Tag Archives: emergency

Bushwalking Equipment | Can I Really Do Without a Smartphone?

As a bushwalker, can you afford not to own a smartphone? Which smartphone apps can replace dedicated equipment? What are the limitations?

Over the last few years technology has made smartphones invaluable to bushwalkers, replacing many of the devices, which previously had to be bought and carried individually.

Probably the first device carried by bushwalkers to be incorporated into the iPhone was the still and movie camera. Today’s smartphone has a high quality camera which can take video and stills, including panoramas, mark each with the location at which the photo was taken, and then upload it to the web using wifi or mobile (cellular) data.

Next, the GPS became available, allowing routes to be mapped live, waypoints determined and marked, and distances accurately determined. Recently, apps which allow the viewing of calibrated digital maps have become commonly available, and some apps now incorporate the navigation features found in a dedicated GPS. High resolution colour screens make viewing these maps and navigational features easy. Modern smartphones have built-in compasses which can be calibrated and are accurate enough for the day walker, but not accurate enough for bearings over long distances.

Then high quality heart rate sensors came on the market which could pair with a smartphone, initially using a “dongle” plugged into the earphone socket but more recently using low energy interference-free Bluetooth.

Some apps even use the smartphone camera and built-in light to measure blood flow pulses in a finger, without the need for an independent sensor. Fitness training had become more scientific!

The next advance was the ability to measure heart rate variability (HRV) (see previous post), using the powerful analysis capabilities of modern smartphones. Initially measuring HRV was only possible with expensive laboratory based equipment, but soon Polar had incorporated this ability into some of their top-of-the-line wrist computers. In the last few years, this technology has migrated to the smart phone, allowing bushwalk training to be fine tuned.

Bush walkers visiting remote areas often feel the need to take emergency devices with them to obtain help if an emergency occurs. We are all familiar with personal location beacons (PLBs) which can transmit a message, including location, to an overhead satellite, and from there to emergency rescue services.

SPOT gen3 s can send a message via satellite to your emergency contacts or to the same rescue service. Version three is much better functionally according to the reviews, but has a more expensive subscription.

Recently smartphone apps (GetHomeSafe) have become available which can send an SMS or email, if a bushwalker fails to return on time, without the need for any action by the “injured” or “lost” person or instantly in a critical emergency to a contact list or even rescue services directly, including the current location, participant details and a route plan. “You don’t need a working phone (be within range) or even to be be conscious for an alert to be sent.”

Bush walkers on day walks and within range of a mobile tower, up to 70 km from a high enough vantage point, can add weather and tide apps  and the ability to visualise routes or places in 3D using Google Earth.

We now have GPS, fitness, navigation, mapping, emergency notification and weather services available at low cost in the one device! The only problem is a lack of battery capacity, but even this can be overcome to some extent with a solar charger.

What is next?
How do you overcome these limitations?
Where will the future take us?

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Bushwalking Skills | Making a Bushwalking Aide-memoire

Do you lead bushwalks? Thought about carrying an aide-memoire  for emergencies? What resources will you need?

In the nineties, when I was actively upgrading my bushwalk leadership qualifications, I kept an aide-memoire to help me remember the key points of bushwalking for in-the-field examinations. This was initially kept in several “Granny’s brag books”,  4″ x 6″ photo albums with the cardboard stiffeners removed and with the individual plastic pockets sealed, then progressed to a Sharp Organiser, then to a Palm PDA and finally to my Nokia Smartphone, before being archived to a wiki (see link above). To keep the number of “album” pages to a minimum, the text was reduced to 7 pt.

The first aid was collated from Senior First Aid courses which I did with St John’s and the Red Cross, with additional information added from wilderness first aid courses and books I had read.

 Disclaimer: Although I culled information, which I knew was out-of-date, when I first set up this wiki, I have not updated the first aid information for the last few years, and as some things change every few years eg snake bite and EAR, the aide-memoire needs to be checked with an up-to-date first aid manual.

For many years, I carried this information, in note form, as a resource for emergencies, especially when leading bushwalks to remote areas of Australia. You might find such a concept useful, and perhaps be able to use the topic outline as  a worthwhile starting point.

