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  • 1 Post By Backcountry Bob
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Thread: Lost in the bush

  1. #1
    Member Sako851's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Lost in the bush

    Hello everyone.

    In the interest of a good yarn, what is your “oh, I might be a bit lost here” moment when hunting in the NZ bush or elsewhere.
    Obviously you made it out to tell the yarn, so, how didntoungonabout finding your bearings and making it out? Did you activate you PLB?

    Look forward to reading your story.

  2. #2
    Member Strummer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Nothing too bad/exciting...was hunting solo in a remote spot on Stewart Island/Rakiura. It can get very tight bush in places, and creeks don't always run to the sea. I was trying to head back to the hut. I'd been walking for a bit (I'd been distracted by watching a kiwi playing around by my feet) when I thought "hmmm, I'm not sure where the coastline is any more, and I have no bearings". The forest was very thick with a closed canopy and I couldn't get any GPS signal through it. It was cloudy and I couldn't see the sun through the trees either. My pulse started quickening as I realised I was bushed. I sat down, took a breather and tried to keep calm. My watch has a compass so I slowly used that, with the topomap on my phone, to figure out roughly where I was. Turns out I had been going in totally the wrong direction for the past half hour. It wouldn't have been a total disaster, as I was on a peninsula and would've found the coast eventually, but it was enough of a fright to focus the senses!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Te Waipounamu
    I've spent quite a bit of my life hunting the Hauhungaroa and Rangitoto Ranges. A compass is a necessity if you intend to get away from the roads and tracks and be confident of emerging again before dark.
    I always carried a compass but on many occasions I didn't believe what it was telling me. In the end I engraved 'red =north' on my compass so I didn't start to doubt which end of the needle was pointing towards north.
    turtle likes this.

  4. #4
    Member stagstalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    North Island, New Zealand
    Cant say I have ever been completely lost. Disorientated or headed off in the wrong direction plenty of times. In most instances have generally known where I/we are and it has taken anywhere from a few minutes to hours in order to get back where I want to be or follow a compass bearing in flat bush terrain until hitting a prominent feature, stream etc to re orientate.
    A330driver likes this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Yes, you must carry a compass. Don't weigh anything or take up much room. GPS compass good but can confuse operator in tight stuff.

  6. #6
    Member Tahr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    40 or so years ago the open pollytech had a correspondence course on bush craft. I would have been 30 odd and it was the first qualification I ever achieved - and although I went on later in life to masters degree stuff I never enjoyed studying so much. In particular, I really enjoyed the map reading and compass part of it.

    When I was about 50 I crossed all of the main NI ranges. In the Kaimanawa's from Boyds to the Desert road (the Mangamingi to the Rangatikei river leg) was solid fog. It was great being able to follow the map with my compass and feel confident all of the way across.
    It was also great to confidently hunt the Ruahine bush when I was meat hunting without worrying about getting home, and new places that I explored for that extra deer.

    I have been confused by my GPS at times, but never by my compass. Everyone should get proficient with a compass. At the very least they ensure that you are heading in the right general direction.
    Nathan F and turtle like this.



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