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Topic: "New Standard Form to Assist in SAR Efforts, Please distribute...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2013, 3:57 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Please read the following link and help save lives by
spreading this link/form to all of those who are
involved in outdoor activities.  Mav
http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10010


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2013, 8:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry but when I solo, I don't want anyone knowing where I am.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2013, 8:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you for your useful input.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(maverick01 @ Sep. 19 2013, 6:57 pm)
QUOTE
Thank you for your useful input.

Which was a damsite better than your useless BS form.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2013, 10:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can understand what you are trying to do here for your limited area of California. But even if the "ReConn" form were adapted to wider, national application, there are problems with using a PDF format for the form layout. And whatever software you used to create that PDF document in particular works havoc on most any attempted conversion to word-processing file.

In my area, I go somewhere every week. Often the trips are short. Some are longer. I have two backpacks and gear setups that are used for most trips. So it is absolutely essential that I be able to "copy and paste" (as you say) any list of information from one form to another. Each week would require some information that varies. But gear setups would often be quite similar and paste worthy.

A PDF form may be easy to print, but it is difficult to type into and copy-and-paste from one PDF file to another. That might require one stencil file for each gear setup, and one individual file for each "trip."

I'd venture to say that most of the people who would download this file will not be able to convert it to a word-processing file, copy-and-paste into that word-processor file the duplicated information, type into that word-processor file the particular information for each trip, and then convert that word-processor file and included photos and maps back into a PDF file.

If I want people to have reliable information, and if I want to copy-and-paste, that means I'm going to type the information. I'm not going to fill the form out by hand — no matter how good my penmanship. Typing is easier to read, more reliably accurate, and I can't just copy-and-paste pen-and-ink material.

I have a dozen or so of each: PDF programs and word-processing programs on my computer. So I did a few experiments with your ReConn PDF form. And none of those programs were able to render an accurate conversion of the PDF file to a word-processing file. Many characters you used in creating the PDF file were not transferable, even in TXT format. Instead they were rendered as ?? repeatedly.

Additionally, your PDF margins and paragraph indentations could not be rendered at all into a word-processing file such as included on my computer. I do have a couple PDF annotating programs which might enable me to type directly into your form. But those do not solve the problem of copy-and-pasting from one file to the next. And the entire process that you describe as simple is actually quite tedious and time-consuming.

I consider myself fairly skilled with such file conversions because I do a lot of computer work with PDF files. But I suspect that many of your participants will have poorer skills with PDF conversions and have fewer programs with which to make those conversions.

There is much more I could say about the required information, and the viability or lack of viability for my own use. But I'll give you credit for a good idea for some folks. Unfortunately, at the outset, I think your idea of using a PDF form has some serious drawbacks that could limit the practicality of whatever may be useful information for SAR.

The PDF form is easy to download. And much of the information requested could be of value to SAR. But I think the usefulness of a PDF file (and yours in particular) pretty much halts right there — far short of the intended use.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2013, 11:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some good info in there in my opinion. Make it an "online" form with calendar, etc. and allow upload of actual route via Google Earth and/or other and I think you've got a winner. You can convert it into whatever form you want but requiring users to put it in "your" style shouldn't be a requirement/recommendation in my opinion. You could also post links to the area that hikers are using it (like NOAA weather forecast data, etc., minimum requirements to hike in said area, etc.)

Mind you, on my more extreme hikes, I have contacted our local SAR directly and they basically said..."They don't want my route info, etc.". Therefore, I still just leave it with my wife.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 3:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Travis,

I have no problems downloading the form and using
Adobe Reader to add text. Appreciate you useful input
and understand that a lot of folks may use Windows
but at this time I am limited to Mac. SAR folks and a
retired detective were consulted on the viability of the
form, and after some tweeking this is what was created.
They also mentioned some folks would not be happy
with whatever I came up with, Jim with his comment
is a case in point, but it sure is better than what's
available out there at the moment, which is nothing.