If I was making one today, I would add it as a pdf to my Smartphone, which I usually carry with me. You could of course use your camera-equipped smartphone to copy relevant pages from books and save as a photo album. If you carry a Kindle with you, for your light reading, you have another alternative. However, in a pinch, I think “Granny’s brag book” would prove to be the most reliable of them all!

Recently I have added some excellent  leadership articles by Rick Curtis (Director, Outdoor Action Program), which no longer seem to be online at his website. This material is the Group Development and Leadership Chapter from his Outdoor Action Program Leader’s Manual. You can find some of the more useful articles in the sidebar to the right, under Bushwalking Resources, and the rest in my wiki. The text may be freely distributed for nonprofit educational use. However, if included in publications, written or electronic, attributions must be made to the author. Commercial use of this material is prohibited without express written permission from the author. Copyright © 1995 Rick Curtis, Outdoor Action Program, Princeton University.

Discussion: 
I’d love to know if you carry an “aide-memoire”, what type and what it contains.

Other related leadership articles
See Categories or Labels in the sidebar on the right.
 

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Challenging Mountain Day Walks in the UK | Three of the Best

Visiting the United Kingdom (UK) and in particular Wales, England, or Scotland for a holiday? Like to spend a day(s) in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful alpine scenery? Like a challenge? Have some experience walking in alpine terrains, scrambling over rocks and the ability to navigate? ….then look no further!

I’ve just come back from climbing three of the most popular mountains in the United Kingdom (UK) in one of the wettest months (April) on record. These are not huge mountains (950 – 1350m) and on a good day, can be tackled as day walks of 5-8 hours from the nearest car park, following footpads and tracks, but the difficulties should not be underestimated, and it is for good reasons that all of these walks are recommended for experienced walkers.

The level of difficulty is highly weather dependent; on a sunny, clear day, the challenge is mainly fitness, but on a cold, windy, and foggy day with a thick layer of snow over the track, ice on the rocks and rain, sleet or snow falling, the challenges can be life threatening. I had the misfortune to experience all of these on each of my walks: Mt Snowdon 1085m (Snowdonia, Wales), Mt Helvellyn, 949m, (Lake District, England) and Ben Nevis,1343m, (Fort William, Scotland).

As with all walking in mountainous terrain, you need to go prepared for all weathers; sun glasses for bright sunny times, beanie and gloves for cold days, waterproof jacket and over pants for wet times, map,  compass and GPS for foggy weather, poles for snow covered slopes and down jacket and bivy bag in case you have to spend the night out. Forget just one of these and you could be in real trouble.

Normally April /May in the UK would be spring days with just a cap of snow above 700m, but there is no such thing as a normal day in the mountains. I found that strong winds, snow, hail and rain tested my preparedness and fortunately did not show me lacking. Only the week before I arrived, a lone walker had slid off Mt Snowdon, one of the most popular walks in Wales. I could understand how this could happen, as while the terrain is not difficult on a fine day, in adverse weather, the challenges are enormous.

Pyg Track, Causeway, Llyn Llydaw

The key to survival in adverse weather is to make a risk assessment early in the walk and decide whether to turn back or take a lower route before you have committed yourself. On Mt Snowdon, 1085m, I decided to turn back, probably too late, after having completed most of Crib Goch, the most difficult part. This was a difficult decision, as I knew the easy part was not much further on and if only the fog would clear I would be able to see my route. The fog never cleared and my route became deeper and deeper in snow as I progressed. I contemplated dropping off the ridge to find the lower track, but remembered that this was not advised and  a trial descent for a fifty metres only reinforced this. Too slippery, too steep and plunging into the unknown.

Apparently many of those dying on the mountain are actually quite experienced technically but make poor decisions about when to turn back. I was glad I did not become one of those statistics.

