Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

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Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby LeftRightShoot » Wed 10 Jun, 2020 8:53 am

Gday,

I'm after your emergency packlist for remote winter day hikes in Tassie. What would you consider to be the minimum acceptable gear to cater for lengthy rescue situations? I'm not going to publish mine as I dont want to influence the discussion... but am genuinely interested in others thoughts. Cheers
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby north-north-west » Wed 10 Jun, 2020 12:07 pm

To me, "remote" is places you can't get to with a daywalk. The only extra things I take in winter that aren't there during other seasons would be snow/ice specific items such as snowshoes, goggles, gloves or microspikes, and perhaps an extra warm layer. The standard items are raingear, snackfood, water (or at least water carrier), camera (etc), GPS, maps and compass, PLB.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby headwerkn » Wed 10 Jun, 2020 12:21 pm

Thermos of coffee and a packet of hand warmers ;-)
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby RicktheHuman » Wed 10 Jun, 2020 12:24 pm

Depending on the situation. I often throw in an ultralight tarp, bivi and space blanket, to go alongside the other emergency gear
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 10 Jun, 2020 1:47 pm

Ditto on the tarp - very handy to throw up if it’s raining at lunchtime and you want to brew up out of the rain
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby RicktheHuman » Wed 10 Jun, 2020 1:59 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:Ditto on the tarp - very handy to throw up if it’s raining at lunchtime and you want to brew up out of the rain


I always tell myself I will set it up for a lunch shelter, but never do, Primariliy it's for shelter if I get caught out overnight for whatever reason
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby LeftRightShoot » Thu 11 Jun, 2020 9:35 am

Hmmm... Ive only been in Tassie 3 years and recently renewed my wilderness first aid here. It was interesting to see the different focus from the courses in NSW. In NSW we were constantly told "carry 2 litres of water at all times" in TAS the focus was "a space blanket is not enough to sustain life in Tasmania". I carry a 3x3 silpoly tarp, FAK with large space blanket, various drugs, 2x snake bandages, 2x triangles, a multitude of "patching" items, several meters of cord, multitool and a full roll of strapping tape. I also take a lightweight bivvy sack, always carry at least one pole, head torch, phone with offline topos, satellite comms.

I still have reservations about my preparedness given that if I decide to fall over just after lunch, on a snowy/windy day, my 10km walk is going to seem pretty remote and most likely no one is coming until morning.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby RicktheHuman » Thu 11 Jun, 2020 11:58 am

LeftRightShoot wrote: "a space blanket is not enough to sustain life in Tasmania".

Maybe, but combined with a shelter, bivi bag and warm clothing layers it's gonna be better than nothing.
Do you take a PLB or just the sat comms?
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby LeftRightShoot » Thu 11 Jun, 2020 12:05 pm

RicktheHuman wrote:
LeftRightShoot wrote: "a space blanket is not enough to sustain life in Tasmania".

Maybe, but combined with a shelter, bivi bag and warm clothing layers it's gonna be better than nothing.
Do you take a PLB or just the sat comms?


Just Sat (and phone). I *used* to take PLB and a SPOT but the inreach is VERY reliable. Ive not had a missed message in 2 years and Im usually up high, not in canyons etc. I find it works well even in bad weather with thick canopy.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby jmac » Thu 25 Jun, 2020 2:51 pm

A bit late to this conversation sorry, but here are some thoughts. I want enough gear to be able to provide extended care for 1 patient, and basic survival for a small group, so in addition to regular day-walk gear I take these:

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dyneema Tarp with guy-lines attached. (can double as a bothy bag).
Tyvek groundsheet
UL Sleeping Mat
Lightweight sleeping bag (One Planet Cocoon -2 or similar)
Spare dry beanie
A fairly solid FA Kit
UL stove, either a Jetboil or a Soto with a larger titanium pot. Two ignition sources (basic bic lighters).
Headtorch
PLB
inReach (sat comms)

iPhone has at least 3 functioning off-line mapping apps covering the area (Avenza 1:25000, Maps 3D, maps.me, Gaia GPS)

More gear if a higher level of duty of care than private walks(commercial or educational etc.).

No multi-tool or extra cord; never seen the point of those.

John
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby LeftRightShoot » Thu 25 Jun, 2020 3:00 pm

Cheers @jmac, yes I think I should give my sleeping solution a test. I don't carry a bag (and Im still not sure if this decision is dumb or not) but carry more layers than you do as well as an emergency bivvy. The multi-use capabilities of the Dyneema tarp make it worth a second look (but jeez its expensive!)

Thanks for this.

Can you tell me where you sourced your Tyvec from?
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby jmac » Thu 25 Jun, 2020 3:17 pm

Your 3x3 silpoly tarp should be fine; you don't need to go to the expense of Dyneema. Tyvek is best bought as a whole roll from a building supplies places, then you'll have plenty to make a new footprint for all of your tents plus share with friends. :) I don't have a roll at the moment but I bought one once from Becks Home Hardware. I currently don't know who stocks it in Tasmania. I think you can buy cut pieces on eBay and Amazon too.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby Neo » Thu 25 Jun, 2020 4:32 pm

Here is one place to get some Tyvek

https://ultralighthiker.com.au/

For emergency gear I would think adding:
PLB
shelter (tarp to go with bivy bag)
a spare meal, no cooking required
a thin ccf mat to insulate you from the ground.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby Joynz » Thu 25 Jun, 2020 6:34 pm

I got my Tyvek from ultralight hiker too.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby Jon MS » Thu 25 Jun, 2020 7:38 pm

About 5 years ago I got a roll of tyvek on the recommend of a friend.

