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Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

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chumley
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Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by chumley » Mar 17 2017 9:45 am

I can't really say this is a "good" article. It's sort of disjointed, cites statistics that don't seem to have verifiable sources (1600 people?), delves into random conspiracy theories, etc. In fact, I'm not really sure what the writer was trying to actually convey.

Maybe that was the point? :-k

I found it interesting nonetheless.
Read it here: https://www.outsideonline.com/2164446/leave-no-trace

Things I took away from the article:

If you go missing on public land, the county you were in matters a lot. The sheriff of that county is in charge of missing persons and SAR resources and training are very different from county to county.

National Parks are their own little world and going missing in a park limits (or prevents) volunteers or outside sources to assist in a search.

If you go missing on public land, there are a lot of factors that don't work in your favor.

A satellite rescue device might be a better idea than I previously thought.

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Tough_Boots
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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by Tough_Boots » Mar 17 2017 1:01 pm

You know when someone writes about being a regular Coast to Coast listener, they're gonna have a soft spot for conspiracy theories.

And as for satellite beacon devices-- I think it's a major lapse of good sense for avid outdoors folks not to have one. People will spend hundreds to drop a couple pack pounds but not on a device that can save a life.
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
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friendofThundergod
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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by friendofThundergod » Mar 17 2017 1:59 pm

I think it's a major lapse of good sense for avid outdoors folks not to have one.
:oops:

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RedRoxx44
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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by RedRoxx44 » Mar 17 2017 2:08 pm

I think a SPOT or whatever is a good idea for a lot of people. I personally do not opt for such devices although I have a SAT phone that sits in my vehicle most of the time. Nothing will ever be 100%. You play the game and you take your chances. I've logged 1000's of hours in the backcountry and never had any communication device. And I've had a few problems. And I have been lucky. And I have been prepared and determined.

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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by cactuscat » Mar 17 2017 2:24 pm

Add me to the lots-of-time-outdoors-alone-no-gps-or-spot group.
I found the article interesting too ... but agree it left me with more questions. Were they trying to imply alien abductions at one point? There is potential here for a really good story/book ... just needs a better author - Annette Mcgivney would be my choice. And put the author in touch with NPS' Investigative Services Branch - the Parks version of the FBI, who actually investigate these cases - but rarely get mentioned.
Where is the "dislike" button?

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chumley
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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by chumley » Mar 17 2017 3:06 pm

@cactuscat
The article implies that NPS is very secretive with stats on missing persons.
Paulides has spent hundreds of hours writing letters and Freedom of Information Act requests in an attempt to break through National Park Service red tape. He believes the Park Service in particular knows exactly how many people are missing but won’t release the information for fear that the sheer numbers—and the ways in which people went missing—would shock the public so badly that visitor numbers would go down.
*Note: Paulides seems to be a conspiracy theorist, so take that quote with a grain of salt. (Especially the suggestive "and the ways they went missing" ... the red tape part may be less theory and more factual.)

I would definitely be interested in well-sourced journalism that includes speaking with the NPS ISB.

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chumley
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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by chumley » Mar 17 2017 3:16 pm

I should add that I believe suicide on public land is more common than government agencies would like for it to be. I think suicides are often intentionally under-reported to help prevent "copycat" suicides.

This is obviously a sensitive subject, but one that likely factors into the statistics of missing persons on public land.

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Alston_Neal
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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by Alston_Neal » Mar 17 2017 3:32 pm

Chums, that is a very good point. Unless it is a murder/suicide it is not often not brought up even in the media. The family members have enough to deal with already, so it just quietly goes away. There are also those that in choosing their passing for whatever reason prefer not to be found.
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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Mar 17 2017 4:31 pm

If not for yourself it is recommended that you carry an emergency satellite type device in case you can help save the life of someone else. :DANCE:
Also Chums is correct as some deaths in our hiking and backpacking lands are the result of sucide. :M2C:

Either way SAR teams would like to be called out less often and especially if there are assumed missing and dead bodies involved. :scared:
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
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Nighthiker
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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by Nighthiker » Mar 17 2017 7:35 pm

A very good resource is a publication by National Search and Rescue Association entitled Lost Person Behavior. Under Arizona Law the Sheriff's Department is in charge of Search and Rescue, and my experience I have noted those folks would have difficulty finding a prayer in a bible. The National Parks Service Folks tend to treat the area like a crime scene or the search for an advanced secret military aircraft.

Staying safe and being found begins before you take your trip out beyond the three wire. Prepare a trip plan (and stick to it) with someone. Include information such as map name and edition used or any source of information you are basing your trip on. If using a GPS make sure you list Map Datum and Scale used. Make a diagram, picture or step on a piece of aluminum foil of the tread pattern of your foot wear. Your footwear tracks are usually obliterated by the first arriving Deputy walking around your vehicle. I have a friend who wears a watch cap while driving out to the trailhead and leaves it in his vehicle and is noted in his trip plan. This item is for the dog so they have a scent marker.

Tragedy usually begins with, "Its just a day hike".
jk

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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by Jim_H » Mar 17 2017 7:56 pm

I feel the OP is being unnecessarily hard on what is basically a popular human interest piece. The italicized portion at the top is basically the article's thesis, and the rest of the stuff is filler. Simply put, yes there is a wide variation in the extent of SAR resources by county, and depending on which Public land a person happens to go missing, you may or may not have a very good search effort. Granted, I am not a reader of this magazine and am therefore not familiar with it's general content, but I will say that I did not think alien abductions were being implied. If anything, it was more like the NPS just doesn't want to publicize that a lot of people are reported missing and they don't find a lot of them. It looks bad. But, the Parks are often huge and there are only so many resources to manage the NPS lands. With the backlog of projects, well.... The article isn't really a source I would go to for hard fact. I'm not one to bang the peer reviewed literature drum, but it plainly says no one know, and then throws out a figure, so it's like, who cares, this is just stuff meant to read when you're on the toilet dreaming of being on the trail, or something.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by big_load » Mar 17 2017 8:19 pm

Jim_H wrote: Granted, I am not a reader of this magazine and am therefore not familiar with it's general content ...
I almost never read the magazine itself, but I often read individual articles republished elsewhere and I've read a handful of books they published. My impression from that reading is quite favorable. I don't always agree with opinions that are expressed, but I think they care about accuracy and interest.

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Re: Outside Magazine article on missing hikers

Post by Alston_Neal » Mar 18 2017 8:48 am

Interestingly the paper today reported two remains found. One missing since 2007 in the Sedona area and one in the Bagdad area. This will bring closure to many people.
In Japan they say only old people and crazy people hike mountains...........yep


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