Loose Groups

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 10:16
ThreadID: 134060 Views:2732 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Reading Murrays GPS post reminded me of how lack of good information can quickly make things go wrong , but what concerns me more is that so many just don't make sure they have the simplest basics right up front.

Over Xmas we, friends and there friends occupied the entire top section of Talbotville main campground and people were constantly ,coming ,going, doing there own thing and one never really knows just whats going on.

A couple took off on there own drive without adequate maps and no knowledge of the area, and because of the loose relationships no one really knew they were "Not Here" for some hours.

Slowly some began to realise they weren't around and began asking questions.

Eventually some of our bike riders began to drive out nearby tracks to no avail , then one of them didn't return.

Conditions were detriorating with night and drizzle approaching.

By now multiple people were making radio calls , each not quite knowing what the situation was.

I seemed to be able to hear most calls and it was clear that there was lots of confusion and no clear direction.

I was just able to make a short radio connection to the would be rescue bike rider who said he was out of fuel on top of the very nasty South Basalt track and getting rained on.

My brother and friend headed up with spare fuel. It was wet and I advised them to walk it but their car was difflocked and had muddies and managed to deliver the fuel ok.

From the mountain top ,they got intermittant radio contact to the lost vehicle , who were near an intersection with a damaged sign post that had only one track name on it.

Despite darkness approaching they were told in no uncertain terms to just stay put !

The entire track was about 30km long and as long as they stayed put they would eventually be found.

It took another 3 hours for them to be found and arrive back at camp in the dark.

I look at these informal gatherings and try to think how things could be better but really in these senarios a lot is up to those heading off.

You simply have to tell others what your doing, have maps and comms.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 10:41

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 10:41
Hi Robin

First of all a Very Happy New Year.

It sounds like the first golden rule was broken by them not letting anyone know that they were leaving camp and where they intended to go to. Seeing they had no real moving maps or details of the area, you think they would have asked if others wanted to join them.

Secondly when they were told to stay put, they did not, so did not listen to the advise given to them.

As they say in the bush, if in dought, sit it out.



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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 10:51

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 10:51
Hi Stephen

Sorry I didn't make it clear enough , they did stay put when told, it took the rescue car hours to check out the whole track to find them as they had no X.Y reference.

They did pay for there efforts though as getting back to camp late meant they didn't check their tent set up and it rained heavily and they abandoned their tent and slept in car that night !
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 11:57

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 11:57
Think you missed out the "r" Stephen. :)
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Reply By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 14:58

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 14:58
Hi Robin,
i'm surprised the lost party could not provide a gps coordinate for their location( would have cut down the 3 hrs) or did they not even have a gps?
I was also surprised to discover when camped there first week of december that your corner at talbotville has telstra mobile reception.
happy new year
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 15:31

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 15:31
Hi Howard

Those concerned possibly could have given coords however its not quite that simple and they lacked the skills.

Several people have told me now that they don't bother with good GPS they just use there phones and maps load as backgrounds - well as soon as phone contact is lost they don't know what to do and give up.

While its quite possible to work around this issue , from my observations many really don't go beyond that point.

You should have seen the confusion when I asked someone if their Lat/long was in minutes and seconds or just as decimal degrees !

A new phone tower was erected at southern end of Cynthia range track a couple of years ago and this has improved reception a bit.

Good to hear from you .

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 16:58

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 16:58
So Robin, the numpties don't only come from o/s

It is difficult and onerous in these circumstances (with friends and all their relations) for someone to take a leadership role. Relationships can become strained, particularly when the less mature are involved.

And of course, in the unfortunate circumstance a death occurs, the Coroner likes to have a look and then all the awkward questions are asked and the "I should have done this .., etc." come out.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 23:49

Monday, Jan 09, 2017 at 23:49
Don't like loose groups ...... any time this sort of thing happens there will be problems.

Don't like traveling with people I don't know, or more particularly people I don't know can conduct themselves properly.

It is usually those who are in these loose groups that will be ill prepared and irresponsible.

Those who seem to congrigate in these loose groups are the sort of people who don't see the need to be prepared or organsied. ...... if they where prepared and organised the group would not be loose.

and this is not just camping and 4wding ...... its pretty much any activity.

If I go anywhere with a group, I want to know who is going and some detail about when, where what and how. ..... Otherwise I am better off alone or with a couple of others I trust.

Otherwise you can end up in all sorts of trouble.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 07:53

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 07:53
Tend to agree Bantam

Gets a bit tricker with friends and family though as some trips are just camping social gatherings and can't really tell them to "get lost".

Putting a positive spin on this - at least all ones equipment gets a workout !

Robin Miller

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