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Lost in Namadgi. Found by helicopter

By johnboy - 8 June 2013 31

A 42-year-old woman and 22-year-old man have been rescued after getting lost while hiking in Namadgi National Park yesterday (Friday 7 June) afternoon.

About 1pm the pair left their vehicle after driving through Piccadilly Circus onto a dirt road, and walked into the forest. They had been hiking for approximately three hours before realising they were lost, and contacting ACT Policing.

A search for the hikers commenced, involving members from Woden patrol, Rural patrol, the Specialist Response Group and NSW Police. The hikers were able to give police a vague description of their whereabouts via mobile phone. However attempts to triangulate an exact position were unsuccessful.

As night fell, temperatures reached -3 degrees Celsius. A rescue helicopter with infra-red technology was brought in from Sydney to assist with the search. About 2am the hikers were located, and airlifted to The Canberra Hospital as a precautionary measure.

Acting Superintendent Steven Hogarth believes the hikers were extremely lucky to escape serious injury.

“At this time of year temperatures can plummet extremely quickly. Unprepared hikers run an enormous risk of serious injury or death when exposed to these elements”, Acting Superintendent Hogarth said.

“These two people are very fortunate to have been found so quickly in such a large area. Our members, with the assistance of NSW Police and the rescue helicopter did an outstanding job to rescue them safely”, he said.

When preparing for a bushwalk, always tell friends or family of your plans. Keep enough food and water with you, as well as clothing suitable for all conditions. Keep a fully charged mobile phone with you in case you get lost.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

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Lost in Namadgi. Found by helicopter
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Thumper 8:45 am 11 Jun 13

Warm clothes, water and most importantly, matches. With fire you have warmth and with warmth you will stay alive and can later signal to searchers.

Map, compass if you have them. Or even just a map if you can map and ground.

Another point, know which was is north. If you are in Namdgi, Canberra will always be to your north east.

Stick tight and we will find you.

parle 1:57 am 11 Jun 13

c_c™ said :

Smartphones should not be relied on as a navigation device outside metro areas. They typically do not store mapping data locally, or only cache a limited amount. That means they’re only good while you have a data connection, and from experience, my 3G smartphone lost 3G up in the Brindies, and could only establish sporadic EDGE connections.

yeah, not true at all and dangerously wrong to the point whereby you may dissuade people from using there smartphone when they’re in trouble.

c_c™ said :

It is true, go do some research so you actually know what you’re talking about.

Well, you’re the one quoting experience with sporadic cell phone reception as prima facie – “It must be true as I only had 2.5G, 2.5GGGG!!!!!”

c_c™ said :

They typically do not store mapping data locally, or only cache a limited amount.

All smartphones have a basemap which is fine for getting yourself out of trouble. Try it – Airplane mode>google maps(or relevant)

By default, detailed maps aren’t cached unless you buy actual Nav software however there’s not a smartphone on the market that can’t take the entire ACT and NSW road maps offline, with a drag and tap, all for free.

c_c™ said :

That means they’re only good while you have a data connection

means to me, inversely, that they’re no use unless you have a data connection; this is not true and is very misleading. Without a data connection the GPS hardware still works, coordinates work, you have an arrow on a map with a heading, does that sound useless?, don’t believe me; Airplane mode>google maps.

c_c™ said :

And someone would have to be thick to take my comment as advice against trying to use a smartphone as distinct from advice on avoiding reliance on one. There’s a big difference.

Well, not in the context of the title article. You yourself had made the mistake of dismissing the usefulness of unconnected smartphone. so..yeah.

I’m sure there are many people that would see ‘no service’ and assume their smartphone is useless, everything you wrote reiterates that.

parle 11:26 pm 10 Jun 13

damien haas said :

Many smartphones use GPS data from available cell towers. No cell reception, no GPS data. Unless you know your smartphone has GPS chips, you cannot rely on it for mapping.

there was a nokia from 2006 that used simulated GPS using triangulation silliness?,

okay, I give up, what ‘many’ smart phones don’t have a hardware GPS because once you take out the ones that do (iphone/galaxy/xperia/htc) I wouldn’t call what’s left ‘many’.

‘Assisted GPS’, maybe this is what you’re talking about?, it takes a whole bunch of stuff (including cell tower data) but that’s more about fine tuning and improving accuracy, it still uses a hardware GPS.

parle 10:57 pm 10 Jun 13

LSWCHP said :

I dunno about that. I have a Samsung Galaxy 2, and its GPS is utter crap if the phone network isn’t available to back it up. I wouldn’t trust my life to it, so that’s why I recently purchased a small standalone GPS as a backup when I’m in the bush. Backup only though. There’s no substitute for a topographical map and a good compass, IMHO.

FWIW, the Garmin etrex-20 is a neat little unit that does what it says it will at a reasonable price. I’m not associate with Garmin, I just like their little box.

Interestingly your s2 and etrex both use the same broadcom gps chipset, a different implementation albeit but the GPS decoding is done by exactly the same model of hardware in both devices you’ve bought.

by ‘utter crap’ I will guess you mean the turn by turn nav wouldn’t work?

GPS and navigation are two separate functions. All the GPS does is work out your grid position, the time and a few other things. The navigation software takes the coordinates from the GPS to overly them to a map to provide a point of reference that a person can relate to. An extension of this is turn by turn navigation which relies on a data connection (for some map sources) and the accuracy of the source map material, which can be awful and will be what most people judge the accuracy of a GPS (rather unfairly!)

So, the point to this? when you only need to know what direction to walk in or just need to know your GPS coordinates, turn by turn navigation isn’t required.