Striding Ridge, Lake District, England

Mt Helvellyn, 949m, along with Striding Ridge, in the lake district of England was my second walk a few days later and I could not believe that it was not long before I was again walking in snow, hail and fog. Fortunately the terrain was less demanding and I did not feel the need to turn back. Every so often, a break in the clouds would show the route and the twenty or so walkers I could see ahead and behind, and I was reassured. I was glad I had my walking poles with me, as the snow covered rocks were quite slippery and a fall was quite possible. I knew that the way back along Swirral Edge, was not too difficult when I had lunch with a mountain biker at the top. I can only suppose he carried his bike for much of the way as he was quite exhausted.

Ben Nevis, 1343m, ( The Ben to locals) is the highest mountain in the UK and as such, subject to some of the worst weather. Locals joke that you can expect all four seasons in any one day, and even a blizzard thrown in for good luck. So bad is the weather usually, that the last few hundred metres has cairns every 50 m, so those walking in fog don’t fall off the side. Of course this only works if you can see the next cairn, or follow the track which I couldn’t, due to deep snow and fog. Fortunately the map has a compass bearings to follow in white-out, and while helpful, success depends on being able to estimate distances in fog, a tricky skill at the best of times. I was quite nervous as I approached the top!

I came back to Australia with a deep respect for these “lowly” mountains which have tested many a walker in the past and found too many of them lacking.

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iPhone Apps for Bushwalkers Revisited

It’s over a year since I began reviewing iPhone apps for bushwalkers. During this time I have tried hundreds and found that I only use a few regularly.

While there are hundreds of iPhone apps useful to bushwalkers and growing every day, what you personally find useful is determined by your past experience, the type of walking you do, your interests,  and your willingness to be dependent on high tech devices.

After trying most, I regulary use only a few of these. On bushwalks, my choice will vary as it is dependent upon on the duration of my walk, and hence how important it is to save battery power,  and upon how much non-walking time I will have available.

My iPhone Apps

Navigation: Bit Map, Declination, Maps, Google Earth, Compass
Field Guides: Good Reader, BooksApp, Kindle, Aus. Birds (Morecomb), Field Guide Fauna Museum Victoria, Bird in Hand, WhatBirdNZ, Wikipanion, MyEnviro, FrogLog
Bushcraft / Survival : KnotsGuide, SASSurvival, Knots, GoneTrekking
Camp Food: Jamie Oliver’s Recipes, Poh’s Kitchen, Nigella Quick (….LOL)
Fitness: Walkmeter, Beat Monitor, Cadence, iHandy Level
Weather: Pkt Weather, Rainspotting, Clouds, iBarometer, ShralpTide, Clouds,WeatherNZ
Travel: Frequent Flyer, Webjet, Plane Finder, Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor
Astronomy: Star walk, Star Guide
NZ: WeatherNZ, WhatBirdNZ, SnowReports
Photography: Flickr
Medical: Elastoplast, MediProfiles, St John NZ

Disclaimer: Navigation using your iPhone always needs to be backed up with a compass, map and a dedicated GPS. 

I have written reviews of many of these iPhone apps previously in this blog, several articles about how to use iPhone apps in general while bushwalking, and detailed articles which focus upon iPhone apps for navigation, fitness and NZ.

Read more…..

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Bushwalking Trip Plan | Routeburn Track, New Zealand | Pt 1

How should I plan a bushwalk in NZ? What are the logistics of such a trip from Australia and within NZ? What maps do I need? Can I upload them to my GPS? What are the risk management requirements of the Routeburn Track ? What is the weather likely to be in November? What special equipment will I need? To whom do I send my trip intentions form, if they are needed? Do I need a permit, and if so from whom? How do I obtain stove fuel or is it provided? Are there huts which I can use or will I need a tent? What emergency communications are available? What is special about the flora and fauna of the area and what field guides should I take? What are the photographic features? How much will it cost?

Invitation to Contribute

I have just started planning a week long trip to the Routeburn Track, in the South Island of New Zealand in November 2011 and thought I would share the process with you as it evolves.  This may not be the way you would do it, and if we differ,  I would encourage you to make alternative suggestions. I will be planning the walk on the basis that it will be independently walked by two experienced, fit bushwalkers, who will share equipment.