Tigger,

Some interesting ideas that I will look into, had
some similar ideas with Earth Google but not sure
how to implement them and also worried about
making things more complex. I am intrigued by
some of ESRI's stuff, and have been working with
maybe introducing an interactive map, but this will
have to wait.


Whatever you say Mr. Fuller :D


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 3:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If it were a fillable PDF anyone with the free reader (and you could point them to it) would be able to fill it out legibly instead of what passes for handwriting these days. A useful thing for emergencies. For those interested in repeating things they would have to cut the filled material and stick it in a word document for saving, easy enough, since while the free Adobe Reader allows forms to be filled in they can only be printed not saved to disk.

Overall having a standardized checklist of emergency information is a decent idea.

Downloaded it and opened it in Mac Acrobat X Pro and Acrobat Reader and couldn't add text.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 4:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Save PDF to Desktop, open PDF with Adobe Reader.
Click on the 3rd icon in the tool bar at the top, the
"Sign, add text or send a document" which should
 enable you to add text.
 Had another person just test it out and it worked
 without any problems, they too tried TXT, but got
 a scrambled form earlier. Hope this helps.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 4:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(maverick01 @ Sep. 20 2013, 1:05 pm)
QUOTE
Save PDF to Desktop, open PDF with Adobe Reader.
Click on the 3rd icon in the tool bar at the top, the
"Sign, add text or send a document" which should
 enable you to add text.
 Had another person just test it out and it worked
 without any problems, they too tried TXT, but got
 a scrambled form earlier. Hope this helps.

Have that added to the instructions?

It did work.

Or create a "form" where the text boxes to fill in would be straightforwardly obvious. A simple click and type. I converted that pdf file in a couple of seconds  and then added a couple of text boxes alongside certain items which then show up as pale blue delineated spaces to fill in. Check boxes that fill with a click are also then available.

IMO for widest acceptance it's got to be dead simple. The current version, isn't.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 4:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This won't help me when I decide to get lost in the UP.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 4:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Your right Hungry Jack, if one decides to get lost
not much will help. But this form is not geared for folks
who want to get lost but who would like to be found.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 4:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
HSF wrote:
Have that added to the instructions?


Good idea, done.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 5:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(maverick01 @ Sep. 20 2013, 1:00 pm)
QUOTE
I have no problems downloading the form and using
Adobe Reader to add text. Appreciate you useful input
and understand that a lot of folks may use Windows
but at this time I am limited to Mac. SAR folks and a
retired detective were consulted on the viability of the
form, and after some tweeking this is what was created.

I think you missed what I wrote. Adobe Reader is a PDF annotation program — and not a very good one at that. Yes, you can type into the form and so can I, as I said earlier. But that form is of no use to me, or Jim Fuller, unless we can erase all your emergency numbers — because they do not apply to our areas.

And Adobe Reader can not erase the lines you've included — which are not applicable for the great majority of backpackers.

That's only the beginning of the problems you've overlooked. There are several other lines in your form that would not apply to me. For your form to be useful anywhere except for your small limited area, there are several lines where your text needs to be deleted and other text added in. And you simply have not left enough room in other places.

Adobe Reader will not do that. A true conversion program is necessary. And as you admitted, any attempt to convert that PDF file is rendered as nonsensical gibberish. The sad part about that is that you could have created the file with a different program, and the rendering would not be so difficult, but you evidently did not understand what your PDF software was doing.

Next, Adobe Reader does not provide for importation of images into a non-convertible file. The user cannot include photo and map images, as you suggested — rendered correctly — into the PDF file with Adobe Reader. The only import feature is the signature option, and it doesn't do the job.

I performed a simple experiment with a map image I already have. And I used Adobe Reader to insert the map image into the signature option. What happened? Adobe Reader so drastically altered the image that the trail lines and camping locations were obliterated in Adobe Reader's poor attempt to convert the image to a signature.

