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Geocachers as search-party volunteers?


Sparrowhawk
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HERE is a thought... since we are experienced searchers in remote areas, how about those geocachers who are organized in local groups have a declared, volunteer "search team" for finding missing hikers/children etc.?

 

For a subgroup like that, it would be kinda cool to play games practice finding "lost" folks ahead of time.

 

Just send out a volunteer into the wilderness maybe 10 hours ahead of the searchers. That guy then happily turns himself into a temporary cache for others to find. Volunteer must be certified as not be a possible Darwin Award applicant. icon_wink.gif

 

Even if a well-practiced bunch of geo-searchers is never called upon to find any poor, lost 5-year olds in a deep dark forest, it would be cool to do this kind of thing just for game value of it, one would think. Can our volunteer "human cache" outwit the searchers, hmmmmm? icon_smile.gif

 

Does this already exist as a geo-game? How about the idea of doing this as prep for a real search, probably someday?

 

Hey, it would be cool to have the practice, at least! And I absolutely would LOVE to read the stories from the human-geocache searches!!! icon_biggrin.gif

 

-Elana (a.k.a. "Sparrowhawk")

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...a geocache has a known location (or at least a long/lat that gets you pretty darn close), whereas someone lost in the boonies would not.

 

I appreciate the noble intent, but I don't see how a group of people adept at using GPSrs when hunting published (and stationary) caches would be of any real benefit in mounting a search of this type ...aside from perhaps being able to accurately define a search area 'in the field' and helping augment those who 'walk the grid'.

 

ontario1.gif

 

[This message was edited by Cache Canucks on January 14, 2003 at 12:49 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by Cache Canucks:

...a geocache has a known location (or at least a long/lat that gets you pretty darn close), whereas someone lost in the boonies would not.


 

I think you may not fully understand how a GPS and related maps come into play in a search. The GPSr cannot be used to pinpoint a lost persons position. It is used to locate probable areas to search, to assign search grids to assure all areas are covered and by who and to keep the searchers on track and assure a complete search. The mapping capabilities that most of us have is a giant plus also. I think it is a grand Idea.

 

________________________________________________________________________

Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you'll be a mile from them, and you'll have their shoes.

15777_2200.gif

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but I seem to recall the few stories about lost people that start out: "they were able to report their lat/lon with a GPSr..." usually end with ".. and rescuers were able to home in on their position quickly"

 

Nonetheless, volunteering to help search is a good idea. And if you get lost while searching, you can call in your position from your GPSr icon_wink.gif (or I suppose follow your traces back or go to your parking waypoint)

 

migo_sig_logo.jpg

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quote:
Originally posted by BrownMule:

quote:
Originally posted by Cache Canucks:

...a geocache has a known location (or at least a long/lat that gets you pretty darn close), whereas someone lost in the boonies would not.


 

I think you may not fully understand how a GPS and related maps come into play in a search. The GPSr cannot be used to pinpoint a lost persons position. It is used to locate probable areas to search, to assign search grids to assure all areas are covered and by who and to keep the searchers on track and assure a complete search. The mapping capabilities that most of us have is a giant plus also. I think it is a grand Idea

 


 

I thought that when I wrote:

 

"...aside from perhaps being able to accurately define a search area 'in the field' and helping augment those who 'walk the grid'..."

 

...I pretty much covered that.

 

ontario1.gif

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I have to agree with Cache Canucks. While your idea or intent is a good one, there is a lot more to searching than just being able to navigate with a GPS. I don't know what it is like in the USA but here in Canada you will not be accepted as part of a search team unless you have taken the rest of the training associated with it. The units are very proud of their skills and capabilities and go to great lengths to ensure that everyone is competant in all aspects of search and rescue. You would have to take all the courses - starting with SAR Fundamentals - and prove that you are capable and dedicated.

