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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.

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Offline 19dsniper

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2017, 09:20:02 AM »
Thank you for the well wishes.
I have never been to this camp before so I'm not familiar with it yet. I heard mention from someone else that there was some decent places to cool off at base camp. I'm don't yet know where the "Notch" is located, but i can guess based off of the satellite photos i have looked at. Base camp us support to have swimming at least once a day. Hopefully we will have some as well in the back county. Take care guys! I may come back with a picture of 2 and leave a follow up after the trip. We are still 2 weeks out from leaving, so there is still plenty more time for some additional heat to creep in.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2017, 09:42:43 AM »
FYI - Here is a link to a topo indicating the location of The Notch. When you hike to it from Base Camp, everyone has to cross the creek 10 or 12 times and WILL get their feet wet. It can be done in Crocks or old tennis shoes. The Notch itself is a splendid swimming hole, deep enough for jumping off the rocky banks.  I would be shocked if the Mountain Man bunch didn't go there at least once, since their camp I believe is closer than Base Camp. Have a great time. Some of the best rock climbing at Scout camps in Texas is found there. "Up on top" is where the most exposure to sun will be, but down in the canyons is where there is shade, trees, and water.

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Offline Jimbow

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 12:32:10 PM »
I've been to Buffalo Trails several times and indeed The Notch is a great place to cool off especially when the water is high. I also miss the spring on the way there. I went to BSA camp school a few years ago with some of the staff and am really sad for everyone involved.

There are working phones at the HQs. Air conditioning in the dining hall. Activities are actively monitored. I'm going to assume the Scout was on a back packing adventure or part of the Mountain Man program ( if it is still offered). All other programs are run at base camp so they wouldn't be on a hike like that. 


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Offline Jimbow

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Re: Re: Jeff David County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2017, 01:18:34 PM »
I have been to BTSR twice for their week long summer camp. In what program will you be participating? If it is regular summer camp program, you and your Scouts will be at Base Camp which is nestled inside a canyon with a creek running down the middle, where there is plenty of water and available shade. It cools off at night being at 5000+ feet. Base Camp has landline phone service, might even have radio. Hundreds of youth and adults enjoy that camp every summer, so I am a bit jealous because that canyon is such a gorgeous place.
More like thousands. When I was there they were running eight weeks with 400 campers each week. Great camp with a great staff. I've been in base camp and mountain man. Great place to prepare for Philmont as well.


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Offline 19dsniper

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2017, 09:17:58 PM »
Jimbow
Thank you for the information. Our boys and leaders will be participating in the Mountain Man program and the Backcountry 50 miler.

"ENDURANCE
Minimum Age=14; Experience = Advanced / Mature; Difficulty = EXTREMELY Difficult; Mileage = ~55-65 miles

This trek is the most difficult and physically taxing program at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch! Hiking over 50 miles in five days is a proud and difficult accomplishment for those that complete the trek! People cry, feet bleed, and your thighs will feel the burn! Enjoy climbing, team building, and a search and rescue role play as you take the grand tour of the BTSR Outback. Hike over 60 miles through the rugged terrain of the outback AND earn the RR 1832 Marathon award. Trek crews also have the option to earn the 50 miler award."
This is copied directly from their information. We will be participating in these events and we are told that they only take a total of 24. Our troop already has the first 10 reserved spots.
Looking forward to this. They are already registered for Philmont next year and are using this as a great way to enhance their current conditioning.
Glad to hear that there will be the occasional watering hole around to cool off. This is a CO-ED trip based off of the information that i have received, seeing how they allow females in the other programs. So, we may all be jumping in covered head to toe, but its better than nothing. It will make "bathing" interesting.

I will come back later after we get back and try and update with a trip report and some photos. It should be a lot of fun! This is our first time out at BTSR. My son and I have been to Big Bend numerous times, but have never ventured farther north. So its still new to us.
Take care everyone, and thanks for all your help!

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Offline Jasonnicholas

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2017, 07:55:03 AM »
PLB SPOT is the way to go in my opinion. That is the best way to "be prepared"! Don't let cost factor in


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Offline elhombre

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2017, 09:12:39 AM »
I use a sat phone when hiking by myself in Colorado.  It does take a few minutes to get the green light in the valleys, but even in South Colony Lakes (a typical narrow high mountain valley) I had talkable service for 4-5 minutes.  Plenty of time to get a message out. 

As a SAR dude, you know how important it is to have a the best info available so that the RIGHT resources in the CORRECT quantity can be deployed for each emergency.  A two way communication is best for this exchange.  Spots can't do this.  You have bad info on cost, which makes me think you have bad info on coverage and use.  If a sat phone won't work, a radio sure won't work in the same location.

Find the local phone numbers for their 911 systems before leaving.  Besides, if their system is like most, they are set up to transfer phone calls between agencies very easily.  Conversely, when it comes to one agency talking to another agency via their respective radio systems, it turns into a total $--t show because they just don't talk the same way. 

This is who I use in Colorado.  The county SAR people are not going to charge the Sat phone renter anything for a call.
http://www.roadpost.com/Iridium-Satellite-Phone-Rentals-P704C279.aspx?UserID=377215348&SessionID=EV4gbZfpioNWEbEf7Nvp&source=hp#gsc.tab=0
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline presidio

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2017, 08:32:54 AM »
I'm surprised the Boy Scouts haven't shut down the camp for a couple of weeks to conduct an eval of what changes might be needed.

The Boy Scouts are a lot like the NPS. Perceived as professional and competent. Experience says their outdoor judgment is not always what it should be.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline 19dsniper

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2017, 01:10:42 AM »
I use a sat phone when hiking by myself in Colorado.  It does take a few minutes to get the green light in the valleys, but even in South Colony Lakes (a typical narrow high mountain valley) I had talkable service for 4-5 minutes.  Plenty of time to get a message out. 

