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  1. #51
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Its a perfect example of Charles Darwins natural selection theory, people just arnt used to hearing it in relation to grown humans, its harsh but true.
    Besides the fact that this is simply tasteless to say in this situation, it is also bad example, as he already has 4 kids.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  2. #52
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    It sounds to me like the time to start planning for his rescue was when he first left the house.

    The story is sad, I don't wish that on any family. I do hope it serves as a reminder that you need to take preparation seriously. It is easy to dismiss this one as shear stupidity, because this guy did pretty much EVERYTHING wrong, but I see people cut corners all the time in preparation that could cost them there lives.

    It is an odds game. Chances are very high that all the crap I carry around with me, while saving me from some hurt and suffering on very rare occasion, will NEVER actually save my life. But it is a risk that I see no point in exposing myself or my family to.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  3. #53
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    This thread should be locked... A guy died and all people have to say is what ( they ) would do or how he didn't prepare enough....common guys none of us were there be adults and if you don't have anything positive to say then shut the f up..... Stuff happens you don't know what happened so don't assume the worst....

    My regards to to his family real shame 4 kids lost a dad....

  4. #54
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    Re: mountain biker froze to death, sad story

    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    i've read this thread with great interest since i often do moderately long solo night rides in areas not far from san francisco that aren't used much after dark. you all make good points, especially when it comes to telling someone where you're going and plan to come back. but when it comes to this sad story, two things jump out at me right away:

    "Marin was wearing only a thin shirt that he had recently purchased and cycling shorts. He ignored his wife’s advice to bring food."

    and then this:

    "Sheriff's Lt. Zach Hall said ideally, the department would have sent a helicopter to follow the approximately 53-mile route that Marin, 34, had planned to follow along Skyline Trail, Main Divide Road and Indian Truck Trail."

    you planned on riding a FIFTY THREE MILE LOOP in questionable weather conditions wearing only a jersey and shorts with no food?

    how many of you can ride fifty miles without eating anything?

    i know i can't.

    the SARS team has much more experience at their jobs than i or almost any of us ever will. i think they made the right decision.

    i won't say more.
    QFE


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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    I doubt they will be reading this, i did actually think of that as i wrote it, but i understand what your saying, cheers
    Thanks for that.

    I think you might be surprised where family members end up online, digging for remembrances about a loved one. I've seen it commonly on climbing web sites where a relative joins the conversation about a fallen athlete. Words written on the net are immortal. Four kids will certainly, in time, want to know more about the dad they lost.

    *****

    I wrote this on another web site:

    I'm still baffled that, apparently, so few solo riders have taken advantage of the dedicated NOAA sat frequency for PLBs. You spend < 300 on a beacon, register online and you're set (in two years you'll be asked to confirm/update your reg info). The registration info includes two contact personnel. In emergency, you activate it and it sends your location to whatever emergency services cover that area. The agency can then get in touch with the registered contacts...Three bills is a no-brainer expenditure for what a beacon can do. If you can afford a decent MTB, you can afford a beacon.

    PLBs and Satellite Messengers: How to Choose

    I pack my PLB every solo ride, along with a few emergency items in case of forced bivy. A Bic lighter has turned numerous grim nights on climbing missions into mere annoyances. A spare dry layer and small light are always on board as well.

    Mike

  6. #56
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    Its a bummer that the dude died, however you have to place blame on him. people on this forum will learn from this mistake and hope this will save a life.

    I do not see anyone bashing this guy, sometimes the truth hurts that it was not a smart thing to do.
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  7. #57
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    This tragic story had me googling SAR.
    I found this on the first page.
    SMSR - Welcome to the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Website
    "Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - anywhere, any time, any weather"

    I found the one related to this sad story with their entry posted on the website:
    Mission 2014-006

    More googling:
    According to these, the route was 18 miles.
    CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST: Mountain biker found dead (UPDATED)
    Mountain Biker Who Got Lost in Cleveland National Forest Found Dead - Police & Fire - Lake Elsinore-Wildomar, CA Patch
    If you can't play, display.

  8. #58
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    The volunteers who found him didn't rescue him any better than the SAR team did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  9. #59
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    Anybody who thinks the SAR team didn't do their "job" properly should read this:
    "All of the Team members are unpaid volunteers who make themselves available regardless of the time of the day, job and personal commitments, or the weather. In a typical year the average Team member will contribute almost 1000 hours to the Team. New members typically spend over $3,000 of their own money on personal equipment when they first join the Team, and personal expenses continue as equipment is used and must be replaced."