 

Gerry

 

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TrollGRG

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One of the local (Missoula, MT) cachers is a SAR volunteer, and at one of our first caches we found a business card from someone who does SAR who wanted interested cachers to contact them. Cachers could be a good resource if you need people who have been into certain areas and have the ability to read maps and the such. Not all cachers would qualify, and not all would want to, but if they get a few more volunteers who are also cachers, it can't hurt.

-Jennifer

 

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. (JM Barrie)

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quote:
Originally posted by Sparrowhawk:

HERE is a thought... since we are experienced searchers in remote areas, how about those geocachers who are organized in local groups have a declared, volunteer "search team" for finding missing hikers/children etc.?

 


 

I don't know about the rest of the country, but around here, when someone in our area is lost or declared missing, if 100 volunteers show up, they all get to search. It doesn't matter if you've had training or not, everyone searches. The SAR people run the show, but everyone searches.

 

So, Sparrowhawk, I like your idea. Imagine if a couple of dozen cachers from the local group showed up to hunt right alongside parks people.

 

geospotter

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I believe the overall idea is that generally speaking, we're familiar with GPS, maps, and the upper echelons of orienteering. Most people don't have these skills. Sometimes when you don't know exactly where someone else is...the best thing is to know exactly were YOU are. I think it's a great idea. Perhaps someone should organize it as a game and see where it goes. If we have success...who know then. Civil Air Patrol would be more than interested in the help, I'm sure. Happy hunting.

 

"Not all who wander are lost..." -Tolkien

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I agree with the Canucks that SAR work is something only for those with training. An untrained searcher can do do more harm than good, obliterating clues and wasting the time of trained searchers who must take charge of them. By all means, if you really mean it, volunteer with your local SAR unit, but be prepared for a major commitment of time and effort. You can find links to your local SAR unit in the US through www.nasar.org .

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Well, training for that thing IS essential. I'm just saying that it has potential because of the fact that most of us are excellent navigators. Geocaching isn't what we'd call a "stupid" sport. It requires a certain level of proficency. There are organizations to whom your skills would be helpful though. One of them being Civil Air Patrol.

 

"Not all who wander are lost..." -Tolkien

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quote:
Originally posted by jonboy:

I agree with the Canucks that SAR work is something only for those with training. http://www.nasar.org .


 

This kind of work is not for the ordinary Cacher.

But individuals trained for this kind of work.

Here is an example of what is involved.

Check out the mission on Feb 27, 2000 at Round Mountain.

 

And here are the coordinates for the area:

N 40°24.788' W105°17.465' Its rather tough country, there is a Cache up there (GC28FE) and it was only ever attempted twice. Someday I'll get back up there and replant it.

 

http://www.fortnet.org/LCSAR/

http://www.fortnet.org/LCSAR/Missions/Missions2000.htm

 

Tahosa - Dweller of the Mountain Tops.

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A coworker of mine has just started with a local volunteer search&rescue operation. They give a lot of training, etc. and for someone with the time to really invest in becoming skilled in a variety of areas, I think it'd be a great "companion" activity to geocaching, in that you learn some survival skills and whatnot along the way.

 

Probably not very appropriate for a bunch of cachers with no training to show up with GPSr and use up the time of the volunteer organizers, only those serious about it with enough time to invest in the very serious, life-and-death activity.

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The problem is that the geocachers would have to leave someone to replace the person they brought back...

_______________

Very funny!

 

on a more serious note...a good friend of mine has join the SAR for Snohomish County, Washington. He had to go through several months of training to get accepted. These guys are really well trained to do a variety of rescue-related procedures. I'm glad I have him for a hiking/mountaineering partner.

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What a cop out. How did you get trained? Somewhere between being born butt naked and being a trained professinal, someone taught you. Maybe because you were interested.

 

Don't think what you know is special. It's not. A little time and training and more than a few garden variety geocachers would be able to become SAR legends. If they so choose to show an interest.

 

Wherever you go there you are.

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