Lost and Found... the newsletter of Volume 3, Issue 6
11 June 1998
Editors: Tom Russo, Mike Dugger,
and Mickey Jojola

Cibola Search and Rescue
"That Others May Live..."
Top of the Hill Boots and Blisters Who's Who and New
Mini Lesson Public Relations NMESC Notes
Disclaimer Classified Ads
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Top of the Hill by Larry Mervine
Search and Rescue is not the place for egotists or those weak in character, nor it is the place for those seeking popularity and fame. Rather, Search and Rescue is for those who have a unique desire to help others in need regardless of personal gain. With this in mind I thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead Cibola Search and Rescue. I hope to live up to the above philosophy. Below I listed the goals for the next six months. With your help we can achieve them.

I am committed to increasing our level of professionalism. To be a professional SAR person, we must be proficient and competent in what we do. To this end we will continue the implementation and improvement of our certification program.

To help new members who join our team and to remind us old members how we operate, the membership guide will be complete and passed out by the end of this summer.

During the last four years many people have attended team meetings. Some have joined and now are gone. We need to focus on a continous recruitment program of serious professional members. I ask for your support when recruitment activities are planned.

Last and so far this year there has been a decrease in missions. It is important that each member has their own physical fitness program. Maintaining a regular program of physical conditioning will give you a head start toward coping with stressful emergencies in hostile enviroments. Rare is the search done in perfect conditions. Also, worse than being in poor physical condition during a search and rescue mission or survival situation is not realizing that you are unfit. Maintaining a regular physical program you will know the limits of your physical condition.

See you out there. Back to Top
Boots and Blisters by Mike Dugger
The training event for June will be a mock search. The event will begin at 8 am on June 14, at the Cedro Peak campgrounds. Directions to training base are: from the 4-way stop in Tijeras at old US 66 and NM 14, go south on old NM 14 to Juan Tomas road. Turn left on Juan Tomas, and then another left at the "y" in the road to the campground. We will begin at the parking area just beyond the campground.

Our scheduled training topic for June is search techniques, so this will be factored into the search scenario. Please bring your usual search pack, and be prepared for anything, including hasty search and litter evacuation. Please arrive 15 minutes before the training so that you can get your gear ready and we can begin the training on time. Please note that those who arrive more than 15 minutes late for the training will not recieve credit for the training.

Hike of the MonthTunnel Springs and North Crest Trail 0730, Jun 27/28, 1998\01998
Trailhead: Tunnel Springs near Placitas
R.T. Distance: 10 milesElevation Min/Max: 6200/8600
Hiking Time 5 hoursHazards: The Usual
Topo Maps: USFS map of the Sandias
Ed Note: This is a rerun of the September 1997 HOM, as there was nobody available to write a new one for us this month. Members willing to write one of these for future hikes of the month are encouraged to contact the newsletter editors. On the way to the trailhead, you'll pass Quail Meadow Road. FYI - this is an alternate route to the Strip-mine Trail (not a part of this hike). You'll also pass the Agua Sarca trailhead, which is also not part of this hike, but a likely search route for missions in this area. Start by going south from the parking lot. A few feet out, there will be a gray wilderness sign. This is the bottom of the Del Orno route, which meets the North Crest trail. This route is very steep and rugged, and has some unsafe conditions. I have excluded it from this hike, but it would be a likely assignment for a search. Proceed east along the well-defined North Crest trail. Along the way be sure to pause and enjoy the scenic vistas to the west, north, and east. About 1.5 hours out, at (369.6, 3905.1) you should see the top of the Del Orno route as it drops into the arroyo on your right. An hour later you'll be at the junction with the Penasco Blanca trail (368.9, 3902.8). If you wish, go down that trail a few minutes and you'll see the white cliff formation that gives this its name. (It's also called the 'Great Wall of China'). Then return the way you came. Incidentally, many people drink the spring water near the parking lot. Still it would be advisable to treat it first, as you should treat any water in the Sandias.
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Mini Lesson by John Mindock and Mike Dugger


This lesson will describe an orienteering compass and its use in the field.