    They stopped doing their "jobs" to go out and try to rescue this fellow. When was the last time you did that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  10. #60
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    why should this thread be locked?

    why should we as the mountain biking community not express our condolences while reaffirming the need to be prepared for anything on every ride, no matter how short...or long.

    sometimes a positive will arise out of something negative. i would assume due to this incident, those responsible for SAR in the area will re evaluate their procedures...even though i think they made the correct decision...and many mountain bikers will take a little time to think about preparedness.

    don't forget, njhardrock that our sport is inherently dangerous.

  11. #61
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    Living in Orange County I know that route very well. In fact many of us snow ride up there. He rode by more than a few bailouts and did not take them. Since it is a ridgeline route the clouds would have seeing very far tough leading to his confusion on where he was. He continued to ride his bike proofing that a quad or moto could also have been used to find him. A moto can cover the whole length of the Main Divide in about 40 minutes. Motos sneak around the gates and ride out there all the time knowing that they won't get busted on the illegal stuff because the Forest Service or Sherriff is not out there in bad weather. I wonder at what point his wife knew that SAR was not going out that night. Believe me I have a handful of friends with motos that would have been to me in a hour if the call went to them. This proofs to me 911 should be the second call. These rescues are time sensitive and delays but people at risk.

    Yes he made mistakes, so do people when they leave food on the stove and go to bed and it catches fire. Point is rescue workers are used to assessing risk and I don't think the risks where that high in this case. SAR week sauce.

    Dean Stepper
    Laguna Beach CA

  12. #62
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    I wonder if the sars are donut eating cops or people in good shape. Prolly some of each.
    I got cold and lost at Oak Mtn one winter night. Freaked me out but made it down. Was trying to get a whole loop starting late. Called a ranger who said" How would I how you get out we have a hundred miles of trails."
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    Thanks for that.

    I think you might be surprised where family members end up online, digging for remembrances about a loved one. I've seen it commonly on climbing web sites where a relative joins the conversation about a fallen athlete. Words written on the net are immortal. Four kids will certainly, in time, want to know more about the dad they lost.

    *****

    I wrote this on another web site:

    I'm still baffled that, apparently, so few solo riders have taken advantage of the dedicated NOAA sat frequency for PLBs. You spend < 300 on a beacon, register online and you're set (in two years you'll be asked to confirm/update your reg info). The registration info includes two contact personnel. In emergency, you activate it and it sends your location to whatever emergency services cover that area. The agency can then get in touch with the registered contacts...Three bills is a no-brainer expenditure for what a beacon can do. If you can afford a decent MTB, you can afford a beacon.

    PLBs and Satellite Messengers: How to Choose

    I pack my PLB every solo ride, along with a few emergency items in case of forced bivy. A Bic lighter has turned numerous grim nights on climbing missions into mere annoyances. A spare dry layer and small light are always on board as well.

    Mike
    You make some good points, i was a bit insensitive, apologies to his kids or family if they ever read this and all the power to them, cheers
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamwa View Post
    I wonder if the sars are donut eating cops or people in good shape.
    In Riverside county they are volunteers. That may have been part of the problem.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstepper View Post
    In Riverside county they are volunteers. That may have been part of the problem.
    For every person they save, they are also part of the solution. It's a double edged sword.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstepper View Post
    In Riverside county they are volunteers. That may have been part of the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
    For every person they save, they are also part of the solution. It's a double edged sword.
    They are [civilian] volunteers most places. They also receive training. IME they don't let just anyone sign up and go at it with out making sure they know what they are doing.

    In this case it sounds like it was a SAR team organized by the Sheriff's department, where the team likely got orders from the Sheriff/County Officials.
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  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstepper View Post
    In Riverside county they are volunteers. That may have been part of the problem.
    Just because someone is a volunteer it means they aren't trained and capable of doing the job. Volunteer = don't get paid. Don't assume any more than that. The VAST majority of wilderness SAR in the western US is done by volunteers. There are VERY few paid personnel. The local county Sheriff has the legal responsibility to respond to wilderness SAR incidents. Official SAR teams have an affiliation with the Sheriff as a result. The Sheriff may also have 4x4 teams, mounted posses, communication units, and other groups that participate as well. Typically the Sheriff will have a sworn deputy (Sgt., Lt. or similar) as the Incident Commander, but most of the key operations, planning and related functions are performed by experienced volunteers who are trained and have the skills to do the job. Remember, a professional is not solely defined as someone who gets paid to do a job.

