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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have found the perfect resource for me to really get some real world
training & experience. I've come across a local chapter of a volunteer
Search And Rescue team. They train members in all types of wilderness
first aid, rappelling & recovery skills, semi-technical rescue, navigation,
orienteering, radio communications and a slew of survival skills training.

It's going to fit what I want to do perfectly;
-get "real" world training & experience
-take part in actual rescue operations
-put my skills to good use

The searches can average 48 hours (including overnights).

Anybody here involved with SAR?
 

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Backpacker I Adventurer
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SAR is great to be on, and you will defently learn some great skills. As well figure out what you really need in a pack for 72 hours while moving through difficult terrain in search of someone.
 

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I worked with a SAR unit up in the "DAKS" (upstate NY) for 5 years.

I found it educational,physical and mentally rewarding. The actual search & recuse stuff can be very demanding. However there is all sorts of ways to help logistics etc.

A good ending and funny one

We did a search for two lost kids who slipped away for a smoke while on a church camp hike. They spent 3 days going up and down the same mountain. When we got them them back to the staging area their parents were there and one of the lads actually ran right over his mother to get to the food and drink setup. LOL

Also found some that didn't turn out well and some are still out there
 

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Good luck with this :thumb: .
You'll find it very educational & rewarding.

I was actually surprised at how little gear is needed for an individual doing SAR work.
It might be different in another area,but around here there wasn't any need to tote a bunch of stuff along with us.
Everyone kinda had their own area of expertise on the search & when any rope work or evacuation was needed we called in the FD/medics for that stuff.
Those guys are on top of it !

Again...good luck & I hope it works out for you.

Cliff
 

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DH and I are both members, although the actual bush -work is no longer for us. We are radio operators inside the base truck.

You won't regret joining; there is some good, and some great, training. (and we just got some realy neat sat-phones, too!) :)
 

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I volunteered for a Local Explorer Scout SAR unit for approx 28 years here in Oregon. Our training period lasted 7 months. Core equipment included a day pack designed to insure survival for a 24 hour period and a large frame pack that could incorporate the 24 hour pack as well as extra clothing/sleeping bag and ground pad. Congratulations on your choice and hopefully you will enjoy volunteering with this group; While providing a much needed service within your community. My core training has proven invaluable throughout my life and had much to do with my ongoing pursuit of Survivalism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update:
I start training in 4 weeks. Can't wait.
Just received a Reading List. Homework already. :D:

I'll start out with my CamelBak M.U.L.E. as a
light pack and the Hellcat for overnights.
 

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I am a member of PCESAR.. Pierce County Explorer Search And Rescue.
I am currently a Team Leader, going on Field Leader.

Search and Rescue is what got me into the whole outdoors/survival stuff.

Pierce county sar is one of the best SAR groups in Washington State.

I think its a great way for people who are just getting into the outdoors to get
some hands on training.
 

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Im a member of the SES in Australia. They help the community with storm damage, floods, bush searches and vertical rescue. Good fun, learn heaps, get nationaly accredited quals and its all free!

A good way to meet like minded folk too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey SAR Dudes, I'm sure I'll get a pack list,
but out of curiosity, what do you carry for
1 day searches?
 

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Hey SAR Dudes, I'm sure I'll get a pack list,
but out of curiosity, what do you carry for
1 day searches?
This is all according to my local unit that i am in. Yours may in fact differ.

Well i bring a small backpack, like a maxpedition condor 2, or the equivalent size.

In it you just need essentials, some snacks, water, one meal (if that), some rope, navigational things, radio (your own or if they supply), headlamp (if its going to be a long search), and some more random doo dads.

What not to bring:

Any sleeping gear.
Your 48 hour backpack (you will need a 48 and a 24, but it depends on your unit) but you will only need a 24 hour bag if your searching.

dont bring anything you dont NEED and thats heavy.

Your shooting for a light bag you can easily walk around with


The key is to NOT bring a heavy pack for a search, because if you get tired of carrying it (Through THICK brush) than you might start taking shortcuts and not looking everywhere.

I suggest you pack everything, then when you get to the field strip down to your 24 essential pack.

