Lost hiker found via imagery

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Bosterson
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Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by Bosterson » April 15th, 2021, 10:55 pm

This is pretty interesting. There's a link to Twitter where the user breaks down how he used the photo to find the guy's rough location based on current satellite imagery, then pulled it up in Google Earth to get the correct time of day and shadows to confirm the viewpoint.

That said, the lost guy has promised to turn on location tagging for his photos so next time he sends his buddy a pic that says "I'm lost here," it will show where he is. SAR also recommends that the hordes of inexperienced people flooding the outdoors get a satellite location device in case you can't get cell service outside.

PSA for those people: rather than wasting your phone's battery looking at Twitter and texting your friends a photo of where they should come rescue you, get a free GPS app like Gaia or Backcountry Navigator and then use it to not get lost in the first place using the GPS-enabled device you already have in your pocket! Seriously, is it not common knowledge even among SAR that you can use your phone as a GPS without connection to towers? This boggles my mind. Literally 110% of the aforementioned inexperienced hordes have cell phones on their person already. :ugeek: :lol:
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mjirving
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by mjirving » April 16th, 2021, 5:06 am

Or...text a pin location of where you are. That might be helpful too. ;-)

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mjirving
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by mjirving » April 16th, 2021, 5:09 am

Or use the built in maps feature. I mean the guy had data coverage to send a picture right??

Fully agree on Gaia. Just an amazing app.

squidvicious
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by squidvicious » April 16th, 2021, 11:02 am

mjirving wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 5:06 am
Or...text a pin location of where you are. That might be helpful too. ;-)
I think that was just a badly reported story. From the one I initially remember reading, he had sent the picture out earlier, then later texted that he was lost and his cellphone nearly dead.

I'm always amazed at people who are able to look at a photo and pin it down to a particular location / perspective. Strange magic.

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mjirving
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by mjirving » April 16th, 2021, 11:28 am

Ah...that makes more sense. Thanks. Yes I agree, pretty remarkable to pick out that location. Not a lot of perspective there.

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Chip Down
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by Chip Down » April 16th, 2021, 7:32 pm

Some people just can't be helped. All we can do is go looking for them when they get lost.

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bobcat
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by bobcat » April 17th, 2021, 7:50 am

Bosterson wrote:
April 15th, 2021, 10:55 pm
PSA for those people: rather than wasting your phone's battery looking at Twitter and texting your friends a photo of where they should come rescue you, get a free GPS app like Gaia or Backcountry Navigator and then use it to not get lost in the first place using the GPS-enabled device you already have in your pocket!
Totally agree, but the danger for many is that the phone has become their one and only recourse, and I keep seeing stories where they have gotten lost regardless. The same problem existed in the remote past when people relied totally on a guidebook with a little map that didn't help them when they veered off track.

I'd say, in addition to an app like Gaia:

1) carry paper hiking maps of the area: Green Trails if they cover it is O.K., but you should also have something bigger, like a national forest map; this will also help with not getting lost while driving, especially if there are unexpected detours. Google won't get you everywhere in the backcountry. (Of course, my son has never used a paper map in his life and despises the notion, but he's also not a backcountry hiker.)

2) carry a (fully charged) portable charger for your phone!

3) prep the hike properly; look at Caltopo on the large screen at home and at the hiking maps you will bring with you. Study the terrain. Google a bit to see if you pick up any recent information regarding trail conditions, snow levels, etc.

4) Understand that there may be signs down, junctions that you might miss because you blinked or you were too busy instagramming, etc. I can't believe how many people I've met who were wandering way off course because they missed a (rather obvious) junction and had no idea where they were!

squidvicious
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by squidvicious » April 17th, 2021, 9:22 am

bobcat wrote:
April 17th, 2021, 7:50 am
(4) Understand that there may be signs down, junctions that you might miss because you blinked or you were too busy instagramming, etc. I can't believe how many people I've met who were wandering way off course because they missed a (rather obvious) junction and had no idea where they were!
Embarrassing memories of the time I realized (quickly, fortunately) I was definitely on the wrong trail and turned around cursing the people who had obviously knocked down the sign at the turn I'd missed... only to backtrack to a very intact, very obvious sign at the very clear junction I had somehow walked straight through. On a trail I'd been on before. At least it was a useful lesson in never assuming anything's too simple to screw up.

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Bosterson
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by Bosterson » April 17th, 2021, 9:51 am

bobcat wrote:
April 17th, 2021, 7:50 am
Totally agree, but the danger for many is that the phone has become their one and only recourse, and I keep seeing stories where they have gotten lost regardless.
I wasn't meaning to imply that downloading Gaia is the only and surefire solution to not getting lost, because, as you note, there is no lack of stories of people with phones and apps and everything still making bad decisions and getting lost and running out of batteries. My point was only that if you're going to enable location on your phone, then only use that to embed your location into photos so that your friends can pass the coordinates to SAR when you text that you're lost, it's maybe just a bit less effective than, say, using a mapping app to figure out where you are instead. ;)

And also that, re SAR's recommendation that newbies go buy a standalone GPS unit, 1) everyone already has a "GPS" unit they already carry, and 2) their recommendation is to effectively solve a problem of preparation and competence with more equipment - which of course would be useless for the unprepared and incompetent.

In terms of what I think people should actually do to be prepared, that list is way longer and requires a lot of practice, and I think it'd probably be best if all those people just stayed home instead, since the outdoors is full of, like, dirt and ticks and junk, and totally isn't as fun as Playstation, so, like, we here can just altruistically do all that suffering outdoors for them instead. :D
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squidvicious
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Re: Lost hiker found via imagery

Post by squidvicious » April 17th, 2021, 9:59 am

Bosterson wrote:
April 17th, 2021, 9:51 am
everyone already has a "GPS" unit they already carry
Technically, but then they take it out in the middle of nowhere and are surprised to find it doesn't do much if you don't have a signal and didn't download any maps ahead of time.

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