    It is not unusual for mountain SAR teams to be made up of extremely experienced personnel. This includes all-season mountaineering experience in places like AK, Canada, Asia, etc., long distance hiking (18-20 miles a day with 30+ lb packs), 50+ mile MTB rides, trail running, etc. Operating on a field crew on a SAR operation requires significant fitness levels and team members work hard to maintain that fitness. Remember that once you find someone you have to be prepared to treat and stabilize them and then get them out. This is all while keeping yourself and your teammates safe as well.

    Does this mean that there aren't some people who aren't as fit? Absolutely! I have seen plenty of paid professional first responders that struggle to deal with wilderness SAR situations if the call can't be handled by a helicopter or is more than a couple miles beyond road access.

    I wasn't there and was not privy to the factors the incident commander used to make a decision to wait to deploy field crews so I won't critique the response on a public forum.

    This has been a very sad situation and nothing can make the family whole. What we can do is make sure it doesn't happen again. Your local SAR team is probably looking for the skilled, fit and motivated team member YOU could be. Don't just be a Monday morning QB. Do something to make a difference for ANYONE that may need help in the future or at a minimum, make sure you are prepared and avoid needing SAR help at all. The best incident is the one that never happens.
    Last edited by mtnrsq; 03-10-2014 at 10:46 AM. Reason: fixing some issues due to my computer freezing during my post

  18. #68
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    Definitely a wake up call for me. I've never had any major close calls, but it only takes once. It's also another reason I use strava. I post up when finished so my wife knows I've completed my ride and am headed home. As in most tragic accidents, one bad decision leads to another. This loss for his family will probably lead to others being more prepared.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    you're right...some of them are scout troops.

    Search and Rescue Merit Badge and Worksheet
    I try to learn something new everyday, and you provided. I am an adult leader in all three of our scout units (pack, troop, venture crew), and had no idea that troops can serve in SAR capacity. I suppose it makes sense, they can be tasked to cover safe ground. We once sent our older boys to Tn to help the grandparents of one of the boys who had lost their house in a tornado. Not SAR, but tons of debris to remove with nails, glass, etc.

    My experience with SAR teams has been limited to rescues in terrain that required abseiling, or steep trail terrain. Everyone I've met was a certified abseil instructor, and a few certified SAR instructor. Most have day jobs with a fire or police department, quite a few are military past or present, but some have regular jobs. I suppose this can vary from place to place, but I still consider SAR teams to be comprised of people that are professional in their SAR abilities.

    Same goes for the scouts. As an adult leader that is active in running outings, I receive regular training in basic first aid, wilderness first aid, CPR, abseiling, determining safe conditions and weather, etc. as I must be trusted to make the right call for any event we participate in. The BSA has us leaning well towards the side of safety. If they are using scouts, I would trust that the SAR coordinator has made a good judgement call on the conditions in regards to who he is letting perform a search, and any scout troop will have adult leaders with them while conducting a search that agrees with the SAR coordinator assessment.

    That said, earning the SAR merit badge does not require participation in a SAR event or association with a SAR team. Like many merit badges, it requires the scout to focus on the basic fundamentals of how a SAR team works and to learn basics that help a SAR team member be a safe and efficient component in a rescue.

    Moving on, I remember way back in the day, as a fresh young Marine, going out and doing hundred milers on the hot N.C. coastal tarmac with very little to eat, just a few bananas and maybe two or three dollars for a gas station stop. I would tank up well at the chow hall first, but I have no idea how I did that. I don't think, though, that I could have done that on a mountain bike on a soft trail. Even if the trail was very improved, (smooth, rolling) it would have been a hard push to do that distance with no food, even with 60-70 psi.

