem to remember a couple getting lost in a rhododendron 'forest' in Ireland a few years ago. They had to call out the rescue service who took some time to reach them through the entangled branches
So many paths, so little time

SteamyTea

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #23 on: 08:50:42, 04/03/20 »
Title: Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog)
 Author: Jerome K. Jerome


Harris asked me if I’d ever been in the maze at Hampton Court.  He said he went in once to show somebody else the way.  He had studied it up in a map, and it was so simple that it seemed foolish—hardly worth the twopence charged for admission.  Harris said he thought that map must have been got up as a practical joke, because it wasn’t a bit like the real thing, and only misleading.  It was a country cousin that Harris took in.  He said: “We’ll just go in here, so that you can say you’ve been, but it’s very simple.  It’s absurd to call it a maze.  You keep on taking the first turning to the right.  We’ll just walk round for ten minutes, and then go and get some lunch.” They met some people soon after they had got inside, who said they had been there for three-quarters of an hour, and had had about enough of it. Harris told them they could follow him, if they liked; he was just going in, and then should turn round and come out again.  They said it was very kind of him, and fell behind, and followed. They picked up various other people who wanted to get it over, as they went along, until they had absorbed all the persons in the maze.  People who had given up all hopes of ever getting either in or out, or of ever seeing their home and friends again, plucked up courage at the sight of Harris and his party, and joined the procession, blessing him.  Harris said he should judge there must have been twenty people, following him, in all; and one woman with a baby, who had been there all the morning, insisted on taking his arm, for fear of losing him. Harris kept on turning to the right, but it seemed a long way, and his cousin said he supposed it was a very big maze. “Oh, one of the largest in Europe,” said Harris. “Yes, it must be,” replied the cousin, “because we’ve walked a good two miles already.” Harris began to think it rather strange himself, but he held on until, at last, they passed the half of a penny bun on the ground that Harris’s cousin swore he had noticed there seven minutes ago.  Harris said: “Oh, impossible!” but the woman with the baby said, “Not at all,” as she herself had taken it from the child, and thrown it down there, just before she met Harris.  She also added that she wished she never had met Harris, and expressed an opinion that he was an impostor.  That made Harris mad, and he produced his map, and explained his theory. “The map may be all right enough,” said one of the party, “if you know whereabouts in it we are now.” Harris didn’t know, and suggested that the best thing to do would be to go back to the entrance, and begin again.  For the beginning again part of it there was not much enthusiasm; but with regard to the advisability of going back to the entrance there was complete unanimity, and so they turned, and trailed after Harris again, in the opposite direction.  About ten minutes more passed, and then they found themselves in the centre. Harris thought at first of pretending that that was what he had been aiming at; but the crowd looked dangerous, and he decided to treat it as an accident. Anyhow, they had got something to start from then.  They did know where they were, and the map was once more consulted, and the thing seemed simpler than ever, and off they started for the third time. And three minutes later they were back in the centre again. After that, they simply couldn’t get anywhere else.  Whatever way they turned brought them back to the middle.  It became so regular at length, that some of the people stopped there, and waited for the others to take a walk round, and come back to them.  Harris drew out his map again, after a while, but the sight of it only infuriated the mob, and they told him to go and curl his hair with it.  Harris said that he couldn’t help feeling that, to a certain extent, he had become unpopular. They all got crazy at last, and sang out for the keeper, and the man came and climbed up the ladder outside, and shouted out directions to them. But all their heads were, by this time, in such a confused whirl that they were incapable of grasping anything, and so the man told them to stop where they were, and he would come to them.  They huddled together, and waited; and he climbed down, and came in. He was a young keeper, as luck would have it, and new to the business; and when he got in, he couldn’t find them, and he wandered about, trying to get to them, and then _he_ got lost.  They caught sight of him, every now and then, rushing about the other side of the hedge, and he would see them, and rush to get to them, and they would wait there for about five minutes, and then he would reappear again in exactly the same spot, and ask them where they had been. They had to wait till one of the old keepers came back from his dinner before they got out. Harris said he thought it was a very fine maze, so far as he was a judge; and we agreed that we would try to get George to go into it, on our way back.[/pre]
I don't use emojis, irony is better, you decide

fernman

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #24 on: 09:11:29, 04/03/20 »
I seem to remember a couple getting lost in a rhododendron 'forest' in Ireland a few years ago. They had to call out the rescue service who took some time to reach them through the entangled branches

I once passed a small DoE group in Beddgelert Forest with a lad who had concussion, and a while later I came across two MRT members who told me they had a grid reference for the casualty but couldn't locate him in all the trees. I dumped my pack and led them to where the lad was. Within minutes a helicopter arrived, a flare was fired up and someone was winched down with a stretcher.

Islandplodder

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #25 on: 12:00:47, 04/03/20 »
It doesn't matter how often I read Three Men in a Boat it still makes me laugh out loud!A cautionary tale none the less.

Slogger

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Re: Getting Lost, and hopefully Rescued
« Reply #26 on: 15:54:53, 05/03/20 »
Tragic case indeed, which leaves one puzzled how this could happen upon leaving the trail for a short distance to go the loo. Seems her navigating skills were lamost non existant. Surely she must have known whether she was leaving to the North, South East or West of the trail that she had just left. Once disorientated, all she had to do was set her compass to go back in the oppositte direction. Ive done this at night on the Coast to Coast when losing the path and going round in circles for a couple of hours before realising that the path I wanted met a road which went from West to East which was directly North of the fields that i was in. I set my compass due North and eventually came to the road.Again during the Spine race at night in a 65mph blizzard, having lost the trail, realising the border fence (Scotland/England) which the path followed, was similar in that it went roughly West - East to the North of where we roughly were, set the compass North and came to the fence.