Compasses In General

The earth has a magnetic field surrounding it. In the Northern Hemisphere, a magnetized needle will point to the Magnetic North Pole, which is somewhere in Canada above the Great Lakes. A compass uses that phenomenon to help us determine our direction of travel (heading), as well as directions to visible landmarks (bearings). There are many types of compass, ranging from the prizes in cereal boxes to scientific gyroscopic devices. The orienteering compass is recognizable because it has a rotatable bezel, which alleviates the need to have the map facing the exact direction as the land it portrays.

The Base Of An Orienteering Compass

The base of an orienteering compass is a rectangular piece of transparent plastic. On the ends and sides, there are often scales of inches, miles, etc. that relate to the common scales on maps. A certain distance on the map is equivalent to an actual distance on land as determined by the scales. On the base is an arrow, called the direction of travel arrow or DOT. The DOT is used to depict where you are going or where you are pointing the compass.

The Bezel (Dial)

This is a raised circular transparent mechanism having marks on the edge representing the number of degrees. Inside its perimeter is a set of parallel lines. The middle line among these has some sort of arrow, pointing to the north mark on the edge. Let's call the middle arrow the northward arrow. Inside the bezel is the magnetic needle, with one end which will point to Magnetic North. It is suspended at the center and is usually balanced so it doesn't rub against the bezel. The bezel is also usually filled with a liquid to damp the motion of the needle, so that it settles quickly after some disturbance.

Holding A Compass

The proper technique for holding a compass depends upon what type of compass you have. For an orienteering compass without fold-up mirror or any other sort of sighting mechanism, the best method is to place your elbows comfortably at your sides, and keep them against your sides. Raise your forearms to the horizontal position, and lay the compass in one hand, supporting that hand with the other. Make sure to hold the compass squarely, so that the DOT points directly away from you. In order to get consistent readings from the compass, it is important to re-create this position faithfully. Turn your whole body to modify the direction you are pointing, rather than moving your hands or arms. For obvious reasons, you need to keep metal objects such as belt buckles, knives, and pens away from the compass. This may require that you extend your arms to hold the compass (I guess you could take your belt off, but that has some disadvantages).

A sighting compass must be held up to your eye so that you may look thorough it. Some of these have a folding cover with a mirror on the inside. When used, the cover is opened to tilt above the bezel, and there is a notch on the cover for sighting. The idea is to look at your target through the sighting notch, and use the mirror to see when the magnetic needle is properly in place. Make sure to hold it as level as possible so the needle doesn't drag, and that any alignment marks such as lines on the mirror or notches on the bezel are properly lined up.

Calculating A Heading Or A Bearing

Point the DOT arrow in the direction you are travelling. Twist the bezel until the red portion of the magnetic needle is lined up with the northward arrow of the bezel. Your heading is the reading of degrees on the bezel's edge that lines up with the DOT arrow, or a tic mark on the bezel's edge. The word bearing is used to describe the direction to a landmark, which may not be the same as your heading, which is the direction you are actually travelling.

Calculating A Back Bearing

Since a bearing is the direction from you to some landmark, a back bearing is the direction from the landmark back to you. It is easily determined from your bearing by simply adding or subtracting 180 degrees. Depending on what's comfortable for you, an alternative way to determine back bearing is to simply use the bezel. Twist the bezel until the southward-pointing end of the magnetic needle (usually black or white) is line up with the northward arrow of the bezel. The reading which is now indicated by the arrow or tic mark on the bezel is the back bearing.


Deviation in readings can come from multiple sources, even in the absence of error-inducing metals in the environment. The act of pointing the DOT arrow at the landmark, the slight variation of the magnetic needle when lining it up with the northward arrow, and the actual reading of the small numbers on the bezel are the most obvious factors. It is not uncommon to notice differences of five degrees between individuals who are comparing readings. The combination of a quality compass, careful technique, and some practice can improve the accuracy of readings.