Unfortunately, the SAR personnel and detective you try to gain credit from either didn't say what you imply, didn't live outside the small area you designed the form for, or were not computer literate enough to know what problems your form would encounter in a wider application.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 6:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"A true conversion program is necessary." Which one
Travis? I am not computer savvy, my main usage is
for photography.
Yes, this whole thing came about after our friend died in
Kings Canyon last year, and it was created with the
Sierra in mind. No deliberate overlooking of anyone
was intended, but now see that their are some things
that need to be changed to make it functional for all,
though it will probably exceed my computer capabilities
so I will need to consult some friends with experience
in this line of work.
I appreciate you constructive input, and productive
dialogue, though your insinuation of possible falsehood
at the end is not very productive.
We are trying to get something productive for all here
to work and hopefully save lives in the future. Let's keep
this at the forefront of our discussion.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 6:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(maverick01 @ Sep. 20 2013, 4:05 pm)
QUOTE
"A true conversion program is necessary." Which one
Travis? I am not computer savvy, my main usage is
for photography.
Yes, this whole thing came about after our friend died in
Kings Canyon last year, and it was created with the
Sierra in mind. No deliberate overlooking of anyone
was intended, but now see that their are some things
that need to be changed to make it functional for all,
though it will probably exceed my computer capabilities
so I will need to consult some friends with experience
in this line of work.
I appreciate you constructive input, and productive
dialogue, though your insinuation of possible falsehood
at the end is not very productive.
We are trying to get something productive for all here
to work and hopefully save lives in the future. Let's keep
this at the forefront of our discussion.

Did the SAR folks and detective try your form and prove its viability? I think the answer is "No." And that is constructive, is it not?

Like I said in my first post, you are better off scrapping the notion of a PDF file, because even if I recommend a conversion program, your users are not likely to have it on their computers or be savvy enough to use it.

If some of us were to compile all the information, we might be able to convert it to PDF on our own, if need be, with some very basic programs. But that is after all the other steps have been completed, including adding of photo and maps.

You're saying that you don't have the computer expertise necessary, so neither do many of the people you are designing this form for.

I'm out of time for now. I'll be back in a few hours.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 8:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Sep. 19 2013, 8:41 pm)
QUOTE
Sorry but when I solo, I don't want anyone knowing where I am.

Unfortunately, unless you are hermit with no relatives, friends, co-workers, or neighbors, and you don't drive to the trail head, and you don't receive any snail mail that'll pile up, someone is eventually going to report you missing.

Your brave and manly "I don't want to be found"  attitude will cause a great deal of inconvenience and risk for others.

So instead of rejecting the idea of a registry, you should embrace it but ask for an addition where brave and manly men like you can check the box stating "I'm too brave and manly to want to be found if I get lost or injured, so don't bother looking for me.  

I purposefully did not fill in any details of my trip so I could be lefty alone to die a brave and manly death.  I've left a sufficient sum of money in a bank account at ___ Bank to pay for removing any litter I've left behind, like my body, equipment, and car.

Instead of wasting your time looking for me, perhaps you could write a ballad about me, entitled the brave and manly solo hiker.  Thanks."
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 9:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I work for a public lands advocacy organization, and am one of the luckier organizers who spends a lot of days in the backcountry. We use an internal form much like this that was build out as form or template for use in MS Outlook.

The form is sent up as a part of trip planning to the direct supervisor and staff is encouraged to include a family member or partner in the distribution.

Our wildlands or roadless area inventories rarely involve trails so little attention is paid to set times and places except drop-dead time, in and out, and the means of communication. No gear reporting. One mountain range I spend most of my time in Wyoming is shared by four counties; some better to be missing in than the other, but they all nominally cooperate.

I have a love-and-mostly-hate relationship with PDF's so it is unlikely I would use RECON, but did look at for a moment to see content wise was there some detail we could use. I am not going to let a micro-managing direct report see or hear of it :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 9:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Blue_Sage,

We may have an Adobe web form in the works that may
satisfy everyone's needs, it just needs a little more
tweeking. Will post it once it is complete.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 10:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I go on a solo trip I leave the following information:

Name and phone number of County Sheriff's office

Name and phone number of National Forest Ranger District Office

A photocopy of a map with my planned route highlighted

A brief description of my objectives, and itinerary, including the name of the trailhead, and the Lat/Lon of my destination.