Try this; switch to ‘airplane’ mode and start google maps, you can’t do turn by turn nav but you can walk a bearing. ‘GPS test’ on play store is also excellent and will show you what your GPS is up to.

also, for what it’s worth, saying that you’re prepared and have all ‘the right gear’ when you’ve failed take advantage and understand the piece of technology that’s with you all the time, whatever the planning or lack thereof, is fairly poor and smacks of the same arrogance that can get you into trouble.

damien haas 9:49 pm 10 Jun 13

parle said :

c_c™ said :

Smartphones should not be relied on as a navigation device outside metro areas. They typically do not store mapping data locally, or only cache a limited amount. That means they’re only good while you have a data connection, and from experience, my 3G smartphone lost 3G up in the Brindies, and could only establish sporadic EDGE connections.

yeah, not true at all and dangerously wrong to the point whereby you may dissuade people from using there smartphone when they’re in trouble.

Many smartphones use GPS data from available cell towers. No cell reception, no GPS data. Unless you know your smartphone has GPS chips, you cannot rely on it for mapping.

c_c™ 9:13 pm 10 Jun 13

parle said :

c_c™ said :

Smartphones should not be relied on as a navigation device outside metro areas. They typically do not store mapping data locally, or only cache a limited amount. That means they’re only good while you have a data connection, and from experience, my 3G smartphone lost 3G up in the Brindies, and could only establish sporadic EDGE connections.

yeah, not true at all and dangerously wrong to the point whereby you may dissuade people from using there smartphone when they’re in trouble.

It is true, go do some research so you actually know what you’re talking about.

And someone would have to be thick to take my comment as advice against trying to use a smartphone as distinct from advice on avoiding reliance on one. There’s a big difference.

LSWCHP 8:56 pm 10 Jun 13

parle said :

c_c™ said :

Smartphones should not be relied on as a navigation device outside metro areas. They typically do not store mapping data locally, or only cache a limited amount. That means they’re only good while you have a data connection, and from experience, my 3G smartphone lost 3G up in the Brindies, and could only establish sporadic EDGE connections.

yeah, not true at all and dangerously wrong to the point whereby you may dissuade people from using there smartphone when they’re in trouble.

I dunno about that. I have a Samsung Galaxy 2, and its GPS is utter crap if the phone network isn’t available to back it up. I wouldn’t trust my life to it, so that’s why I recently purchased a small standalone GPS as a backup when I’m in the bush. Backup only though. There’s no substitute for a topographical map and a good compass, IMHO.

FWIW, the Garmin etrex-20 is a neat little unit that does what it says it will at a reasonable price. I’m not associate with Garmin, I just like their little box.

Pork Hunt 8:53 pm 10 Jun 13

LSWCHP said :

damien haas said :

Up to date maps, a beacon, a lighter and warm clothing would be my choice of things to take bushwalking ahead of an iphone.

I took two of my boys up one of the established walks in Tidbinbilla today. It’s basically just going up and down a fire trail, so it’s not hard core bush walking in any sense of the word. Still, I’m a careful man, and I want me and my offspring to live long and happy lives.

So just in case, we had backpacks with food, water, a med kit, two phones, a Garmin GPS nav system, a waterproof poncho, a space blanket, the Tidbinbilla 1:25000 topo map, a compass, two knives, a cigarette lighter and a box of matches. I told my wife which walk we were going on, and when I expected to return. I signed the logbook at the start of the trail, and signed out when we returned.

I’m highly skilled and experienced at navigation and bush survival skills. While on the walk, I started teaching my boys how to read the map, relate it to the ground, and use the compass to determine directions so that they knew where we were. If things had turned pear shaped in any way, I’m pretty sure we would’ve come out OK.

The bush can kill you very quickly, particularly at this time of year in this region when the temperature is below zero for many hours, with a lot of moisture around. Anybody who goes into the weeds, even the simplest trips, without a lot of thought and careful preparation is asking for trouble.

Nice work.

parle 8:34 pm 10 Jun 13

c_c™ said :

Smartphones should not be relied on as a navigation device outside metro areas. They typically do not store mapping data locally, or only cache a limited amount. That means they’re only good while you have a data connection, and from experience, my 3G smartphone lost 3G up in the Brindies, and could only establish sporadic EDGE connections.

yeah, not true at all and dangerously wrong to the point whereby you may dissuade people from using there smartphone when they’re in trouble.

LSWCHP 7:24 pm 10 Jun 13

damien haas said :

Up to date maps, a beacon, a lighter and warm clothing would be my choice of things to take bushwalking ahead of an iphone.

I took two of my boys up one of the established walks in Tidbinbilla today. It’s basically just going up and down a fire trail, so it’s not hard core bush walking in any sense of the word. Still, I’m a careful man, and I want me and my offspring to live long and happy lives.

So just in case, we had backpacks with food, water, a med kit, two phones, a Garmin GPS nav system, a waterproof poncho, a space blanket, the Tidbinbilla 1:25000 topo map, a compass, two knives, a cigarette lighter and a box of matches. I told my wife which walk we were going on, and when I expected to return. I signed the logbook at the start of the trail, and signed out when we returned.

I’m highly skilled and experienced at navigation and bush survival skills. While on the walk, I started teaching my boys how to read the map, relate it to the ground, and use the compass to determine directions so that they knew where we were. If things had turned pear shaped in any way, I’m pretty sure we would’ve come out OK.

The bush can kill you very quickly, particularly at this time of year in this region when the temperature is below zero for many hours, with a lot of moisture around. Anybody who goes into the weeds, even the simplest trips, without a lot of thought and careful preparation is asking for trouble.

Mr Evil 7:01 pm 10 Jun 13

This is just great news – now we’ll have the friends and family of Prabhdeep Srawn claiming that we only go out of our way to save Australians when they’re lost in the bush!

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