The questions listed above came randomly to mind and will all need to be answered before I leave. You may have some other questions you would like answered, if you are intending to do the same trip, or think I have left out and need to add. Your suggestions will be incorporated.

As the planning is a work in progress, it may need to be amended as I progress or receive better advice from others. I am particularly seeking wisdom from those who have walked the track recently and will incorporate your advice with appropriate acknowledgement.

Sequence of planning | Where should I start?

I guess for most people, with limited holidays, the suitability of the time of the year and duration needed are actually the critical  factors, followed closely by the cost.

  • Can I do this trip in November? 
  • How long do I need?
  • Can I afford the trip?

There are four good places to start  for this sort of general information:

  • commercial tramping tours
  • regional tourist associations
  • government departments
  • tramping guide books

With some thorough research,  these sources should provide me with the answers to the following questions:

  • Do they go in November? 
  • How long do they take? 
  • What sightseeing do they incorporate?
  • What are the highlights of the trip that should not be missed?
  • What options ( linking walks) do they provide?
  • Where do they start and finish?
  • What do they charge?

Hopefully, you will be able to help me with this research process.

Other Relevant Posts

Bushwalking Workflow | Planning a Bushwalk
Bushwalking Rescue | Emergency Beacons and Personal Tracking Systems
How do You Organise Your Food for a Multi-day Hike?
Packing for a Bushwalk 
Plan Safer Bushwalks | Weather Forecasts and Climate Records
How much fuel do I need?

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Bushwalking Rescue: Emergency Beacons and Personal Tracking Systems

What communication device should I take with me on a bushwalk to a remote area? What about a satellite or mobile phone? Why should I replace my EPIRB with a PLB? What alternatives are there to a PLB? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a SPOT ?

Traditionally, when walking in a remote area, you always walked with a least three others so that if one person sustained an injury, two of the group could go for help, while the other looked after the injured person. With the availability of satellite technology and sometimes simply a mobile (cell) phone, it is possible to seek help from where the injured person is located rather than have to walk to the nearest road or homestead.

Most people are familiar with the mobile phone, which has excellent range if there is line of sight. This means that sometimes, even in supposedly remote areas, there will be good reception from a mountain top or ridge line. If you are within range of a tower used by your carrier then your family of friends can contact you too; it is not just one way. In an emergency, by dialling 000 or 112 your phone can access the tower of a competitor and effectively roam between carriers depending on which has the best signal.

For more information

Bushwalking Rescue: Emergency Communications by Cell or Mobile Phone

Satellite phones can achieve the same as a mobile phone, but even when there is no line of sight or the distance from the nearest tower is too great. Both the phone itself and the plan are expensive, so for many this is not an option. They do however offer the advantage that your family or friends are able to get in contact with you if they wish as it allows two way communication.

Emergency Beacons

Many bushwalkers had been using an EPIRB ( Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) which until February 2009  provided the extra layer of security in remote areas, but this had a very poor accuracy*, as low as 20 km, low power and time lag in activation. The alert frequency from the EPIRB (121.5 MHz) is no longer monitored by rescue authorities so they are now useless and should be disposed of carefully. Battery World provides such a service free of charge.

This has now been replaced by a PLB, which operates at  two frequencies, the higher 406 MHz to give the satellite alert and the lower 121.5 MHz provides the final homing signal for the search aircraft. The more expensive models have a GPS in-built which means that not only can an alert be given, but that the exact location of the injured or lost person can be given. This is a great improvement and dramatically reduces the search time as the location is given to within 100m. Without a GPS, they have an accuracy of about 5 km.  They must be registered so that emergency authorities can access details of next-of-kin to check that it is not a false alarm. They also have access your route plan if you have registered it. PLBs only offer a one way service: user to emergency rescue services. They can be hired form a variety of sources depending on location.

Check the Australian Maritime Safety website for details of approved models . If purchasing from overseas check with ACMA that it meets Australian requirements.

Read more…..