After a couple of years using it I gave up on it and used the rest of the roll when we built our new house a year ago.

I found that tyvek only lasted about 10 nights before it started to leak and it was useless by about 20 nights usage. This means that it was hopeless for waterproofing although it was good for puncture protection. And, in order to be effective, you still have to waterproof inside the tent. If you put tyvek under the tent and there is driving rain, a bit of water gets in under the fly and on top of the sheet which then comes through into the inner (as happens with tent footprints). Also, tyvek is a micro-pore fabric so if you keel on it, you can push water through it which is probably why it leaks after a few uses.

I have found that a much lighter, far more waterproof solution is to buy a lightweight tent knowing the floor is not waterproof and put a painters dropsheet inside the inner. Because it is inside the tent the dropsheet lasts over a year and maybe 75 nights of usage. The dropsheet is totally waterproof, weighs about 100 g (a similar size tyvek sheet weighs about 250 g), is very compact and I cut it large enough so it can go up the sides of the inner about 150 mm so any splash under the fly does not get through. If you get a hole in it (normally when stuffing it into the tent stuff sac), it is easy to patch with a bit of blister tape.

I am not concerned that this system will shorten the life of the tent's floor. If you look at my MSR tent, you can see through the floor but the tent is dry inside (the tent has been used for over 1000 nights over 15 years, but when I say the tent is 15 years old, only the inner fabric is that old with the pole, fly and zips on the inner having been replaced).

A dropsheet is also much cheaper. I find that a about $7 dropsheet from a hardware shop is large enough to make 2 groundsheets for a 1 person tent plus 1 groundsheet for a 2 person tent.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby jmac » Sat 25 Jul, 2020 11:21 am

Jon, I’ve been thinking about your experience with Tyvek and your internal groundsheet concept, since you posted this.

I acknowledge your considerable experience with the internal groundsheet practice, but I don’t think I’ll adopt it personally. I do agree that Tyvek loses its waterproofness fairly quickly, but I like that it is quite puncture-resistant and as a conventional groundsheet its primary purpose for me is to protect the floor of the tent. I’m always open to looking for something better so will check out the lightweight dropsheets you mention.

Thanks for your interesting comment on this.

John
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 07 Aug, 2020 11:36 pm

@jmac

How do you turn your tarp into a bothy bag? Would come in handy for bad conditions when it's to hard to get a tarp up.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby jmac » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 10:24 am

No special technique. Just squeeze the group together and huddle under it, tuck the corners and edges under, using the guy lines under feet to hold it in place if it’s really windy. My tarp works well like this for three or fewer people, but would not be much good for four or more. It’s an HMG 8x10 I think.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 11:31 am

Wilderness first aid courses or outdoor survival equivalent suggest when help is more than 2 hrs away you should always carry a tarp or tent, mat and sleeping bag on every walk.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby LeftRightShoot » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 1:49 pm

@iloveswtas. Yes that's absolutely correct. I think less than 5% of us would adhere to that when on a remote day hike. I'm interested in what type of gear people take to meet these requirements while still fitting it all in a day pack. The sleeping bag is one that's hard to duplicate in a day pack compatible format. I don't want to lead the conversation too far however I carry a thermal bivvy and thermal liner. An insulating layer is still required however a standard foam mat would last 5 mins in scoparia.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby jmac » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 3:43 pm

That’s the beauty of a really compact inflatable mat; only 500 grams or so and takes up very little space. I usually use a HMG Porter of 40 litres for day walks and find it easy to get the safety gear in.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 4:03 pm

Agree jmac. I have the OP traverse which is 38l. A lightweight tent undet 1kg and a lightweight sleeping bag of 500g doesn't add much to the weight or space.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby commando » Sat 15 Aug, 2020 8:30 pm

Things might be different in Tassie but i haven't met anyone that takes a tent, sleeping bag and mat on a day walk...
Recently i did a hard 10Km walk with a girl who didn't take anything at all... water, food, rucksack or pole
and she led all the way.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby jmac » Sat 15 Aug, 2020 10:14 pm

It’s good to see you’re open to learning. If you want to keep an injured or medically at-risk person alive in Tas winter conditions, that’s what you should carry, and with modern lightweight gear it’s easy to carry. I personally prefer a tarp to a tent because it’s easier to erect over the patient rather than drag them into it, and it’s easier to work at their flank than in the cramped confines of a small tent, but a tent arguably provides better thermal protection.
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Re: Winter emergency gear for remote day walks

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 16 Aug, 2020 6:23 am

commando wrote:Things might be different in Tassie but i haven't met anyone that takes a tent, sleeping bag and mat on a day walk...
Recently i did a hard 10Km walk with a girl who didn't take anything at all... water, food, rucksack or pole
and she led all the way.


Do you ask passing walkers what they are carrying?

Sounds like your friend needs to build a bit of experience for tassie walking or needs someone to set her straight. What was the hard walk you recently did?

I learnt a lesson years ago after getting stuck after a 10hr day in winter with no phone reception. Thankfully I wasn't injured but had to spend 17hrs (including mt picton) walking to a place near the closest township where I finally got coverage. The local police had refused to drive to the track head to check if my car was there as it was outside their radio range. Instead they had asked the SES to fly the chopped down to check who of course refused. When I called home at 2am the following morning my ex convinced them to drive down the road they were afraid of to pick me up.
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