Sorry for bad formatting but thats the jist of it.. essentially a 24 hour bag is your 48 hour bag, condensed into a smaller bag without sleeping gear and only 1-2 meals.
 

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Yep several years here in the mountain state. also on a cave rescue team, had to retire my SAR dog :( still do some ground pounding on local searches though very rewarding when you find the person. What part of WV are you in regional is Ok. Volunteer SAR is a really big commitment glad your getting involved.

Chuck~
 

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Do a google for (nasar 24 hour pack list). Its pretty extensive and some groups check your gear to make sure you have the whole list of stuff, makes a heavy pack.
 

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SirT-

I'm glad to hear it.

I was on SAR for 18 years. Started as an Explorer scout (another great organization, BSA) Learned a lot. Took an EMT class because of it. Then got into Fire/EMS as a career. apprenticed as a tracker and got certified. found quite a few bodies but my one live one is one of my most treasured saves, including 27 years in EMS.

some unsolicited advice:

1.) learn NASAR standards and get certified. Certifications are necessary in this day and age. Look at EMS, there are no "self taught" EMT's on an ambulance. They all carry a card from somewhere. NASAR is the agency to go to. If the group does their own "certification" or doesn't use NASAR, do it on your own, for your own benefit.

2.) FEMA ICS. it's free. take I-100, I-200 and I-700 for free on the internet. this will give you the knowledge to know how big incidents work and help you find your place in a large incident.

3.) NETWORK. go to conventions, training seminars. Learn new stuff from all over the place.

4.) avoid the cliques. learn to get along w/ everybody. learn teamwork. avoid "heroes" and don't become one. SAR missions are made up of many many small things all happening right, seldom one big event.

5.) most SAR teams are broke or close to it. be ready to buy your own stuff.

6.) Most SAR missions end in frustration, accept it. Understand that failure is part of life and that very often the situation is past hopeless by the time of first notification. That's why successful missions are on CNN.

I was whole-hog into it. I enjoyed the hell out of it, when I was involved. I quit due to a loss of time/interest and some of the politics involved. I was asked, years after, to come back. I never really considered it. I felt pretty good about my initial 18 years and wanted to keep that.

Good Luck.

Dum Ceteri Vivant. "So that others may live"
 

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The key is to NOT bring a heavy pack for a search, because if you get tired of carrying it (Through THICK brush) than you might start taking shortcuts and not looking everywhere.

I suggest you pack everything, then when you get to the field strip down to your 24 essential pack.

Sorry for bad formatting but thats the jist of it.. essentially a 24 hour bag is your 48 hour bag, condensed into a smaller bag without sleeping gear and only 1-2 meals.
GOOD ADVICE.

I always packed the kitchen sink. When you find out your task for the operational period, I packed accordingly, plus "contingencies". I had the mongo-ginormous pack and several smaller versions. I would field strip my gear to take only what I needed. I usually had a med kit, as well.

My lesson about this was using a medium alice bag as a ruck sack. I didn't dump it out first and ended up carrying a folding e-tool for a 12 hour op period that i really didn't need. I always packed extra water and half the food I thought I would need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, thanks to all for the encouragement and for sharing your stories & experiences with me. I really appreciate the insight.
I begin training in a few days. It'll be a monthly for now, but I'll practice what I'm taught in between the meets and at least
I'll be on the list to "jump in" when the call arises (not that I'm hoping people get lost so that I can have some go-time).
 

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When I was apart of the volunteer fire dept and SAR we would always keep a large duffle in the trunk with all the gear you would ever want/need.

Then I would have my 30L pack empty ready for whatever I needed depending on the case.



The Bora 30 was my pack of choice fyi :D
 

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I am on a SAR team.

I joined for a lot of the same reasons as you.
I am certified in.....
Man-tracking
First aid
CPR
Etc.
Also took a course on rope skills and stuff like that.

Like someone already said..... Do not get involved in the "politics".
I am always amazed at the "teamwork" (lack there of) at an actual search. There are a lot of guys (some gals too) that want to be the "hero", in the field AND at the command post.
 
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