* Communications for Bushwalkers Rik Head Bush Search and Rescue Victoria (Version 1.0 March 2009) pdf

Satellite Personal Tracking Systems

SPOT  gen3 is an example of a handheld system which is capable of sending your position by satellite to a list of friends and  can also be displayed on Google maps. If you need help, a message can be sent using a preset list of custom messages. In a life threatening emergency, there is a SOS button which sends a message and is relayed by GEOS to the AMSA RCC as for a PLB.

Advantages

  • Works were you mobile (cell) phone has no reception
  • Allows customised messages to friends
  • Allows automatic tracking of your position at regular intervals
  • Relatively low cost purchase price

Disadvantages

It is a one way system like the PLB, with no messages from friends possible. There is a  yearly subscription fee in addition to the purchase price. Currently the basic fee is USD $115 and the tracking option fee an additional USD $49.99 Purchase price is less than AUD $200 with free shipping.

Read more…..

SPOT FAQ

You Tube User Review  SPOT 2

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Is Solo Bushwalking Safe?

Why walk solo? How can trip planning reduce the risks ? Solo communications? What additional equipment do you need for a solo walk? How can you make it easier for rescuers?

Why would anyone want to walk solo?

If you have ever walked in a large group, you would understand why someone might want to walk solo. Rarely will the speed of the group match your own; you may want to stop for extra photos or to check a bird call; you may be slower up hills than others but be able to keep up on the flat or downhill; you may not like the company or find that their noise spoils the wilderness for you.

Then on the other hand, you make not  have walking partners who are free when you want to walk; who want to go where you do or have your experience or motivation. Perhaps you want to climb seven peaks in seven days, in which case you have probably narrowed down the list of potential companions who either want or have the fitness to walk with you.

The dangers of solo walking

Traditionally walkers have been taught to never walk in a groups smaller than four:  two to get help and one to look after the injured party. With the advent of  personal locator beacons (PLB) which can summon emergency help easily and even in the remotest location, a group of two is feasible and safe, in my opinion. The other major problem with solo walking is the added weight of no longer being able to share a tent or stove. Added weight increases the risk of injury, slows down progress and makes for longer days on the track.

But a group of ONE…. still not recommended by any authority of which I am aware. Despite this, with adequate trip planning, equipment and experience, solo walking can be safe and certainly enjoyable.

Pre-trip planning to reduce risks

 The inherent problems of solo walking can be reduced by selecting routes that are popular, so that if the need arose, you can  call on other nearby walkers for help. Not my style, as I like to be self-sufficient, and would be too embarrassed to do so.  Selecting a walk that you have done before and avoiding an isolated route, where there is a high risk of injury, both add another level of safety.

The trip intention sheet becomes more important for solo walkers, as it lists where you will be each night, how self sufficient you are and gives details of when you will arrive at your destination and what to do if you are late. This sheet, and its lodgement with authorities and a trusted friend becomes essential on a solo hike. Solo walkers unfortunately have a history of getting lost and requiring rescue, often with serious consequences.

 Be aware of the common injuries you may expect and do a relevant first aid course.

Making it easier for rescuers.

If you are unfortunate enough to require rescue, you can help by trying to be rational  about the things you do while lost:

  • make sure that you mark your route if you go off the track
  • leave a track marker which can’t be missed
  • show with arrows or boot prints the direction in which you have gone
  • make sure you and your campsite are visible from the air: carry a signaling mirror, reflective space blanket, flashing torch, light a fire, but make sure you observe any bushfire bans.
  • make sure you can be heard: always carry a whistle and know how to use it in an emergency.

Solo Communications

New technology such as the SPOT gen3 allows you to keep in contact with friends by using satellite technology to send SMS and emails to your emergency contact. If you fail to send this each day, they can then activate the emergency plan you have given them. Your PLB or SPOT can be used in an emergency to call for help from rescue authorities, but the PLB, being dedicated for this purpose is much more reliable. The PLB has  much stronger signal strength and is recognised by authorities as a call for help, which they will not ignore. The SPOT has the potential to do the same thing, but there are more steps in the emergency response chain and hence more likelihood of a step failing. SPOT has an annual subscription fee which makes it much more expensive  to run over a few years than the purchase of a PLB.

