SAR - A way to practice

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Airtime, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    In the recent thread WTB ham radio Idahoser makes some good points about needing to active yd Gage one's ham radio skills well in advance of the SHTF. Got me thinkin.....

    Not too long ago I got involved with search and rescue (SAR) at a regional and state level. The interesting thing about SAR is many of the skills one needs for a bug out in a SHTF situation or for tactical ops are learned and more importantly are PRACTICED with SAR. Some of the things you would learn and practice include:

    Land navigation
    Land navigation at night
    Grid coordinates
    Intersection and resection
    Radio comms typically with 2 meter ham
    Coordinating team ops via radio comms
    Tracking and sign cutting
    Incident command system used by civil agencies
    Lots of experience hiking with a pack
    Moderate field survival skills
    Develop connections with LEO
    Meet a lot of good folks.

    SAR presents a good mechanism to evaluate your gear, your skills and you mind under conditions more akin to a real situation than what many people create for training. You can't fully appreciate traveling light until you travel too heavy. You internalize many of the things one just reads about here.

    Note that SAR is not for glory hounds, Rambos or people not genuinely interested in helping find people in need. However for some, It might be a rewarding way to better learn and practice skills we'll need in the future. For more info check out the National Association for Search and Rescue ( I'd suggest a FunSAR course to get the most bang for your buck in skill development.

    Just thinkin....

  2. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    active yd Gage = actively engage (

  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ is suppose to be
    Grrrrr. Teach me to type a message on this i-thingy instead of my toughbook.
  4. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    He is right on target with helping with SAR. Have been on many but have retired from playing in the woods. Friend and his wife went to Texas when the Discoverer blew on re entry. Everyone is "crazy about" GPS abilities----just remember--they can and will be turned off to civilians if need be. Have and be able to use the old compass. Two is one-even had one of my lensatics to go bad. Have topo maps of your area, projected travel paths, and possible destination areas. Keep highway maps in each vehicle, each BO bag, and in your home. We have probably 30 state maps, 20-25 county, and many topos. One GPS--well my son has one in his phone also.
    oldawg likes this.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Hams have a number of ways to go without the exertion of on the ground SARS, and have supported SAR in the past. ARES is but one.
  6. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Pack your gear and head out to a "ham fest". They are held on a fairly regular basis around here over on Morrow Mountain--near Albemarle, NC.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Sponsored SAR is a good opportunity to use, and refine your Comms Skillset. Even if you are to OLD to go tramping thru the Outback. A good Base Operator is worth his weight in GOLD, to any Incident Commander. I was asked to work on a design for a Regional Mobile Command Vehicle a few years back. It was based on a reTIRED EMS Van. We setup Multiple HF/VHF/UHF Radios with just about every Frequency programmed into them, from Multiple Radio Services. (Public Safety, Marine, Air, Ham, GMRS/FRS, CB, Alaska Private Fixed) Our Ground SAR Folks were setup with the Garmin Rhino Portables (GMRS/FRS) with GPS, and Radio Position Fixing, that when received, displayed on a Laptop Screen that showed the SAR Area's USGS Quad Map, and on one layer, we could follow the track of each Search Group, as they moved thru the search area. I spent a couple of days, training a couple of Older Hams to be Base Operators on the systems. This allowed the State Trooper, who was Incident Commander to do his thing without worrying about dealing with Comms, and the Operator summarized what was happening, and updated the IC, as the Information came in on the Command Net Frequency, which was different from all the other traffic.
    kellory likes this.
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