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15

Should I understand a water source to mean a spring/well, or any place where hikers may collect water (streams, lakes, etc.)? Yes. Any source of water - no matter how large or small - should be avoided when choosing a camp site. 100 meters is just a guideline, 200 meters is better. 200 meters and out of sight is great. The reasons are several-fold: ...


14

I am not a doctor, so I can only repeat what I think I understood from lectures by those that do have medical training. I'm pretty sure I remember Dr Murray Hamlett (I highly recommend attending one of his lectures, if he's still doing them. He is not only a leader and pioneer in cold weather medicine, but also a very good and engaging speaker.) saying to ...


14

It depends a little bit on where you want to signal emergency. But I think you're talking about remote areas. In these areas, searches are most often made by aircrafts. That's why it is necessary that you're seen from above and from far away. So you have a couple of possibilities dependening on your equipement. There is also an Wikipedia article that ...


13

The options: Smooth oval rocks (from river beds if possible) Snowball Rounded sticks Leaves (as said elsewhere, be careful of which kinds) soft pine cones (relatively rare, but plentiful where they exist!) handful of grass Carry a piece of cloth specifically designed for this purpose and be sure to do two more things: 1 - Don't use the cloth for anything ...


13

Short Answer: In the US, laws regulating land use are detailed and varied, even on Public Lands. Check with the local land agency before "roaming." Long Answer: Loosely you can divide open space in the US into two main categories: Private and Public. Private Land: The laws governing private land vary by state. In Texas, for example, a landowner is well ...


11

The easiest way that I know of requires you to have some kind of rope or long straps and to be near evergreen trees. Depending on the strength of the needles and width of the trees limbs take anywhere from 1 to 4 ends of an evergreen tree limb. Be sure to use green wood so they can bend without breaking. Make each section about three times as long as your ...


7

One method I've found to be particularly reliable is the finger method - hold your arm straight out in front of you, facing towards the setting sun like so: Place your hand so your little finger is level with the horizon, and your fingers are stacked on top of each other. Each finger represents around 15 minutes of sunlight before the sun sets behind the ...


5

I would take two things into consideration, or rather mention two things that are in consideration: Providing a pleasant, agreeable, and accommodating-as-possible response to someone who is suffering. Doing what will provide the best chances of saving a person's life. American culture at least is squeamish about violating principle #1, enough so that ...


4

An additional point that hasn't been mentioned, is when you camp next to a creek or stream the water level can quickly change, sometimes by quite a bit. It can be sunny where you are camped but heavy rain miles upstream from you, and the raising water level could wash away half of your camp while you sleep.


4

There are a couple of reasons for this, as I understand it: Your wastes (soap, Giardia in your poop, DEET, ...) will contaminate the water. Lakeshores in high-altitude areas tend to be very delicate. People do a lot of ecological damage by pitching their tents right there. Unlike high-altitude areas in the Alps, the ones in the western US do not have huts, ...


4

Species in the forest will vary by locale. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Thimbleberry aka Salmonberry leaves are thick and soft, so they make a good wiping implement. The subtly-named How to Shit in the Woods is a good primer on this topic. One option described there is to use urine. Basically, you hold back the urine until you're done with the bowel ...


4

In general, anything out of the ordinary can get the attention of a search party or whomever. During the day, a smoky fire is more visible than a bright one. Build the fire, then add wet material to make smoke. Be sure to read the Wikipedia article on distress signals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distress_signal Before going in to the wilderness, make a ...


4

You have heard both answers because both are right depending on the area and ecosystem. Established trails: If there is an established trail going where you need to go, you should stay on it. Even to the point that in a mucky area stay in the tread, rather than create a new trail beside it which might be dry for a while, but will eventually become a new ...


3

Peručica forest in Bosnia might almost fit the definition. Native Tree Society BBS Peručica forest forum post In the National Park »Sutjeska« (17,250 ha) the strict forest reserve »Perućica« (1,434 ha) is located. Sutjeska can be found in the southern Dinaric Mountains in Bosnia and Herzegovina, near the border with Montenegro. In this mountainous ...


3

The USGS Fort Collins Science Center published the following map of the conterminous United States in 2005: It has been published as a factsheet with a PDF (that can be zoomed for more detail): Watts, R.D., R.W. Compton, J.H. McCammon, C.L. Rich, and S.M. Wright. 2005. Distance to the nearest road in the conterminous United States: U.S. Geological Survey ...


3

That's actually a very difficult question to answer, since there's a lot of ambiguity about what's a "road," etc. Some geographers in Alaska tried to tackle a similar question here, in an Alaska Dispatch article.


3

Unless it is in a national park/forest or private property you should be able to go where you want. I have never been bothered as long as I was in a public area. They require wilderness permits in national parks to protect the wilderness and know if someone might be in trouble. If you don't show up on time they can send S&R in after you. If you are ...


3

When building a fire in any weather condition you need some kind of starter. If you are expecting to experience wet conditions a great planning step is to store some starter in a waterproof location. If you don't have any household material, then gathering kindling and storing that will work. When backpacking I keep a small water-proof cylinder with a ...


2

I never tried, but one option I read about is to tie a transparent plastic bag around a branch of a large leaf tree, and let water condensation from the plant to stick to the inner wall of the bag. Cut a small hole in the bag and let the liquid drip out. An alternative is to dig a hole, put anything having a water content in it, add a cup at the bottom of ...


2

As with all fires, you need more tinder and kindling than you think. In dry conditions I once heard the advice of "get as much as you think you need, then double it". In wet conditions, I'd suggest you triple/quadruple the amount of kindling and triple the tinder. Specifically, take the tinder and get it out of the rain as soon in your firewood gathering ...


2

If you want to store your hiking poles on the outside of your pack I find a carabiner works quite well as a stirrup for holding the lower parts of the poles. I also put a lot of my loose items on one in the top pouch of my pack including, headlamp, lighter (on a keychain ring), multi-tool, flashlight, keys, etc. Easier to add/remove items than on those ...


2

Ukrainian Gorgany. One of the most wild places in Europe. Mieczysław Orłowicz has written almost 100 year ago about one of the peaks, Popadia, that from there no place inhabited by men is to be seen. According to people that were there, this sentence is still true. You will not see any artificial lights from houses, streets or cars. Unfortunately, I ...


2

Perhaps my favourite wilderness like place, Dartmoor, fits the bill relatively well. It's in the South West of the UK, in Devon. Generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable Well, how far back are you talking? Technically speaking, thousands of years ago Dartmoor ...


2

Any Wilderness Areas. Seriously. The legal mandates for designating "Wilderness" in the US (as defined by congress) have very rigorous criteria established by each of the major land agencies. Take a look a the Forest Service process for an example. Size, lack of roads, lack of altering (logging, invasive plants), opportunities for solitude are all defined ...


1

How severe? If he has passed through the shivering stage, you are probably going to lose him unless you can get an external source of heat. If he's at the 'umbles' stage then food, hot drinks, and keep moving it possible is a better course of action. If you have him warm enough that he has become lucid, then let him sleep. Hypothermia beyond mild cases ...


1

You say you go to wild places to get away from trails, but that is actually the root problem. One purpose of trails is to funnel all the human use to narrow areas to minimize the overall damage. Lots of places have policies that you need to stay on the trail for this reason. This is especially important in high use or fragile areas. Examples of the ...



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