Wilderness Survival Skills
Wilderness travel can be a complicated business because of all the variables of terrain, weather, snow, water, and vegetation. By putting the information in this chapter into practice, you can learn to travel safely and efficiently through some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on earth. Combine this information with the advice in earlier chapters on navigation, camping, food, clothing, and equipment, and you should be ready for the wilderness.
Getting from the car to the mountain is another. Wilderness travel is the art of getting there across streams, around brush, along trails, and over snow. fiord, tough wilderness travel may lie ahead. The techniques of muddling through brush are not as glamorous as fifth-class rock climbing, but many a peak has been lost in thickets of slide alder. The biggest barriers on the way to a mountaintop often appear below snow line. Learn the skills of wilderness travel and you open the gateway to the summit.
In packing for a wilderness trip, it's a simple matter of take it or leave it. The idea is to take what you need and to leave the rest at home. With thousands of choices widely available in outdoor clothing and equipment, it's no longer a question of how to find what you need, but rather of limiting your load to just the items that will keep you safe, dry, and comfortable. This chapter is one useful source of information on basic wilderness gear, including guidelines on what constitutes good equipment. It won't tell you what brands to purchase, but it will help you find high-quality items among those thousands of choices.
Groups of two or more rarely become dangerously lost, even if they have no wilderness experience. The real danger comes to an individual who is separated from the rest of the party. For this reason, always try to keep everyone together, and assign a rear guard to keep track of the stragglers.
Consider this a language lesson, but in a language quite easy to learn and one that pays immediate rewards to any wilderness traveler. Some of this language is in words, but most of it is in the This is only the start of the picture that contour lines paint of your actual wilderness route. They also show cliffs, passes, summits and other features (fig. 4-1). You will get better and better at interpreting these lines by comparing actual terrain with its representation on the map (fig. 4-2). The goal is to someday glance at a topographic map and realize you have a rather sharp mental image of just what the place will look like. The following listing shows the main features sketched by contour lines. because topographic maps are not revised very often and information on forests and on roads and other manufactured features could be out of date. A forest may have been logged or a road either extended or closed since the last updating. Although topographic maps are essential to wilderness...
You will find detailed information throughout this entire book on dealing with objective hazards, especially in the chapters on wilderness travel and on the various types of climbing rock, snow, ice, winter, and aid. They spell out ways to confront objective hazards ranging from fearsome exposure and rotten rock to avalanches and steep snow slopes with poor runout. They give advice on avoiding rockfall, icefall, cornices, crevasses, and other environmental dangers.
Navigation is the science of determining the location of your objective and of keeping yourself pointed in the right direction all the way from your starting point to the destination. Like orientation, this takes map and compass and is a required skill for all wilderness travelers.
It's a mistake, however, to believe that a larger party is always a safer party. A larger party can start bigger avalanches and kick down more loose rock. It will generally be slower and more unwieldy, both in camping and climbing. A party of ten to twelve is considered the largest that can impose itself on the wilderness without serious damage to the ecosystem and even this is too large a group for some areas.
East of the zero-declination line, the declination is subtracted from the magnetic bearing. In Maine, for example, the magnetic bearing is 20 degrees greater than the true bearing. Subtracting the declination of 20 degrees gives a wilderness traveler in Maine the true bearing. This is all very simple in theory but can be confusing in practice, and the wilderness is no place to practice mental arithmetic that can have life-and-death consequences. A more practical way to handle the minor complication of declination is to pay somewhat more for your compass and get one with an adjustable declination arrow instead of a fixed orienting arrow. The declination arrow can be easily set for any declination. Then the bearing you read at the index line will automatically be the true bearing, and concern about a declination error is one worry you can leave at home.
Stoves are now a necessity for backcountry travelers because many camping areas no longer have enough firewood, and others have banned natural-fuel fires. Stoves have a minimal impact on the wilderness and can be used in a variety of conditions. The disposable butane cartridges cannot be refilled. Therefore, you may end up leaving home with a cartridge that is only half full becausc it was already used on an earlier trip. The cartridges are bulky, and all too frequently the spent canisters arc found discarded in the wilderness. Pack them out. Another drawback is that the maximum intensity of the flame declines as the fuel is used up (and the pressure in the cartridge drops correspondingly). This problem is partly compensated for at higher elevations, where lower atmospheric pressure means the interior cartridge pressure is relatively higher. Some cartridges cannot be changed until they are empty. Always change cartridges outside your tent because residual fuel in spent canisters can...
