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#299159 - 06/22/21 03:56 AM Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to
Doug_Ritter Offline

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Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2154
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#299160 - 06/22/21 11:52 AM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Doug_Ritter]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3639
Loc: USA
Iím glad sheís safe. While Iím sure there are lessons learned it sounds like a lot of things went right.

The story brought up a question in my mind ó she reported having been aware of the search helicopters but that they couldnít see her. If she had had a signal mirror (in the daytime) or a powerful flashlight (at night) that could have made a difference, but that isnít my question.

I carry a handheld VHF/UHF amateur radio transceiver when Iím almost anywhere out of my house. Would SAR aircraft be listening on ham radio calling frequencies? Or the Marine VHF calling frequency * ?


* - It is illegal to use a ham radio to transmit on Marine VHF frequencies, except in a bona fide emergency. This situation would certainly count.

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#299163 - 06/22/21 02:45 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Doug_Ritter]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2173
Loc: NE Wisconsin
A related dad question:

My mid-20 age daughter will be graduating and taking a job in Arizona next year. I know she'll enjoy hiking the area. In addition to her carrying water and survival gear, if I were to give her a graduation gift, would you recommend a mapping GPS w/ electronic compass to help her get unlost, OR a personal locator beacon to help her get found for whatever life threatening situation??

As much as I'm a fan of PLB's, I lean toward the GPS for its flexible utility, but I fear that she'll leave the GPS behind while instead relying on a smartphone app (with local map saved). So maybe a PLB is more likely to end up in the backpack.

I'd get her both, but this in addition to gifting her a much wanted rifle ... while I can buy the particular style she wants.

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#299164 - 06/22/21 03:13 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7618
Loc: southern Cal
I lived, worked, and rescued in Arizona for about three decades. Where in Arizona will she be located? Flagstaff, elev. 7000 feet, and Phoenix, elev. 2000 feet, are essentially on different planets with respect to climate.

The great thing about AZ outdoors is the great variability in climate, corresponding with elevation changes. You can go from desert to snowshoe country in less than one hour.

I am a definite fan of paper maps, much more versatile than the GPS units perhaps a premium Gaia subscription.

If she is in th Phoenix area, she will be in definite desert country and will need hiking gear for those condition, but mountains are never far away. She will probably need equipment for that environment as well.

Good problem to have!!
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#299165 - 06/22/21 05:06 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: KenK]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3639
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: KenK
In addition to her carrying water and survival gear, if I were to give her a graduation gift, would you recommend a mapping GPS w/ electronic compass to help her get unlost, OR a personal locator beacon to help her get found for whatever life threatening situation??


Congrats to your daughter for wrapping up school, and to you for getting her off the payroll!

Would an InReach GPS + Satellite communicator be a viable option?

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#299166 - 06/22/21 10:50 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Doug_Ritter]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2173
Loc: NE Wisconsin
She'll be in the Prescott area.

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#299168 - 06/23/21 05:11 AM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: chaosmagnet]
Alan_Romania Offline

Addict

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 646
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Would an InReach GPS + Satellite communicator be a viable option?


This! A Garmin inReach Mini will give her both off grid navigation and communication.
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"Trust in God --and press-check. You cannot ignore danger and call it faith." -Duke

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#299176 - 06/24/21 09:43 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: chaosmagnet]
AKSAR Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1214
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
The story brought up a question in my mind ó she reported having been aware of the search helicopters but that they couldnít see her. If she had had a signal mirror (in the daytime) or a powerful flashlight (at night) that could have made a difference, but that isnít my question.
She was under very heavy cover low down on the mountain. A mirror might have helped the first day. The weather turned cloudy the second day. A strobe might have helped. She built a fire, but it wasn't spotted by the aircraft FLIR. Keep in mind this was right before the solstice, when we had 19 hrs 17 min of official daylight. During daylight the earth warms, which tends to degrade FLIR performance. Also, it is possible she built the fire after the aircraft stopped flying that day.

Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
I carry a handheld VHF/UHF amateur radio transceiver when Iím almost anywhere out of my house. Would SAR aircraft be listening on ham radio calling frequencies? Or the Marine VHF calling frequency * ?
No, the SAR aircraft would almost certainly not be routinely guarding any ham frequencies. If it were a search over water, they might be guarding Marine Ch 16.

A better bet would be to carry an aviation band handheld radio. Call on 121.500 MHz AM, the Aviation Distress (VHF Guard) frequency. In Alaska back in the day, before sat phones, Spot, and InReach, parties in remote areas sometimes would carry an aviation handheld for emergency use. The idea was that if you saw a plane anywhere in the area, you could try to call them. I recall hearing at least one anecdote where a party in a remote area managed to call an airliner flying over at 30,000 ft, who relayed their distress message.

Best idea of all is to carry an InReach or PLB.


Edited by AKSAR (06/24/21 09:54 PM)
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#299185 - 06/25/21 01:19 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: AKSAR]
Herman30 Offline
Addict

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 438
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
[quote=chaosmagnet]The weather turned cloudy the second day. A strobe might have helped. She built a fire, but it wasn't spotted by the aircraft FLIR. Keep in mind this was right before the solstice, when we had 19 hrs 17 min of official daylight. During daylight the earth warms, which tends to degrade FLIR performance. Also, it is possible she built the fire after the aircraft stopped flying that day.


A orange signal panel might have worked. Came to my mind because I ordered a couple of them a few days ago, 27 inch by 27 inch.

https://i.postimg.cc/hGkNyHVC/orange-signal-mesh-panel-640x640-9.jpg

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#299187 - 06/25/21 01:30 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Doug_Ritter]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3639
Loc: USA
Thanks AKSAR. Iím 100% with you on carrying a PLB or a SEND.

As a non-aviator, I donít own any handheld radios that can transmit on air band; and I donít know of any ham handhelds that can. If I lived in Alaska I might pony up for one. If I were carrying a larger ham transceiver (I have an Icom IC-705, which is quite backpack-able) Iíd likely be able to call for help without regard to whether an aircraft was overhead.

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