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Thread: Lost in the bush

  1. #1
    Member Sako851's Avatar
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    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 did you go about finding your bearings and making it out? Did you activate you PLB?

    Look forward to reading your story.

  2. #2
    Member NZAlpine's Avatar
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    Lost in the bush

    This just a copy and past from my Facebook post a couple of years ago, a bit of a misadventure with the girlfriend:

    Here's a few details for those of you who'd heard we'd activated the PLB over the weekend but were unsure on exactly what happened. Massive thanks to the Methven SAR and the Westpac chopper!

    Saturday evening we'd made our way down into a valley in the Hakatere, on the way down I'd been keeping an eye on the route out back down the valley to the hut where we were staying and had left the bulk of our gear, it all looked pretty straight forward and easy going.
    Late in the evening we shot a pig and a spiker, after quickly butchering them we tried to make it out before dark as we knew there was about an hours hike down the river flats to the hut. Half way out it got dark and out came the torches. Not long after that we reached a gorge which we hadn't realised was there, we got through one section but then hit another steeper rougher section in which I slipped off a rock face and ended up falling into the river. At this point we decided we couldn't get through and to turn around and find another route out. I also dumped the meat and decided to deal with it the following day after we'd gotten out. Further back up river our torches were dying and we couldn't find any spare batteries. We also realised we couldn't see far enough up the hill to judge wether there was a route out or if we were going to run into more bluffs so we decided the safest option was to try and make some form of camp. This was around 11pm, I was freezing from the dip in the river and we both had wet pants and boots from the river crossings, however we did have spare dry layers on top.
    All we had for shelter was my pack liner and a survival blanket which when we opened up we discovered the heat reflective coating was gone so it was completely useless.
    By 2am we both had hyperthermia setting in and it was getting colder. We knew if we got any worse we were in serious trouble. After a lot of debating we decided by activating the PLB we'd rather have a chopper turn up in two hours time than get to two hours time and realise we were in serious trouble and then activate the PLB and have to wait even longer.
    Unfortunately half an hour later the weather closed in and it started snowing. Turns out it was bad enough the Westpac chopper decided it was too dangerous to fly in.
    Luckily we managed to keep ourselves in a stable condition till morning. At 7am we decided to start trying to warm up and by 7:30 we still hadn't seen or heard anything, at which point we made a plan to start moving and get out of there. I left Janny to have some food while I went back down river to recover the meat which is when the chopper flew overtop of us, and into the next valley where they located our foot prints from the day before and thought we may have fallen off a bluff up in the tops. Just after I got the meat I ran into SAR who had bashed through the scrub over top of the gorge. They radioed ahead and had Janny and the dog picked up by the chopper.
    SAR decided they weren't keen to head back through the gorge even in the daylight, that gives some insight as to how rough it was, we found a route up out of the valley then dropped back down to the hut a couple of hours later where Janny was still recovering.

    The worst part about the whole situation was seeing on the way out that had we made it through the final section of the gorge there was only a couple of corners left before we were back at the hut.


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  3. #3
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    I have a post about me making a silly decision.

    The latest one was we went too far and in some crappy galatea terrain. Found some nice bush but turned back at nearly 3 pm. We hadn't gone a long time but couldn't really get back down to the river or even get back out via the river.

    Went over what they call the body bag or the triangle. It's a bloody steep hill.

    We ended up near the end of the hill where you turn down to go to the river. We had hypothermia and decided to stay put, light a fire and I ended up sleeping.

    We hadn't come back and someone at the party hunt noticed we were missing and ended up calling search and rescue.

    The found us in the morning and we walked out piece of cake.

  4. #4
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    nothing too bad but took my two boys for a day hunt up the dean was having a good stroll through the bush and finally decided time to head out and after walking for about half an hour on the compass heading thinking we are headed back to the road realised the compass was out nearly 180 degrees .lucky we ended up between the river and the track .managed to find a track marker and decided to teach the boys how to follow the track which was non exsistent really most of the markers missing had one boy stay at last marker then the other would walk forward till he could see the next marker or stop before he went out of sight then i would move up to him then he would move up till he could see a marker while staying in sight then we all would move up to the marker and start all over again took a couple extra hours to find the way out and just to add insult to injury spooked the only animal we came in contact with all day 100m from the truck in the only thick bit of bush we had come across all day and couldnt see it to shoot. have 2 compasses now and a backtrac.

  5. #5
    Member Sako851's Avatar
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    @NZAlpine good story, yeah those SAR guys did well ay.
    So did you both staying out of hypothermia throughout the night. Did you sleep or stay awake?
    @Russian 22. Good thing you got a fire going!

