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#299189 - 06/25/21 03:13 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Ren Online   content
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 385
Loc: Wales, UK
Have there been any testing with available to the general public coloured smoke grenades?

Like those from https://enolagaye.com/

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#299193 - 06/25/21 06:48 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Ren]
AKSAR Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1214
Loc: Alaska
A bit about the hike and terrain. The Pioneer Ridge Trail climbs about 5000 feet (1500 meters) in about 4.5 miles (7.2 km). It is a very long, steep, and challenging day hike. For obvious reasons, most hikers typically want to go as light as possible. The upper part of the mountain is alpine tundra, and relatively easy to search. The lower part of the mountain is dense brush, devils club, and heavy tree cover. Searching the lower densely vegetated areas by aircraft is not at all effective. Searching on the ground in that terrain is very challenging.

Originally Posted By: Herman30
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.
While a small signal panel would be easier to spot than a person wearing dark clothing, it would still be very tough to see from the air under the tree cover.

Originally Posted By: Ren
Have there been any testing with available to the general public coloured smoke grenades?
I am aware of no such tests. I am skeptical that a small smoke device would help much under that vegetation cover. I think the small amount of smoke from that sort of device would be so dissipated by the time it got above the trees that it would be very hard to see from the air. A military smoke grenade would have worked (they were effective even in the Vietnam jungle), but hikers are unlikely to have or carry a military smoke grenade.

Note that even an InReach might have problems getting a signal out through the woods, as their transmitter is very low power (I think 1.6 watts). A PLB has a much more powerful transmitter (5 watts as I recall), and would probably be the best choice in that situation.


Edited by AKSAR (06/25/21 06:57 PM)
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#299194 - 06/25/21 07:19 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: 7616
Loc: southern Cal
How about a signal mirror? I imagine skillful operation would be handy. Most of my use has been in relatively open terrain.
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#299201 - 06/26/21 07:15 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Doug_Ritter]
teacher Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 978
Garmin inreach does both

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#299203 - 06/27/21 01:04 AM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Treeseeker Offline
Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 184
Loc: California
Quote:
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.


Better would be an orange space blanket, orange on one side, silver on the other. Plus you can use it for warmth and/or shade.

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#299558 - 07/31/21 08:12 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: KenK]
Plainsman Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/06/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Grand Forks, ND, USA
Originally Posted By: KenK
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.


I’d say, just ask her which one she would actually use! Then buy accordingly! Nothing like discussing the options before a purchase.
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#299561 - 07/31/21 10:56 PM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: Plainsman]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2172
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Plainsman


I’d say, just ask her which one she would actually use! Then buy accordingly! Nothing like discussing the options before a purchase.


That's actually what I ended doing. She felt that a Garmin handheld GPS with topo maps and an electronic compass (eTrex 32X) would be best for her right now.

She'll also be getting a rifle that she's been wanting as a graduation gift. She's a great kid who worked real hard to achieve her childhood goal of becoming a veterinarian.

A bit later I may also surprise her with a PLB. Cheap insurance.

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#299563 - 08/01/21 01:34 AM Re: Lost hiker sought by Alaska Guard finds her way to [Re: KenK]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2149
Originally Posted By: KenK

That's actually what I ended doing. She felt that a Garmin handheld GPS with topo maps and an electronic compass (eTrex 32X) would be best for her right now.

She'll also be getting a rifle that she's been wanting as a graduation gift. She's a great kid who worked real hard to achieve her childhood goal of becoming a veterinarian.

A bit later I may also surprise her with a PLB. Cheap insurance.


FWIW, Garmin GPSMap 66i incorporates inReach functionality including SOS. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/623975
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