The day and time I plan to return

The rest is just fluff, and the more difficult you make it, the less likely people will actually complete it.
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(nogods @ Sep. 20 2013, 6:54 pm)
QUOTE

(Montanalonewolf @ Sep. 19 2013, 8:41 pm)
QUOTE
Sorry but when I solo, I don't want anyone knowing where I am.

Unfortunately, unless you are hermit with no relatives, friends, co-workers, or neighbors, and you don't drive to the trail head, and you don't receive any snail mail that'll pile up, someone is eventually going to report you missing.

Your brave and manly "I don't want to be found"  attitude will cause a great deal of inconvenience and risk for others.

So instead of rejecting the idea of a registry, you should embrace it but ask for an addition where brave and manly men like you can check the box stating "I'm too brave and manly to want to be found if I get lost or injured, so don't bother looking for me.  

I purposefully did not fill in any details of my trip so I could be lefty alone to die a brave and manly death.  I've left a sufficient sum of money in a bank account at ___ Bank to pay for removing any litter I've left behind, like my body, equipment, and car.

Instead of wasting your time looking for me, perhaps you could write a ballad about me, entitled the brave and manly solo hiker.  Thanks."

Kiss off. You have no idea why I do it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 11:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is the "ReConn Form" translated to BBCode for this forum. Note that I have made several revisions (for clarity) in order, spelling, and organization of the information. But the substance of the information requested remains the same.

IF I were to use the form (and that is a big "IF"), there are many more revisions — and omissions — that I would be making. I am certainly not saying that I would use the form. And I am certainly not suggesting that anyone else use this form. But by presenting this information here, I believe everyone can get an idea of the extent of information that is being proposed as a "standard" in this thread.


ReConn Form

Emergency Dispatch Phone Numbers:
    List county sheriff department dispatch numbers:
    List land manager dispatch numbers:
    Or call 911
Identity Description:
    Your name:
    Height:
    Weight:
    Eye Color:
    Hair Color:

    Include current photo:
List any medical conditions and medications:

Transportation:
    Car (Make, Model, License #):
    Bus
    Shuttle
    Hitch Hike
    Bicycle
    Walk
    Other

    If you checked other than car, make sure to list bus or shuttle numbers and transfer points with times included:
Starting Trailhead:
    Name and location of trailhead:
    Date and Approximate Time of Departure:
    Include exact time of departure from trailhead on the form you leave in your car.
Ending Trailhead
    Name and location of trailhead:
    Date of Approximate Exit:
    Time of expected arrival at ending trailhead:
Route Description:
    Describe your main route, including all possible departures from it:
    List campsites, including the alternate locations if departing from the main route:
    If basecamping, list all possible day hikes and areas of interest to you:
    If doing climbs from a campground or from basecamp, describe the climbing routes you are planning to do:

    Include a map with the main route of interest in red, and alternate routes using different bright colors, download it from Google Earth or other mapping software captured as jpg and attach, or make hard copies of the map, draw in routes, and campsites by hand and attach tall forms.
Experience:
    Trail hiker
    Trail hiker with some class 2 pass experience
    Backpacker with class 2, off-trail experience
    Backpacker with class 3, off trail, climbing experience
    Backpacker with class 4, off trail, climbing experience
    Backpacker with class 5, off trail, climbing experience
Preparedness
    Prepared for weather, aware of forecast for the week?
    Taken wilderness first-aid class?
    How many days of extra food are you taking?
    How many miles per day do you hike on and off trail?
Emergency Location Devices Taken:
    SPOT (Make, Model):
    PLB (Make, Model):
    SatPhone (Make, Model):
    Cell Phone
    Mirror
    Whistle
Reporting Your Location To SAR:
    Use Lat/Long in either decimal degrees or degrees minutes seconds. Also make sure you specify Datum. Many USGS maps are still NAD 27. Your GPS will convert to anything you set it to, recommend keeping it in NAD83 or WGS 84.
Equipment Description:
    Tent (Make, Model, and Color):
    Backpack (Make, Model, and Color):
    Shoe/Boot (Make, Model, and Color):
    Sleeping Bag (Make, Model, and Color):
    Trekking Poles (Make, Model, and Color):
    Clothing, Outer Layers: (Make, Model, and Color):
    Climbing Equipment: (Make, Model, and Color):
    Fishing Equipment: (Make, Model, and Color):
    Ice Axe: (Make, Model, and Color):
    Crampons: (Make, Model, and Color):
    Skies: (Make, Model, and Color):
    Snowshoes: (Make, Model, and Color):

