[MSAR] Hydration for Mounted
usark9 at warpdriveonline.com
Fri Jan 16 11:21:28 EST 2004
Good points Una.
Usually the reason we are out there in the first place is because of other
people, like hikers, hunters etc., that are unprepared for the elements and
the possibility for the need of water, shelter, warm clothing and food. They
usually have no means of communication other than a cell phone with a dead
battery. Fielding an unprepared SAR team weather a foot or mounted doesn't
make a lot of sense.
The first rule in SAR is "don't become part of the problem" If WE, the
rescuers become lost or injured, the focus turns to us and not the victim
that we are there to help.
Although I am primarily a K-9 handler, I am also a horse woman. I have had
my share of accidents and have been thrown from my horse in remote desert
areas far from help. Fortunately, I was with other people that were there to
help me out that time. We are talking severe injuries. It can happen when
you least expect it.
If I don't carry the necessities on my person, I can get into trouble should
I be separated from my horse. (I ride much of the time alone).
Separation from you mount does not have to be from an accident. It can
happen while resting , having lunch or whatever. I once had a horse that
could travel in hobbles for long distances at warp speed!
Like Una says. Keep some of your absolutes attached to you and the rest on
I keep my cell phone, GPS, radio, water and a food bar on me just in case.
The rest of the bulky stuff I can pack on my horse.
B. Diane Whetsel EMT I
Search Dogs Southwest
NMTF I, CSS
usark9 at warpdriveonline.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Una Smith" <una at lanl.gov>
To: "Mounted search and rescue" <msar-riders at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 8:47 AM
Subject: Re: [MSAR] Hydration for Mounted
> Good comments.
> Most of my unit's missions are in high altitude cool or cold desert.
> Which means that most of the year there is absolutely no surface water
> in the environment. For this reason, we do not expect to remain more
> than 12 hours in the field (ie, away from base camp); we cannot pack
> enough water for our horses. But perhaps we should be more prepared
> to spend up to 24 hours in the field on wilderness searches when water
> is available. (NM SAR requires personal packs for 24 hours; limited
> water is the only reason we don't stay out longer.) The orienteering
> event that Ian Vowles has scheduled for this June in Colorado is an
> opportunity for MSAR teams to practice overnight trips into the field.
> I do not leave base camp with less than 2 liters (quarts) of water.
> Liter #1 is on the saddle in a canteen, which I drink first. Liter #2
> I carry in a fanny pack or backpack. I have never "lost" my horse but
> if I ever do, I will be properly equipped to get myself back to base
> camp on foot. (For the same reason, I carry maps; I do not put them
> in one of those "map holder" pommel bags sold in most tack catalogs.)
> On many occasions, I have tied my horse and continued on foot (eg, in
> ravines choked with boulders and treefalls), always wearing my little
> pack with water, food, first aid kit, radio, compass and map, and any
> other important gear (raingear in monsoon season, extra warm clothing
> in winter).
> It always dismays me to see MSAR volunteers on missions with no gear on
> their person or, still worse, no gear on their horse either. And you
> had better believe this dismays SAR managers too!
> Una Smith
> Santa Fe County Sheriff's Posse, in New Mexico
> MSAR-riders mailing list
> MSAR-riders at lists.ibiblio.org
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