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|first post, a bit of wisdom (?)|
entry by Urban Caver
8/12/2008 6:04 AM
|seeing as i seldom update any of my other journals, i hope this one will be different.. i felt a fitting first post would be to pass on some things i have learned over the years. |
please keep in mind that at least 50% of places i explore never make it to the ldb, and a majority of the ones that don't make it are due to location and accessibility. a good example is an old hunting lodge/hotel about 70 miles from the nearest paved road, and over 50 miles as-the-crow-flies from the nearest gas station.. no cell phone access, no water, no way i am posting it as.. well.. i don't like feeling responsible when someone decides that their bronco-ii with a 2" lift can make it there and back with no problem.. they usually have no experience with creosote bush and have never seen just how easily it can take out multiple tires and your radiator.
so.. on to the questionable wisdom....
1) the best thing for a sunburn is: hide under a rock till the sun goes down, head back to camp, lay in bed two days, promptly go out and get a second sunburn when you can move again.
sub-rule a: if you actually managed to burn yourself bad enough that the top half of your body is charred, and you head out a second time without a shirt on... any photos of you will only prove that you may have some zorse ancestry.. i have at least 1 great pic where the waist down is reflecting light better than a studio umbrella, and the top half looks like i have spent my life in death valley.
sub-rule b: anyone not living in the desert will proceed to berate you for your amazing lack of caring about skin cancer... but, if you wait a week after the second burn, those same people will assume you have lived there your whole life and are just naturally that tanned.
sub-rule c: if you decide to visit the city far away from the desert, many of your friends that had no idea where you went, will spread rumours of you getting sick of the city and spending the last 6 months in the bahamas after killing your SO.
2) ALL wild animals are more afraid of you than you are of them.
sub-rule a: unless you are high strung and scream at them..
sub-rule b: unless you make jokes about their mother while trying to pet their cubs (mainly applies to bears)
sub-rule c: unless they are a rattler and you just stepped on them while they were half asleep in a warm spot..
and.. my favorite...
sub-rule d: unless the animal is a badger, and your pet half-dingo just decided to nip at it.. then you end up with a new pet, as badgers (for some reason) seem to be able to follow you straight to hell.
3) always carry non-lubricated condoms. yeah, sounds bad, but... i can carry a 6 pack in less space than my wallet, and when you do finally find or dig up a spring, each one will hold a gallon or so of water.
4) addendum to "2"... javelinas only attack when you piss them off by trying to pet them, coming between them and their young, or just by being a dick in general.
sub-rule a: do not attempt to pet the wildlife, they will eat you.. if they don't eat you, the emt will laugh at you if/when they show up.
sub-rule b: (based on looking at other threads and laughing my butt off) if you think you are l33t with a knife, stick, gun, etc... the wildlife will be more than happy to prove you wrong at every opportunity..
sub-rule c: a 22 caliber bullet, even if it is a magnum, when aimed right between the eyes of a javelina, boar, or various other animals you encounter, will serve one purpose.. to designate you as the target they need to take out. if the ricochet doesn't get you first.
yeah, that's it for the jokes.. so lets get back to reality, here is a list of things i carry no matter where i go... city, desert, coastal regions, etc... much of this never leaves the vehicle, but, will save your ass in a bad situation.
car small kit:
sharpie and 2 sheets folded 11x17 paper
j&j med kit
milspec magnesium fire starter
milspec "rope" saw
milspec strobe unit with flip-down ir filter
milspec signal mirror
2 emergency mylar blanket
20' snare wire
6 pack polyurethane non-lube condoms
50 pack iodine water treatment tablets
HT202 2 meter radio with AA battery pack
Spyderco C790R assist knife
2x 2.5 gallon collapsible water bladders
3 road flares
1 milspec (man overboard) green dye pack
1 milspec orange marker smoke grenade
1 "storm" 118db signal whistle
2 cans "marker" paint - safety orange
100' 550 line
machete (now a double short sword set.. lighter weight, can use in trapping and spear making, etc)
4 emergency mylar blankets
solar battery charger for AA's
razor knife (box cutter with breakable blade)
2 photon micro lights
can of starter fluid
can of carb cleaner
50' 12g wire
10' primary wire
laminated printout of universal edibility test
folding camp shovel/pick
rhino gps with 2way radio
yeah, not your normal kit... so i will break it down for you..
small kit has a carabiner, attach it and go if you are close to help.
you have all the basics you need for 5-7 days. the sharpie and paper are used to leave a sign in your car indicating (in large letters) SOS, and in smaller letters, the date and time you left, and what direction you were heading, as well as who to contact. med kit will handle any small emergencies, rope saw covers any wood you need (and can act as a tourniquet or splint binding), fire starter is self explanatory. signal mirror is good for daytime signaling, the strobe unit can be left on all night near the fire for night signaling. compass keeps you moving in the right direction, condoms and iodine tabs take care of water requirements, and the blankets will either work on you to insulate, work as a tent, or work as a damn large signal mirror. cell phone will work for 911 or emergency services anywhere you can find signal, the assist knife is good for just about anything, and will help with the snare wire and such for setting traps if your short journey turns into a long one. the 2-meter radio (set on scan) will find you someone (anyone) to talk to to get help, the gps will give you the data you need to get rescued.
now on to the big kit.
same basics, but setup for the long haul when used with the first kit. the dye pack comes in handy if you are in any kind of marine environment, and i usually clip it on anytime i am even near a beach with a riptide/undertow. better safe than sorry. road flares can be used for fire starting, signaling, etc. the orange smoke can be used for signaling and is usually recognized as a distress beacon. signal whistle can be used anytime you believe people are in the general area, the storm provides you with about 2x the volume of normal rescue whistles. 550 line can be used for just about everything, it's like duct tape that requires slightly more work. the marking paint is good to have, if you leave the area, mark SOS at your departure in large letters, with an arrow pointing the way you are heading. every 6 hours, mark an arrow pointing the way you are heading, if you haven't been found by the time the paint runs out, start laying out rocks or burning areas in the arrow shape.. someone will eventually see it. fix-a-flat, starter fluid, wire, and tools are for the car, you may be able to get it moving again on your own. the starter fluid and carb cleaner serve double duty as fire starters and animal deterrents. the shovel/pick plus mylar blankets will let you dig down and bed in during the day in the desert, or at night in the winter... dig a pit, set your fire up, when going to bed, cover the pit with rocks and dirt, sleep on top of it or beside it. edibility test is good to have on you if you will be hoofing it for a while, as are the photons. the gps in the large kit can be run with the display turned off and the radio in scan mode, mix that with your 2 meter, and there is a good chance you will either pick up a local ham operator or a random camper. cell phone once again, will work with no subscription for emergency use, the battery charger will keep the cell, strobe from earlier kit, gps, and radios working. just rem to keep one set of batteries in it at all times. the razor knife is good for venom extraction as well as many other things. the reason i switched the machete with a dual short sword set is... the set has 440 stainless blades, cast aluminum handles, and its own double sheath with carrying strap.. works as well as any machete, also works well for spike traps (food), spears (food), and protection if you can't avoid a confrontation with animals.
long winded post, has nothing to do with photography, but... i hope it will give some of you something to think about when you decide to take a hiatus from city exploring and hit the back roads.
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