    Ah, space blankets! I always have one in my bag, even in the summer. It's amazing how close you can be to civilization, but yet so far. I've stopped to take a break for as as long as an hour on popular trails in one of our metro parks, and didn't have a single soul pass by. Traffic depends on the day. Many parts of the trails you can see housing and roads, but cannot be seen or heard. All it takes is damaging the bike and breaking a leg or ankle and you can't get out. Make that phone call if you can, but it will take about 30 minutes for the EMT's to arrive and organize their gear, and another hour or more to reach you by foot. Late in the afternoon, at the bottom of a run between ridges, temps will start dropping fast once the sun is below the ridge line. You are injured, low on energy, and now shivering. Your immune system is under attack. Even in surviving, your looking at a longer recovery than if you have been able to remain warm. Warm brings not only physical comfort, but also mental, and can help you think more clearly and make better decisions.

    Spare tubes, bike tool kit, phone or radio, energy bars, space blanket and 30ft paracord live in my seat pack.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    ....Spare tubes, bike tool kit, phone or radio, energy bars, space blanket and 30ft paracord live in my seat pack.
    And duct tape. And enough spare clothing to stay survivably warm. Include a fresh base layer to replace the wet one against your skin. If you're riding familiar trails in a group, less to worry about. If alone, be more concerned.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  21. #71
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    Tragic & Avoidable.


    Remember this sad story from a few years ago?
    another Mt biker dies on Porcupine Rim
    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    And duct tape. And enough spare clothing to stay survivably warm. Include a fresh base layer to replace the wet one against your skin. If you're riding familiar trails in a group, less to worry about. If alone, be more concerned.
    I agree... I should have clarified that the list was my base minimum for dry summer conditions. I have two sizes of seat packs to accomodate varying riding conditions, and also a seatpost rack with pannier bag for the occasional winter ride and every scout ride. In the big bag I can easily store extra thermal layers, rain gear, tent footprint to serve as a tarp, water bladder, etc, all inside a dry bag

    Forgot to mention I also always have my base medical kit: bandaids, mesh bandages, tape, iodine or equivalent, bush and bug allergy relief, finger splints, aspirin, ibuprofen, epi pen, and a few more items not in my brain at the moment. Some will view this as overkill, but having been involved in scouting for ten years so far, I tend to pack as if I'm at a scout event. It's probably a good thing as I often take my boys with me when I hit the trails, and they want to ride further each time we go.

  23. #73
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    If you are not going to be prepared for an emergency situation, at least be prepared for an emergency Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) | ACR ARTEX
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  24. #74
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    Kit for cold weather riding on long, remote rides (not including food, energy stuff and water):

    - Small first aid kit (tape, gauze pads, neosporin, butterfly & assorted bandages, ibuprofen, antacid)
    - iodine tablets
    - Lighter and small chunk of fire starter
    - Emergency blanket
    - Light rain shell
    - Two tire levers (Pedros)
    - Pump and CO2
    - Repair kit with multi tool, extra presta valve core, extra derailleur hanger, chain tool, 2 zip ties, super glue, patches
    - GPS (on iphone, I use Mountain Bike Pro because it has an offline map feature that will show you where you are even without cell signal)
    - Headlamp for emergency light source
    - Extra tube (I run tubeless and only carry the extra tube on long rides)

    All of this weighs a little over 3 lbs, not including pack of course. Not much weight.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    If you are not going to be prepared for an emergency situation, at least be prepared for an emergency Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) | ACR ARTEX
    A PLB wouldn't have changed anything, rain gear and a granola bar probably would have saved his life.

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    If you are not going to be prepared for an emergency situation, at least be prepared for an emergency Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) | ACR ARTEX
    A PLB or similar (SPOT, etc.) type device is wonderful to helping make the "search" part of SAR much simpler.

    It will not necessarily make the "rescue" part any easier. Bad weather, difficulty of access and/or evacuation, and other objective hazards may mean a rescue will still take hours.

    As others have noted, being prepared is the key and has to go beyond a cell phone or other emergency signaling device. You may be in pain or uncomfortable, but you will dramatically improve your odds of a positive outcome if you can stay warm, dry and hydrated. The converse is sadly true as well. Stack the odds in your favor.

    Other posters have mentioned bivy sacks and emergency blankets. One of the cheapest, easiest, lightest and functional pieces of emergency equipment you can carry is a large heavy duty trash bag. Tear a hole in it for your head and arms and put it on like a poncho and voila, you have a waterproof shelter that will cut the wind and keep the rain off. I have seen it contribute directly to the survival of victims that would not have made it otherwise.