The most valuable technique in wilderness hiking is setting the right pace. A very important way of controlling your pace is the rest step (fig. 5-1), used whenever legs or lungs need a little time to recuperate between steps on steep slopes. Once you learn it, you'll use it often.
Mountaineering is more than climbing, panoramic views, and wilderness experience. It is also challenge, risk, and hardship. And it is not for everyone. Those drawn to the mountains can find them exhilarating and irresistible, as well as frustrating and sometimes even deadly. There are qualities to mountaineering that inspire us and bring us to revel in a pursuit that is more than a pastime, more than a sport a passion, certainly, and sometimes a compulsion.
Mountaineers use them to package food, as emergency mini-tents, and sometimes to keep the water away from their feet. Keep a heavy-duty plastic bag on hand to carry the garbage. The old rule about food containers is that if you can carry it into the wilderness full, you can carry it out empty. Mountaineers clean up every bit of their garbage (yes, even aluminum-foil flecks from a campfire) and often pack out anything they find in camp or on the trail, no matter who left it. Never bury garbage or dump it in latrines. The golden rule of camping Leave the campsite cleaner than you found it.
Of your wilderness destination, but a great deal about how to get there. The information is acces Prepare for each trip as if you were going to lead it, even if you aren't. Each person in a climbing group needs to know wilderness navigation and must keep track of where the party has been, where it is, and where it's going. In case of emergency, each climber must be able to get back alone.
Mountain climbers don't always set up camp in the most comfortable places. They may walk right past an idyllic spot in the forest in favor of a windy mountain ledge because that puts them closer to the summit. What other reasons might there be for picking a particular campsite Because it's comfortable Scenic Environmentally sound Sometimes you can have it all, but at other times you need to give a little to help preserve the wilderness. Let's look at camps from the standpoint of the wilderness to see which sites are least damaging to the environment. From best to worst, they are
The entire western half of Canada contains range after range of wilderness peaks, starting with the great massifs of Mount Logan and Mount St. Elias in the north, with their Denali-like climbing and scale, and extending south to the Coast Range and Mount Waddington, five hundred miles north of Vancouver. All of these remote ranges are heavily glaciated and offer major wilderness ice adventures to those willing to make the discovery on their own. In the winter months the mountains of Vancouver Island provide more accessible but still very exciting and little-known Scottish-type climbing on the rimed-up, 3,000-foot cliffs of Mount Colonel Foster and other peaks.
Freedom characteristically describes not just simple climbing but wilderness mountaineering. Any person who becomes a wilderness mountaineer has a deep and abiding responsibility to help preserve the wilderness environment for present and future generations. Walking softly is a fair start. The mountain regions throughout the world constitute the domain of mountaineering. This dwindling and finite resource depends on the wilderness traveler for its future preservation.
If the swimmer must release the rope at any time, he will have to rely on his own water survival skills and swimming ability to get to shore. A PFD will greatly increase his own personal safety. A PFD may also be used by the last man across, as he will release the rope from the anchor and be belayed across as the first man
Besides advanced techniques, wider aspects of mountaineering safety are not covered like the most common way to die in the wilderness, hypothermia. the Mountain Climbing school Manual introduces only a single aspect of climbing safety, mountaineering techniques. prospective mountaineers should expect years of learning subjects like alpine weather, snow and rock conditions, route finding and first aid. ANd THEN THERE IS EQUIPMENT THAT SHOULd bE ON ANy TRIP INTO THE WILdERNESS, SOMETIMES CALLEd THE TEN ESSENTIALS, ALTHOUCH bOTH THE EXACT NUMbEr ANd THE ITEMS THEMSELVES VAry
If the need arises to implement survival skills in a semi-permissive or non-permissive environment the Marine must be able to utilize basic skills, as referenced in the Marine Battle Skills Handbook Pvt - Lcpl, in order to avoid making contact with hostile personnel. Unfortunately, the enemy will not consider your MOS when deciding whether or not you should be captured or killed. It is imperative that every Marine live up to statement - every Marine is a basic rifleman. To discuss every possible survival scenario and enemy situation would be pointless. The following outline is to be utilized as a guide. Common sense and survival skills, along with these considerations, will increase your chances of avoiding capture or possible death.