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18986Re: [Hammock Camping] Re: Orange trash bags.

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  • Linda Ellis
    Apr 21, 2008
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      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Mark A. Andrews N4FH@...

      Sometimes being highly visible is not a good thing. Sometimes others
      don't want to see you and sometimes you don't want to be seen.
      AND SOMETIMES YOU VERY MUCH WANT TO BE SEEN! FYI, we have the $1.oo poncho - several of them, in fact. We also have better nylon ponchos which accommodate backpacks under them and can be used as a ground cover or a rainfly. All of these things have their place.
      So do orange trash bags. Please go back and carefully read this discussion. I have pointed out that, IN AN EMERGENCY, an orange trash bag can be used to signal for help! Don't the Scouts teach you to be prepared for emergencies? Don't they teach to have more than one way to do signal? One of the "how to survive" videos we watched went into great detail about the value of that orange trash bag. They demonstrated its use as an EMERGENCY rainfly: an EMERGENCY way to collect water; and EMERGENCY rain poncho; and two ways to use it to signal in the event of an EMERGENCY.
      BTW, they also pointed out that you should carry the bare essentials on your body, not in your pack, no matter what. Packs fall into ravines, or can be stolen or carted off by animals. Pockets stuffed with some lengths of rope, a pocketknife, basic first aid kit, an energy bar or two, and a multipurpose garbage bag can mean the difference between life and death.
      Do you carry a full pack with your hammock, rainfly, a ground tarp, a rain cover for your gear bag, your mess kit, your first aid kit, your machete, shovel, and axe, your four-inch fixed-blade knife AND your compact folding knife when you leave your set camp for a morning walk?
      Of course not. But you should always have some basics with you. There are numerous books and videos on the subject of what to carry ALL THE TIME. There are also numerous books on what has happened to people who went out unprepared. Though I don't remember where it was, there was a Scout troop that hiked in a short distance for one of their campouts - not a big deal. One Scout got lost on the way back to the vehicles, and was not found for weeks.
      Last year, we took two hikes that convinced us to always carry basic supplies. One was about a one-hour hike on a wide, mulched trail in a nearby State Park. Both my husband and I have a really good inate sense of direction, but when we came out the trail at the other end, we realized that our "sense" was off - we weren't where we thought we would be.
      A few months later, different State Park, different trail. Short leg into the main trail. Map showed a simple loop. Picture a "Q" and you have a good idea what the map looked like. But, there was another trail that veered off in another direction BEFORE we hit the exit leg. Made the expected left turn, and ended up coming out in a different parking lot, some distance from our vehicle.
      That second trail also wasn't so well-groomed, with lots of rough terrain and fallen branches. It would have been very easy to twist or break an ankle, if we weren't concentrating.
      My sister-in-law, who is an avid hiker and camper (trained for 18 months to do the Grand Canyon floor hike) went out with friends last summer, on a hike that was expected to take a couple of hours. Though they were all experienced hikers and had a map, they somehow lost the trail, and it took all day to return to their camp. Monica started taking inventory of the gear they had between them, andrealized that over the years she has gotten lax in her prep. She knew that if one of them had an accident, they were in serious trouble.
      In these cases, I WANT to be VERY VISIBLE. Even though we don't hike in designated hunting areas, I also want to be VERY VISIBLE during hunting season, as it's my opinion that one shouldn't "expect" everyone else to be as obedient about rules as we try to be.
      Maybe you should counsel your troop that sometimes it's good to blend into the environment, but there are sure times when you want to stick out as big and visible as possible - and you should be prepared at all times for either situation. That orange trash bag does that, don't you think? You can wear all the khaki and camo that you want, to blend in as long as the situation is "normal." A plastic garbage bag or two tucked into a pocket is not visible when it's not in use, but becomes very visible when you need to be seen! And if you never need it for an EMERGENCY, it's still a garbage bag!

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