  27. #77
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    Hypothermia can sneak up on you and by the time you have it you may not be able to reverse it on your own. There was an incident where 7 people were canoeing and they decided to jump in for a swim. When searchers found them they were all dead just floating in the water. Why did they not get out of the water? Once you have hypothermia you can actually start feeling warmer.

    Years back I was hunting all day from a treestand. When I got down and started warming up I could not stop shaking. It took about two hrs for me to stop shaking. I'm certain that if I had stayed there much longer I never would have left. My condolences to Mr Marin's family.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  28. #78
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    [QUOTE=RossJamis;11058215... There was an incident where 7 people were canoeing and they decided to jump in for a swim. When searchers found them they were all dead just floating in the water. Why did they not get out of the water? ...[/QUOTE]

    A dangerous scenario for water sports occurs in the spring: warm air, icy cold water. When you hit sufficiently cold water, there's a thermal shock that is immediately disabling, seriously reducing your ability to think straight or perform physically. Perhaps that is what happened in the incident you describe.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  29. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Njhardrock View Post
    This thread should be locked... A guy died and all people have to say is what ( they ) would do or how he didn't prepare enough....common guys none of us were there be adults and if you don't have anything positive to say then shut the f up..... Stuff happens you don't know what happened so don't assume the worst....

    My regards to to his family real shame 4 kids lost a dad....
    Ah .. but those reading this thread can learn from his mistakes to avoid the same possible fate should this happen to them.

    My cell phone is in a Mophie case .. flip the switch and it recharges my dead cell phone to full power for another 10 hours. Just an idea if anyone is interested.

  30. #80
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    Cell phones are great when they work but I have biked/hiked many areas where I could not get service. I think its really important to be able to keep yourself warm till you are found and that means food/shelter and a way to start a fire. I have a fire starter kit inside my seat tube on my bike.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    Cell phones are great when they work but I have biked/hiked many areas where I could not get service. I think its really important to be able to keep yourself warm till you are found and that means food/shelter and a way to start a fire. I have a fire starter kit inside my seat tube on my bike.
    Where I live .. plenty of towers so reception not much of a problem, but you are absolutely correct with what you have just in case for shelter, fire. I have the same packed away in a small backpack (and protection)

  32. #82
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    What I have found is even in areas where there are plenty of towers you can lose reception in small areas.. One place I always lose reception is actually right next to a cell phone tower. In a worse case scenario you could break a leg or otherwise be immobilized and not be able to traverse the distance to an area where your phone works. Its always best to plan for the worst. I would also strongly suggest that people practice making a fire in adverse conditions. You should be able to start a fire with matches and only stuff you can find on hand in the woods.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  33. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    You should be able to start a fire with matches and only stuff you can find on hand in the woods.
    Like magnesium pedals!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    I would also strongly suggest that people practice making a fire in adverse conditions. You should be able to start a fire with matches and only stuff you can find on hand in the woods.
    Matches fail too easily, especially if they get wet or even try to start a fire in rain. I have a *Blast Match* which is better.

  35. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris7047th View Post
    Matches fail too easily, especially if they get wet or even try to start a fire in rain. I have a *Blast Match* which is better.

    That's the point you need to be able to start a fire with minimal equipment. Then carry what works best. I've seen many people that could not start a fire with newspaper and dry firewood. If you can not start one and keep it going in favorable conditions you will not be able to do it when your life depends on it.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  36. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    That's the point you need to be able to start a fire with minimal equipment. Then carry what works best. I've seen many people that could not start a fire with newspaper and dry firewood. If you can not start one and keep it going in favorable conditions you will not be able to do it when your life depends on it.
    i always carry a lighter and some toilet paper with me...

  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    i always carry a lighter and some toilet paper with me...
    Save the TP for other purposes and go with clothes dryer lint .. you can compress quite a bit in a small plastic bag and it works better. Soak it in some vasoline.

  38. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Given his confused and disoriented state when he called his wife I wonder if he'd crashed and was suffering concussion symptoms. Hypothermia can cause similar symptoms though, so who's to say? That's the thing that a lot of people don't get about hypothermia is that it doesn't have to be that cold to die from it. 40-45 degrees F and wet for several hours is plenty cold to kill.

