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01/19/21 04:09 PM Snowmobiler built a snow cave to survive by brandtb

A missing Canadian teen snowmobiler built a snow cave to survive until rescuers arrived

After going missing while on a snowmobile, a Canadian teenager managed to survive by building a snow cave to stay in until he was found.

A 17-year-old in British Columbia, who has not been named, built himself a snow cave the backcountry to shelter in after being separated from his group, according to South Cariboo Search and Rescue.

At around 6:15 pm on Saturday, 100 Mile House Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was notified of an overdue snowmobiler.

Family and friends of the teen had returned to a parking lot, but he had never showed, according to a news release from RCMP.

Some of the party remained on the hill and began searching, while others left to alert South Cariboo Search and Rescue, who contacted 100 Mile House RCMP. South Cariboo SAR eventually located the teenager, finding him "in good condition," RCMP said in its release.

"This young man did everything right after things went wrong," SAR wrote in a Facebook post praising the teen. "He got separated from his group and after multiple failed attempts to get back out of the area, the way he got into it and not knowing the terrain and area, he parked his sled in a wide-open area, walked over to a nearby treed area and built himself an incredible snow cave to spend the night."

The post continued, "When our team members came across him, he was in the shelter with food and water. This young man made our task a little less difficult by staying in place and having some backcountry winter survival knowledge."

The 100 Mile House RCMP thanked the South Cariboo SAR team for bringing the search to another positive outcome.

"We in the south Cariboo are very fortunate to have such a dedicated group of well-trained volunteers to assist in times of need," RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson wrote in a statement.


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01/17/21 02:13 PM Offline Maps App Thoughts by chaosmagnet

The app Iíve been using for many years, MotionX GPS, is no longer available (https://support.motionx.com/). While it still works, I want to find something that is currently supported.

Itís worth saying out loud that I strongly believe in knowing how to use a paper map and compass, and carrying those things with you when you leave the pavement. However, I can envision many circumstances where having an electronic GPS mapping capability is worthwhile. I can also make a strong argument for a dedicated device, especially for expedition-type travel. Donít let me stop you from buying an InReach or something like it.

With the limitations of smartphones understood, an offline mapping app is still worth having to me.

The features I want to have include:
  • Moving map capability
  • Downloadable maps that do not expire
  • Accurate maps (location accuracy is device, GNSS, overhead cover, RFI, and terrain dependent, largely not app dependent)
  • Easily saved waypoints
  • Both road and terrain maps
  • No intrusive ads or other irritants
  • No unreasonable privacy violations by the appís developer
  • Reasonable cost

So far Iíve evaluated (if only very briefly):

Google Maps. Free, ubiquitous, and very easy to use, Iíll keep using it for lots of things but downloaded maps expire after 30 days, so it doesnít fit the bill for this function, for me.

Waze. Owned by Google, great for driving but does not cache much for long and does not cover terrain.

Maps.Me. Uses Open Street Maps, easy to use (after getting past the cartoonish splash screen), map downloads are highly optimized, seems fantastic for offline navigation on pavement, including finding points of interest. No off-pavement capability of note. Iíll be keeping this app for now, I may end up using two apps.

Hiking Project. From REI, very highly regarded for trail hiking, it doesnít seem to have coverage for off-trail usage. When the weather gets better and Iím back on local trails Iíll check this out.

Gaia GPS. Highly rated. The app will sit there doing nothing until you press the crosshairs button, then the app will ask for device location permissions. This is a major UX misstep, but after that itís fast and easy to use. Requires a membership for most features. The free membership allows online access to one of the Topo map data sets. Offline maps and other features required one of the paid membership levels.

Topo Maps+. Slower and with a significantly more expensive subscription than Gaia GPS, it also doesnít seem to allow one to manage map downloads easily.

Topo Maps US. Similar name but different developer. The same UX misstep as Gaia GPS. A really cool freehand distance measuring feature. Intuitive map download feature. Free, no in app purchases, and no ads seen so far. A big winner for me.

It looks like the right combination for me will be Maps.Me and Topo Maps US. Heavier users of topo maps may find the paid memberships to Gaia GPS worthwhile.

What offline mapping apps do you like?

601 Views · 11 Comments
01/12/21 12:33 AM Do you tag your bags? by TeacherRO

I thinking about putting a laminated 'luggage tag" on each bag -- listing what its for and whats in it.

446 Views · 6 Comments
01/11/21 07:56 AM A WW2 SEVENTY2 kit by Burncycle

Came across this today and it reminded me of the SEVENTY2 style survival kit, but old school!


468 Views · 9 Comments
01/09/21 12:25 AM New (old) Knife from Doug Ritter by Doug_Ritter

In case anyone here is interested, we have just introduced a second generation of my RSK Mk3.


1190 Views · 15 Comments
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