    List any other durable and/or distinguishable gear that could help SAR tie them to you:

Please answer all the questions as thoroughly as possible. The more detailed you are the better.


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Location — Wyoming
Webpages — Cloud Peak Wilderness MapsRocky Mountain Wildlife
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 11:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have come a long, long way from the Mountain Men!

Maybe I was born 150 years too late.


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"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

- John Kenneth Galbraith
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 12:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
Describe your main route, including all possible departures from it:
List campsites, including the alternate locations if departing from the main route:
If basecamping, list all possible day hikes and areas of interest to you:
If doing climbs from a campground or from basecamp, describe the climbing routes you are planning to do:

Include a map with the main route of interest in red, and alternate routes using different bright colors, download it from Google Earth or other mapping software captured as jpg and attach, or make hard copies of the map, draw in routes, and campsites by hand and attach tall forms.

There's a bunch of reasons right there I don't leave an itinerary.... most times I have no idea where I'll be going or how long I'll be gone. Hell, half the time I don't even carry a map.

QUOTE
Shoe/Boot (Make, Model, and Color)

Oh gee. They left out size and a current imprint of the sole.


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If you are free to be a Liberal- Thank a person with a gun.

Those who don't read have no advantage over those who can't.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 2:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Sep. 21 2013, 12:17 pm)
QUOTE
There's a bunch of reasons right there I don't leave an itinerary.... most times I have no idea where I'll be going or how long I'll be gone. Hell, half the time I don't even carry a map.

Right.

So either you carry an infinite amount of stuff to last for and infinite amount of time and to be used in an infinite number of conditions and situations...

Or you usually go into the woods unprepared.

First isn't possible, leaving only the second.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 7:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Why lat lon instead of utm? With GPS utm is all I've used for years and years, forcing an unfamiliar conversion on people risks errors I'd suggest.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 8:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Sep. 21 2013, 8:42 pm)
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Why lat lon instead of utm? With GPS utm is all I've used for years and years, forcing an unfamiliar conversion on people risks errors I'd suggest.

It could be a regional thing. On our SAR team we are using utm on our radio's (gps tracking) and gps's. We use one format of lat and long only for use with a military helicopter and another lat long format for use with the government (natural resources) chopper. Different departments, different formats it seems
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 8:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(nogods @ Sep. 21 2013, 2:29 pm)
QUOTE
.

So either you carry an infinite amount of stuff to last for and infinite amount of time and to be used in an infinite number of conditions and situations...

Or you usually go into the woods unprepared.

First isn't possible, leaving only the second.

What??????????????

How/why is changing destinations mid-trip being un-prepared?
Like many here, I often go out with a full, 10-day pack Sierra intending to fish certain high lakes, prepared for any contingency, and subsequently change destinations. Plans may change on the fly but by being Sierra prepared at the trailhead, my gear allows me the freedom to deviate, invite serendipity, and Hike my own hike.
Calling someone unprepared because of a slight change in itinerary -  WTF? Naive? Maybe you should get out more.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 9:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I know some folks love their macs but with all due respect the world runs on Windows.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 9:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Sep. 21 2013, 6:05 pm)
QUOTE
I know some folks love their macs but with all due respect the world runs on Windows.

PDF is platform independent. That's what it's goal was, give everyone access.
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