    Sad story. As one who also rides solo in remote locations (and has crashed and been disoriented from a concussion) it really made me take a little re-assessment of my preparedness level.

    I was riding a local loop recently and came off, falling fairly hard on my right side. There were no broken bones or anything, but the fall really messed me up.

    I was dressed for the cold weather, with a waterproof lined jacket and tights etc. but still got wet on my right side as I fell into a gully with standing water.
    I got back on the bike but I was shivering and suddenly felt cold. My arm hurt and I had to ride pretty much one handed.Fortunately I was near to home as I would not have liked to ride any distance in that state.

    I'm guessing this guy fell off, and ended up in a similar state. He stopped riding at his normal speed and got cold.

    It's really sad. But I'm surprised he went out so lightly dressed in those conditions.

  39. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    Cell phones are great when they work but I have biked/hiked many areas where I could not get service. I think its really important to be able to keep yourself warm till you are found and that means food/shelter and a way to start a fire. I have a fire starter kit inside my seat tube on my bike.
    Had a few pretty serious injuries myself MTBing over the years, had hiking buddies that have injured themselves and have come across several people on the trail with injuries.

    In my experience there is no one thing that puts someone in a life threatening situation, it's a catalogue of events and choices that lead up to that point.

    It's easy to sit here and imagine how we'd act under certain situations, in the real world though we're confused, frightened, hungry, severely cold/hot and often dehydrated.
    Any one of these things will make a MASSIVE impact on our decision making process, added together clear thinking often goes out the window.

    In mild conditions we could "get away" with just sitting down and waiting, throw in colder or even hotter weather though and our window for getting rescued gets dramatically smaller.

    Fire would be fantastic in cold conditions, as not only does it keep you warm both the smoke and the fire are excellent signalling tools.
    Problem is though for a fire to be effective at giving enough warmth it will need a LOT of fuel, if you're injured that's going to be extremely difficult to provide.

    It's also extremely difficult to get a fire started in the conditions it's likely to be needed (cold and wet or even snow).
    You'll need to find decent tinder, then dry twigs, even then if it's really damp you'll struggle to get larger logs dry enough to burn.

    I'm pretty good at getting camp fires going with the most basic of tools, i've succeeded many times in getting a fire from bow drills, hand drills and a few other friction fire methods (it's something of a hobby), i still wouldn't bet my life that i could get a decent fire going 100% of the time even with my fire starter kit.
    Give me a axe and a decent fixed blade and i'd say i could do it 99 times out of 100, but if we start taking Axes with us then we're not really MTBing any more we're camping.

    A emergency bivvy bag is light weight and a effective shelter and heat retention device.
    If it's really cold though then it's not enough by itself to stave off hypothermia, you'll need enough warm clothing as well.

    That's another thing.
    If it's wet and your clothing is wet through, then it might sound crazy, but with fabrics like cotton you'll do better going commando as the wet fabric will act like a large heat sink effectively wicking heat away from your body.
    Interesting story here of a woman lost for 11 days, it was only the forethought of stripping off her wet clothings and determination that kept her alive.
    Lost:..... NAKED 11 days in "ALASKA"
    1994 Fully Rigid Diamond Back Axis TT
    2009 Trek Fuel Ex 7

  40. #90
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    A small emergency blanket to wrap up in while clothes are drying out. They can be found in the sporting goods/camping aisles at Walmart, Cabela etc. They are very small and lightweight. Your back pack shouldn't be without one.

  41. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris7047th View Post
    A small emergency blanket to wrap up in while clothes are drying out. They can be found in the sporting goods/camping aisles at Walmart, Cabela etc. They are very small and lightweight. Your back pack shouldn't be without one.
    Problem with emergency blankets is, they only reflect heat so your body needs to be putting out heat enough for the blanket to be effective.
    Granted if we are alive our bodies put out heat BUT a lot of the heat a silver foil type emergency blanket gets is lost through convection, so they don't reflect 100% of the heat they receive, this is fine for most circumstances but if you approaching hypothermia then your body is already starting to shut down so they'll be even less use.

    If you are wearing clothing that insulate up your body temperature these blankets are a great addition, but on their own they provide very little in the way of insulation.


    If you were to stand up and do star jumps for say 1 min every 10 mins your body would generate heat that the blanket would then reflect, so that'd be better.


