|Top of the Hill||Boots and Blisters||Who's Who and New|
|Top of the Hill||by Adam Hernandez , President|
First of all I would like to thank all the past officers for doing a great job last year. I hope that this year will be as good or better. I would also like to congratulate Mike Dugger for being elected to recieve the Dave Dixon award for service and committment to our team and community. Great job and many thanks. And last but not least, I would like to thank Mike K. for opening up his house for the December meeting/Christmas party.
This year I would like the team to concentrate on response time on missions and training. I would like everyone to double check their backpacks and make sure that you're ready to go and have everything that you are REQUIRED to bring into the field. I would also like to have everyone double check their gear and see if you can lighten your backpack. I know that sometimes I throw stuff into my pack for a specific mission and then may not need it for the next couple missions. Some members of the team keep a separate bag of extra gear that may or may not need. So, Be Ready and Be Fully Equipped.
Next, is training. I would like everyone to try and get all their required training and evaluations out of the way as soon as possible. Also, I would like to suggest that members stay a physically fit as possible. I know that this can be a problem at certain times of the year (e.g., Thanksgiving and Christmas). I will be posting various fitness tests as benchmarks during the next few months.
Found on various SAR tests: 45lb. pack, 3 miles, 45 minutes.
P.S. My door/email is always open.
|Boots and Blisters||by Tony Gaier, Training Officer|
I hope everyone is having a great New Year so far! The training schedule has been posted to the team's website. Please remember that each individual on the team is required to attend at least 4 trainings per year. To prevent yourself from going training deficient, you must attend a minimum of 2 trainings in the first six months (January - June) and an additional two trainings in the last six months of the year (July - December). If you are already starting the year training deficient, you will need to "make-up" those trainings before the training you attend this year counts towards this six month period. If you have any questions concerning your status please contact an officer.
There are three training opportunities this month. The first is on the 13th at 9AM. It's a search techniques training at Bear Canyon Trailhead. The second is a winter skills training on the 27th starting at 2PM. The last opportunity is the winter bivy that follows the winter skills training. Both trainings will be located at Ellis Trailhead.
February has two trainings scheduled. The first is on the 11th at 9AM. It is a day navigation training at a location near Placitas. The second is on the 24th at 6PM. It is a night navigation training at Embudo Trailhead.
If you have any questions or concerns with upcoming training events please call or email me. I truly look forward to being the team's training officer this year and hope to see you soon at an upcoming team event!
|Who's Who and New||by Mike Dugger, Membership Officer|
Welcome back from the holidays, everyone. I hope you all had a great time with family and friends and have been enjoying all this snow! I am delighted to have been elected Membership Officer for this term, and I pledge to do my best to increase our membership.
My first official duty is to welcome a new active member to the team. This is actually the result of Tom Rinck's efforts as MO last year. Please join me in welcoming Warren Wylupski as a full member of the team, with all the voting privileges and salary increase that go along with this promotion!
My plan for the year is to work hard to take as many "first contacts" as possible all the way to active member. I was pleasantly surprised that since our elections last month, ten people have contacted the team via email and expressed an interest in joining our organization. This is a bit higher than average, but I hope we can keep up this momentum. If anyone has any insight from their time as prospective or a good idea for increasing interest and participation, I would very much like to hear it. I also plan to restart our "Member Spotlight," which was a short column in this section to help us all get to know one another a little better.
|What do you use to illuminate your night?||by Tony Gaier|
So what light source is the best for search and rescue? A high powered mammoth beam or a long burning LED? Both are the answer for me. Those endless night trail walks there's no need for the super bright halogen bulb that drains your batteries, but when you want to scan that arroyo below you the LED lamp is worthless. So yes, both have a valuable purpose for SAR operations. Some people would say two separate light sources are needed to perform this task effectively. You can buy an effective, dual light source headlamp for this purpose also, if you choose not to carry that extra light.
Both can be the correct option. If you are like me, getting older and not wanting to carry anymore than I have too, I would go with the dual function headlamp option. There are many choices out there for this option. The Petzl MYO 3 (3 LED lamps and one halogen lamp) or Petzl MYO 5 (5 LED lamps and one halogen lamp) headlamps are an example of that option. There are some with a single LED option, but these sometimes don't have sufficient illumination for trail use (using the single LED). Another example is the Petzl Duo series. One version has a super bright halogen and 14 LED lamps, this is my favorite. It gives superior light for both trail illumination and far high beam scanning capabilities. With a 3 or 5 LED configuration the battery drain is very low (up to 150 to 180 hours of operating time) and the 14 LED option is higher (47 hours of operating time). There are many brands with this dual configuration out there and prices are just as varying as the choices. The prices can vary from $25 to well over $300. The top end has a lithium Ion battery and a variety of power settings.
The other option can be a good choice too. Having two independent light sources can be a better option for some people. If you have a wiring problem or damage to your dual function headlamp, that may leave you with nothing. Of course the biggest drawback with two independent light sources is the increased weight and bulk. You can find many choices for either a single or multi-LED headlamp out there. The prices again vary a lot, from $5 to $200. The price for high intensity lights fluctuate just as much as the LED options. I like the Black Diamond Ion, its ultra light and compact design is hard to beat for 10 bucks! On the high illumination end, I prefer the Surefire M4 Devastator. With 350 lumens it can definitely illuminate anything you need to see ($330).
Another important thing to consider is your power source and its location. Batteries? Rechargeable or Disposable? Although the rechargeable battery technology has come a long way, I still prefer disposable batteries. There are some very good light systems out there with the capability to use either rechargeable or disposable batteries. I have purchased several flashlights and powered tools with the new Li-ion batteries. I'm impressed with their performance. They have a long run time and recharge quickly (some in 15 minutes!). The other thing is they hold their charge longer in storage. During cold weather you need to keep your batteries warm or they will not work well. Lithium batteries do the best in cold weather. If you're considering a new headlamp, you may want to go with one that has a separate battery pack (batteries separated from the light unit). This way you can store the batteries close to your body, keeping the batteries warm for better performance.
So you have the correct answer to this question now, right? Probably not, but you do have something to go on. You need to consider your budget and your preference for lighting equipment, in order to come to the best answer for you.
|Disclaimer and Copyright notice||the Editors|