  6. #6
    Bah, humbug ! Frogfeatures's Avatar
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    Spent an unplanned night out in the Kawekas. We were hunting the Don Juan Range and were running out of daylight.
    We could have followed the track back to the car but some genius ( could have been me ) said lets take a compass bearing, bushcrash until we hit Gorge Stream, and just follow it back to the campsite. Yeah, nah. Bad decision. Fell down a 5 metre drop, survived that, other than a wack in the head from my rifle butt. Long story short, ran out of daylight and got bushed. I carry a couple of survival blankets, but my mate had forgotten his. So we curled up together in some fern, pulled the blankets over and thought, ok, we should be ok, not too cold. Went to sleep, and woke up shivering uncontrollably. Gonzo asked me the time, and I was ‘disappointed’ to see it was only 10.00.
    Lets just say it was a bloody long night. We moved out at first light, and found Gorge Stream ( and a bloody nice fireplace, already made ) about 50 metres downhill from where we slept. Took about 2 1/2 hours to get back to camp. Moral of the story ? Shortcuts often aren’t shorter. We now carry a bivvy bag each, in our daypack. So cheap lesson learned.
    stingray and Sako851 like this.
    He nui to ngaromanga, he iti to putanga.

    You depart with mighty boasts, but you come back having done little.
    Sounds like a typical hunting trip !

  7. #7
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    1st trip into the sth opuha many years ago...climbed up high,managed to shoot my first two thar (young bulls) we skinned them and removed meat,map said we werent too far above the hut so we headed down.....and down...and down...we hit the creek at about the same time the sun went out...now what??? turned around and saw a nice rock overhang so got a fire going and spent the night...
    a couple of years later when heading back into the hut looking back we actually werent far from it we had just strayed a wee bit too far down stream..3-400 mtrs at most.
    not panicing and realising you are going to spent a night out BEFORE it gets dark so you have time to prepare are good skills to have,the survival blanket thing above is more common than you would think...some unfold thiers to find hundreds of 2" squares...ok if you are a mouse I guess.
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  8. #8
    Member Sako851's Avatar
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    Glad you boys got out @berg243
    Murphy’s law spooking that animal there. I’ll add the little marker trick to my book.
    Cheers

  9. #9
    Member NZAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sako851 View Post
    @NZAlpine good story, yeah those SAR guys did well ay.
    So did you both staying out of hypothermia throughout the night. Did you sleep or stay awake?
    @Russian 22. Good thing you got a fire going!
    @Sako851 I’d actually cut my pack liner up and we used it as a ground sheet but when it started snowing I put it on top of us and I think it was just enough to stop us getting worse.
    Tried to get as much sleep as soon as we could because we knew it was going to be a long night, got maybe 1-2hours before spending the rest of the night uncontrollably shivering. By morning my toes were in serious pain from the cold and I got the gas cooker out (which I’d carried for heating up lunch) and managed to warm them up. During the night I’d been in denial that the cooker would have helped which is a part of hypothermia, you can start avoiding doing things that would be huge help without realising it which is a good sign hypothermia is really setting in.
    We were in scrub country so there was no loose branches to burn but if I’d had a saw we could’ve burnt Matagouri, always carry a silky saw in my survival kit now


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  10. #10
    Member Bonecrusher's Avatar
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    Have spent a couple of nights out not lost but caught with daylight gone and headlight failing. I can vouch for the heat a labrador generates and no they don't share my bed at home but horses for courses. Out the next day at first light home to face the music
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  11. #11
    Member Sako851's Avatar
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    Man @Frogfeatures I have had the same experience, waking up freezing cold think “it must be almost sunrise” but NOPE only 11pm haha. Yeah bush bashing in the dark is next to impossible!
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  12. #12
    Member Sako851's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZAlpine View Post
    @Sako851 I’d actually cut my pack liner up and we used it as a ground sheet but when it started snowing I put it on top of us and I think it was just enough to stop us getting worse.
    Tried to get as much sleep as soon as we could because we knew it was going to be a long night, got maybe 1-2hours before spending the rest of the night uncontrollably shivering. By morning my toes were in serious pain from the cold and I got the gas cooker out (which I’d carried for heating up lunch) and managed to warm them up. During the night I’d been in denial that the cooker would have helped which is a part of hypothermia, you can start avoiding doing things that would be huge help without realising it which is a good sign hypothermia is really setting in.
    We were in scrub country so there was no loose branches to burn but if I’d had a saw we could’ve burnt Matagouri, always carry a silky saw in my survival kit now


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    Yeah good move. Those saws can be invaluable, I don’t actually have one in my kit at the moment.
    Strange how the mind works when it is being affected negatively

  13. #13
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    Never been lost, been geographically embarrassed a couple of times.

  14. #14
    Member Sako851's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonecrusher View Post
    Have spent a couple of nights out not lost but caught with daylight gone and headlight failing. I can vouch for the heat a labrador generates and no they don't share my bed at home but horses for courses. Out the next day at first light home to face the music

    Yeah I bet the lab would make a good lot of body heat! My only concern with my little miniature foxy I want to train up is that if we get caught out there he won’t give me much heat haha. I’ll have to pop him down my top if he’s not too wet keep us both warm. At least he will fit into my little one man tent.
    Bet the missus was furious ?

  15. #15
    Member Sako851's Avatar
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    I hope that embarrassment was short lived @300wsm for life

 

 

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