    I used to carry a couple as they're light and take up very little pack space, but after experimenting with them as a warmth device i felt they were very limited.
    Best way i found of using them is to wear them between me and my sleeping bag, as they don't breath though condensation from sweat becomes a problem half way through the night.

    They do make fantastic reflectors when placed a suitable distance behind a fire though, add a bit of a curve to them and you can even direct a lot of heat towards you even from a small fire.
    1994 Fully Rigid Diamond Back Axis TT
    2009 Trek Fuel Ex 7

  42. #92
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    Don't forget the large plastic bag! As someone pointed out, put hole in a hole to poke you head through and maybe two for your arms and you can keep riding. Also, a fleece ear warmer head band or a fleece cap that can fit under you helmet can do wonders to keep you from getting chilled in the first place. Thanks to all who are posting information that can keep an emergency from turning into tragedy.

  43. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbr6fs View Post
    Problem with emergency blankets is, they only reflect heat so your body needs to be putting out heat enough for the blanket to be effective.
    Granted if we are alive our bodies put out heat BUT a lot of the heat a silver foil type emergency blanket gets is lost through convection, so they don't reflect 100% of the heat they receive, this is fine for most circumstances but if you approaching hypothermia then your body is already starting to shut down so they'll be even less use.

    If you are wearing clothing that insulate up your body temperature these blankets are a great addition, but on their own they provide very little in the way of insulation.


    If you were to stand up and do star jumps for say 1 min every 10 mins your body would generate heat that the blanket would then reflect, so that'd be better.


    I used to carry a couple as they're light and take up very little pack space, but after experimenting with them as a warmth device i felt they were very limited.
    Best way i found of using them is to wear them between me and my sleeping bag, as they don't breath though condensation from sweat becomes a problem half way through the night.

    They do make fantastic reflectors when placed a suitable distance behind a fire though, add a bit of a curve to them and you can even direct a lot of heat towards you even from a small fire.
    This was my point. Although not perfect, it's better than nothing when drying out with a fire.

  44. #94
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    The other benefit to a space blanket is using it as a temporary shelter to keep the rain off of you. Just wrapping it over you when its raining is going to keep you much warmer then not. One other thing that I would say is a must have is dry clothing to change into when you stop moving. I don't know about anybody else but my clothes are pretty sweat soaked when I ride and this makes them pretty useless for heat retention when you stop moving. I think the minimum you should carry is a warm hat and a fleece/jacket. Even on short stops you can slip on the jacket to keep from getting chilled.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  45. #95
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    A fire for warmth or signal was likely not an option in this case. Everything was wet from extremely heavy rainfall just prior to his ride. Also, signal fires have started wildfires in multiple cases.

    I wonder how many suggesting a "space" blanket have used one. I wouldn't bother packing one – way too fragile. One wrong movement on anything but smooth ground and that thing is split wide open. The main danger with these IMO is thinking you have a decent shelter when you really don't. I'd sooner bring trash bag or a light storm shell with a hood.

    Clothes drying in cold/dank conditions? Good luck. I just did it a couple months ago, after attempting impromptu bivy in a rain/snow storm with a mylar "space" blanket. (Note to self: don't forget storm-worthy bivy bag.) Clothes dried, but took hours in an ideal natural shelter, after spending untold effort and time locating/collecting dry fuel. Not a practical activity for someone injured or otherwise incapacitated.

    A spare dry upper body layer, even a super thin one, works instantly and allows activity to happen, unlike a bivy or mylar bag. Size your storm shell on the generous size so you can sit with your whole self under it.

    Buck up and buy a locator beacon. Like a small first aid kit, you don't even know it's in your pack. It may not be a fail-safe, but if you're immobilized or in trouble, it adds a layer of possible solution to your situation by turning a SAR into a rescue only.


    PS: Tone's: Thank you.

  46. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris7047th View Post
    This was my point. Although not perfect, it's better than nothing when drying out with a fire.
    The thing is Kris how many MTBers have the equipment and skills necessary to create and maintain a fire on what is likely to be a very cold and/or wet day?

    As i say primitive fire starting techniques is a bit of a hobby for me, it's something i've been experimenting with for many years in many different environments and conditions.

    If you dumped me in a stressful situation on a soaked hillside in the rain even with a firesteel i'd still struggle to get a fire going long enough to dry out larger logs.
    If i had a axe i could split the wood to get to the drier parts, i'd even consider using a decent knife to baton the log, or a silky saw to split it.