  1. What sorts of markings are found on the base of an orienteering compass?
  2. What sorts of markings are found on/in the bezel of an orienteering compass?
  3. What is the meaning of the phrase back bearing?
  4. What are some causes of variations in readings?


  1. Use your orienteering compass to take bearings and back bearings on various landmarks. Try to look in all quadrants (0 - 90, 91 - 180, etc.). Do each set three times and note any variations in readings.
  2. Here's a simple test to get a feel for the combination of inaccuracies in your compass, your ability to read it, and how accurately you can pace off distances. The basic idea is to walk an equilateral triangle. This triangle has all sides of equal length, and 60 degree internal angles. In an open area, mark your starting point with something, like a piece of trail tape. Take a bearing on a distant landmark and walk that bearing, while counting paces. After some distance, say 100 steps, stop and take another bearing 120 degrees from your initial bearing (this is the external angle on the equilateral triangle). Walk the new bearing for the same number of steps you did the first time. Then, take a final bearing 120 degrees from the one you were just walking. Walk along this final bearing for the same number of steps as in the first two legs. Make sure to turn the same direction that you did the first time, or you will be walking away from your starting point. After you have paced off the proper number of steps, how far do you end up from your starting point?

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Who's Who and New by Mickey Jojola
Well it may be a little late but give Don E. Gibson a big hand, since he has made the cut (so to speak). Don E. is our newest active member. Congrats Don E. And now on to other business...

We are at the end of another 6 month period. If you haven't completed your 2 trainings yet then you have one last chance on June 14th. Letters will be going out (you should have received them before the meeting) informing people of their call-out status. If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call.

At this time there are no new prospective members ready for orientation. If there is anyone ready for orientation give me a call and I will be glad to get on it. Back to Top
Public Relations by Susan Corban
Don Gibson, Mickey Jojola, Jake and Susan Corban met with third, fourth and fifth graders on Thursday, April 30 at the Edmund Ross Elementary School in northeast Albuquerque. These kids had a great time and so did the presenters. In two separate presentations, they learned what to do to keep from getting lost in the first place. Staying where they can see others, hiking between grown-ups, and playing within parent-designated boundaries (this big rock, those trees) were the main points of staying found. The next message to the kids was to stay put if they find themselves lost or alone. They learned what cool gear to carry in their packs each and every time they go out camping or hiking.

While we entertained them with stories, Jake was their favorite presenter. He barked, wagged, and modeled his orange-wear for the kids. They know that dogs and people in uniform are searchers and "safe strangers." We fielded questions from the predictable to the weird. What do you do when you wake up and there are five snakes in your sleeping bag? Personally, I'd freak out and go find a bear to hug . . . . Seriously, we did find that many of the kids had been given misinformation and it was good to set the record straight. Now that we've tried this, we all said it would be fun to do again.

If you have a school connection or some scouts or other kids in your social network, let's arrange another visit. If anyone is interested in joining these efforts, the presenation outline is all on paper. Back to Top
NMESC Notes by Mickey Jojola
Just a quick update on upcoming events with the ESC. There will be a mock search up at Philmont in October, so this is your chance to see if they will make the grade as far as future ESCAPEs. There will also be a helicopter school in either October or November. We look forward to seeing you at these functions. We are having an ESCAPE debreif on June 20 at the Tijeras Sheriff's office. If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to contact me and I will relay the information. Back to Top
Classified Ads (20 words maximum, no services)
1992 Ford Explorer XL, 5-speed, cruise, 4WD, AC, seat covers, good condition, ~85K miles. Original owner. $9800. Contact John Stephens, 323-9523. Back to Top
Disclaimer the Editors
The information in this newsletter was gathered from many sources and presents facts as we believe them to be true. This newsletter is not meant to be an official document, but a means to disseminate team information.