As a SAR dude, you know how important it is to have a the best info available so that the RIGHT resources in the CORRECT quantity can be deployed for each emergency.  A two way communication is best for this exchange.  Spots can't do this.  You have bad info on cost, which makes me think you have bad info on coverage and use.  If a sat phone won't work, a radio sure won't work in the same location.

Find the local phone numbers for their 911 systems before leaving.  Besides, if their system is like most, they are set up to transfer phone calls between agencies very easily.  Conversely, when it comes to one agency talking to another agency via their respective radio systems, it turns into a total $--t show because they just don't talk the same way. 

This is who I use in Colorado.  The county SAR people are not going to charge the Sat phone renter anything for a call.
http://www.roadpost.com/Iridium-Satellite-Phone-Rentals-P704C279.aspx?UserID=377215348&SessionID=EV4gbZfpioNWEbEf7Nvp&source=hp#gsc.tab=0

When speaking with a representative of SPOT PLB directly i was directed to click on numerous items on the page and read thru the fine print. I know that when a call comes into our SAR, that we don't bill them. However, with the SPOT, it states on their website that if emergency personnel aren't available in your area that they send out their own, privately contracted search and rescue. I did not get clarification from them on what the definition of "not available in your area" actually meant. I would guess that it may be situation dependent. If it is a life or death situation and the closest local help is 1-1.5 hours away, they may launch a helicopter to your location to expedite the safety of human life. I don't know if they have written protocol on this or if it is situation dependent. I never got this deep into conversation with them. I was told however that they do charge any and all of these fees to the registered SPOT subscriber. They also offered their insurance plan to me incase it was needed to cover their personal SAR needs. The catch with this is that the insurance is a plan that is on a per person basis. Basically if i purchased a SPOT for my family use, I would have to pay the $17.95 for each member of my family as insurance. So basically, if i wanted to use it for our scout troop, i would have to add every single scout and pay $17.95 per scout and add them to my personal plan. Wether this is correct information or not, I'm unsure, but it is what i was told by their representative. I am including a link that speaks about their plan and insurance stuff.
https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=104
Like i said, you are correct in that we as SAR don't charge the individual. But what SPOT decides to do in the situation could cause additional charges depending on what they charge. I think that i will move to a different route though after looking at things more. My current position is that taking a Garmin InReach for 2 way communication and a Sat phone is most likely our best bet. I will still take my radio with me because i plan on trying to do a little mountain topping while I'm out there just for fun. It would be great to try and see how far i can hit a repeater with the elevation we will be at, or maybe just some long range simplex stuff. Either way, should be interesting.

Thank you for the link. The previous places i looked had almost an exact and i mean EXACT page, only with a different web address. Prices were different, and were a little extreme. Im definitely interested in calling these guys first thing in the morning to see if i can still get it in time before we leave.

Thanks again everyone!

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Offline fullmetaljacket6793

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2017, 07:45:09 AM »
Spot is a ripoff. Just get a regular plb that has no subscription and you are much better off in the long run. They are more reliable anyways. Good luck and stay safe


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Offline Flash

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2017, 09:42:49 PM »
I got curious and looked up info on the InReach and found these two pages from the same website especially helpful:

How to Choose a Personal Locator Beacon or Satellite Messenger

Best Satellite Messengers and Locator Beacons of 2017

- Flash

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Offline venchka

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2017, 08:29:49 PM »
PLB versus SPOT versus InReach.
Transmission power:
PLB - 5 watts for 24 hours.
SPOT/InReach - 0.6 watts and not sure of the time.
Case closed.
Wayne


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Wayne
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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2017, 11:10:08 PM »
PLB versus SPOT versus InReach.
Transmission power:
PLB - 5 watts for 24 hours.
SPOT/InReach - 0.6 watts and not sure of the time.
Case closed.
Wayne


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The InReach enables two-way text message communication to any cell phone or email, which allows you to explain your needs, and search and rescue teams to set priorities as mentioned by elhombre earlier (although he was referring to satellite phones). In addition, even if you don't have a signal at a given point in time, chances are you will over any stretch of a few minutes as a satellite moves overhead, and your message will go out.

In one sense, the InReach is even better than a satellite phone in that you don't have to sit around waiting for a signal, you just send your message and it will be sent automatically when a signal is detected. On the other hand, once you do get a signal a satellite phone allows you to communicate information more efficiently.

So I would say there's more to it than power. I think the power argument wins out if you plan to be in narrow canyons with limited view of the sky, but otherwise the lower power devices should suffice. I'm currently leaning toward an InReach for my next solo trip.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 11:35:09 PM by DesertRatShorty »
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Offline venchka

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2017, 10:05:23 AM »
I want my signal heard.
I own a PLB.
Different strokes for different folks.
Wayne


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Wayne
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Offline GaryF

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Re: Jeff Davis County frequencies needed due to no coms/ death.
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2017, 02:53:50 PM »
"So I would say there's more to it than power"

Most definitely. Another consideration is the satellite network.

PLB - Cospas-Sarsat satellites @ 22,000 miles* @ 406mhz @ 5 watts
InReach- Iridium satellites @ 485 miles @ ~1600mhz. @ 1.6 watts
Spot- Globalstar satellites @ 878 miles @ ~1600mhz @ .4 watts

*PLB also has some satellites, at 530 miles, but these are not always within view / range, so there may be a delay in getting a signal out.

Factor all of these in, and it's still not a complete picture.  I tend to agree with Venchka that a PLB is going to be the most reliable in general. But for my use, I might be willing to sacrifice a tiny bit of that reliability for the versatility of something like the InReach.

 


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