    But like i said how many take a axe, good solid knife or saw on their usual local rides?

    A inner tube or tyre would make a fantastic bit of fuel (i use inner tubes cut into ranger bands for to keep my fire starting kit dry and closed as they also make great fire starters), they also put off a fair amount of smoke so great for showing your location on less windy days.
    You'd still struggle to get enough heat and burn time to dry out larger logs enough for them to burn though.


    All things considered starting a fire would be a great boost to both your moral, chances of being found and chances of surviving a cold wet night.
    Personally though i pack enough clothing and kit (emergency bivvy bag) so as to be able to survive a cold, wet miserable night without NEEDING a fire.

    I do this as even though i'm experienced in getting a fire going with limited resources, i don't always ride in wooded areas and i can't guarantee i could get a good fire going even if i was unless i had an axe or at least a strong fixed blade knife or saw.

    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    The other benefit to a space blanket is using it as a temporary shelter to keep the rain off of you. Just wrapping it over you when its raining is going to keep you much warmer then not. One other thing that I would say is a must have is dry clothing to change into when you stop moving. I don't know about anybody else but my clothes are pretty sweat soaked when I ride and this makes them pretty useless for heat retention when you stop moving. I think the minimum you should carry is a warm hat and a fleece/jacket. Even on short stops you can slip on the jacket to keep from getting chilled.
    Good points

    It's tough because MTBing is such a high energy activity when we're riding even in really cold conditions all we usually need is a thin base layer with a windproof outer layer.
    When we stop though the cold really starts to seep in.

    Might be worth thinking:
    Do i have enough warmth and waterproof layers to keep me fairly comfortable for say a 1 hour stop for lunch?

    When hiking in winter i throw in a old belay jacket into my rucksack, it packs small, is fair light, fairly water resistant and it's synthetic filling still retains some warmth when wet.
    To be honest i rarely take it MTBing though.
    1994 Fully Rigid Diamond Back Axis TT
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  47. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post

    I wonder how many suggesting a "space" blanket have used one. I wouldn't bother packing one – way too fragile. One wrong movement on anything but smooth ground and that thing is split wide open. The main danger with these IMO is thinking you have a decent shelter when you really don't. I'd sooner bring trash bag or a light storm shell with a hood.
    I'm pretty sure at least one of us has not used a space blanket. There are no seams to split open on a space blanket. I think you are talking about a space bag.. A friend of a friend took one of those on a backpacking trip. He was laughing at the others because they were carrying heavy bags. His laughing stopped when he froze all night long. I have had the same space blanket for 30 years and its still in one piece. And no its not still in the package. They are not perfect but they are better then having nothing.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  48. #98
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    Very sad story. In hindsight a lot could have been done differently from everyone involved.

    This story make me wonder though about Strava. As most of you know it's an app a lot of us use to mark our rides. I wonder if it's possible for Strava to be contacted in an emergency and access the riders account to find the location. I know if you upload the ride your friends can see it but what if your phone dies?

  49. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    I'm pretty sure at least one of us has not used a space blanket. There are no seams to split open on a space blanket. I think you are talking about a space bag..
    I do see that quilted thingamajig you're calling a space blanket, but conventionally, those too-thin mylar rigs are known as space blankets.

    space blanket - Google Search


    Space bags are here:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=spac...=isch&imgdii=_

    Nomenclature aside, point taken. I'd feel infinitely more confident with a multi-layer number like yours than, essentially, a cellophane bivy bag. But I would carry a light storm shell before either. Cheers...

  50. #100
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    I'm glad to see the discussion focusing on what we can do to avoid tragedies like this in the future.

    There are other things that can greatly improve your chances of being found if something happens. It is surprisingly difficult to spot things from the air and it is not unusual for helicopters to fly right over people and not see them. Being able to signal for help effectively is important.

    A whistle is very light and the sound travels a LONG way. It also takes very little effort to use and is far less taxing than shouting for help. Mirrors are great for signalling aircraft or ground searchers from long distances and a flashing on a hillside will definitely get checked out. Finally, a simple light source - chemical light stick or flash from a camera can be seen very easily if night vision equipment is being used. That small fire you lit is going to be very visible as well. Brightly colored clothing will also help the SAR team spot you.

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