quote:Originally posted by Hodgeman
Whistle / Signaling device.... If it's not on the list, it should be. I often encourage newbies, or those unfamilliar with the area, to carry one. In this part of the world, you don't have to step too far off the trail to be lost or separated from a group. Two way radios aren't a bad idea for a group either, with one at the front and one at the back to keep everyone accounted for.
Flashlight should go on every trip, at this time of year especially. It doesn't take much of a delay to get caught in the dark.
^^ Livin' in the 3rd dimension - Go Vertical !!
That's a good idea, Hodge. I actually carry a whistle on my compass lanyard. Come to think of it, I've seen some lists which include the whistle as an item, and lump xtra food/water and water treatment into one item.
One thing to think about with a whistle, keep it handy (in a pocket or some place where you won't lose/drop it. Story a old SAR tech told every year in training was to keep the whistle in the pocket, or on compass lanyard worn aroudnd the neck (something I don't advocate in the brush). Story goes a search subject fell and rolled off trail into a gully. No obvious sign of where he fell/rolled. Ended up separated from his pack, whistle on the pack strap out of reach, and he was to injured to get to his pack. He sat and hollered for help until he was hoarse.
Now search teams often start with fast searches (run the trails looking for clues to narrow search areas) before getting granular in the search. Three teams passed on the trail looking for this guy. He could hear them calling him, but was so hoarse he could barely make a sound. Where he'd ended up was obscured from the trail, so they couldn't see him, even if they could see signs of where he went off the trail.
Search teams finally did find him when they started working off trail, but had his whistle been handy, he could have answered the first search team and been out of there several hours earlier.
So, a whistle is a definite. I gave Hiker Boy's kids each a really loud whistle my old SAR unit used to sell as a fund raiser. Dual chamber job.
A trip is about the journey as much, if not more than about the destination. What is the joy in reaching your destination if you've ignored everything along the way?
Alex Lowe said it best: "The best climber is the one having the most fun."