If you have mobile (cell) phone reception where you are walking, then the risk of a life threatening situation is  much reduced, and  this becomes an essential part of your equipment.
Solo equipment

Beyond the lack of ability to share a tent or stove, which will obviously increase the weight of your pack, there are other weight increases you may need to consider.

 Is there some equipment that you would normally share around the group that you will now have to carry yourself?

  • a better first aid kit
  • better or more navigation equipment?
  • a rope
  • different food packaging with individual serves
  • an inflatable raft!!

See also

Black Hills Hiking Safety: Risks of Hiking Alone Copyright 2002-2009 Travis N. Wood
Planning a Walk
 Communications for Bushwalkers Rik Head Bush Search and Rescue Victoria (Version 1.0 March 2009) pdf
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Bushwalking Rescue: Emergency Communications by Cell or Mobile Phone

What sort of mobile phone do I need? Which service providers should I use? How should I ensure adequate signal strength? What number should I call?  When should I call 112? When should I call 000? What information should I have ready?

 I’ve sometimes been surprised about how good mobile (cell) phone reception is when you have  line of sight.  Frenchman’s Cap in the central highlands of Tasmania to Mt Wellington, Hobart…70 km.  Is it possible? With such good reception then  the mobile phone becomes a viable communications tool for rescue. You can check reception in advance by viewing the service providers coverage maps, but these won’t show isolated locations where reception is exceptionally poor or surprisingly good, usually due to local terrain.

Choosing the right mobile phone is important if you want to use it for emergency communications. You must choose a phone with a decent internal antenna and these are referred to by Telstra as “blue tick” phones which means they are suitable for regional  reception areas in contrast to metro use only. You must choose a service provider which has good regional coverage and Telstra has the best coverage by far. If you are a serious bushwalker who wants to be able to use their mobile phone for communication in the wilderness then you have no choice!

How do you know if your signal strength is adequate for a call? 

Most of us can read the signal strength indicator, but this can be annoying as you continually have to take the mobile out of your pocket to check the symbol. If you have an iPhone, there is an app which will tell when you have moved into an area with adequate signal strength, even if the phone is in your pocket.

No Signal: No cell service? In a dead zone? want to be notified when you can make calls again without taking the phone out of your pocket? 

If you need to make an emergency call and don’t have adequate signal strength then the best thing to do is to head for high ground. While you may not have voice communication you may be able to send an SMS. If reception is poor be aware that you phone will turn up the power in order to get reception and this could flatten you battery prematurely. Leave your phone turned off unless you need it.

Dial Triple 000 NSW Police

If you have a recent mobile phone, you may be able to dial triple zero 000 to get emergency help from any nearby service provider. The better alternative, if you have an older phone is to dial 112, the internationally recognized emergency number. This number allows you phone to roam between service providers and to get the best service available.eg if you use Optus or Virgin then dialing 112 will allow you to use whichever tower is closest, most probably Telstra. It also allows someone finding your phone to call even when it is locked or turned off. A good reference is on the Australian Communication  and Media Authority’s  website Calling the Emergency Call Service from a mobile phone: FAQs

What information should I have ready for the emergency call service operator? 

Well, one obvious thing they will want to know is your location and they won’t want a grid reference. You must be able to give them latitude and longitude, which is available from your map or GPS if you know how to get it or perhaps you can convert it if you have the appropriate iPhone  app .

Map Tools: utility that lets users fully utilize coordinates. Converts between datums, including AGD66, AGD84,GDA94, NZGD49, coordinate systems, and map projections and calculates distances.

It is a relatively simple task to change the units on you GPS so they give lat & long instead of grid references. It’s not difficult to read the latitude  and longitude from your map.  Next best is to give them the distance and direction to a prominent feature nearby.

What information will they need from you?

The St John’s Ambulance suggests their staff should collect the following information:

Type of Incident
• Caller name and call back number
• Location of incident and where possible a location name
• Map reference
• Radio Communications/Frequencies
• Number of patients
• Medical category applied to tasking (SJA use)
• Diagnosis / presenting problem
• Patient details if available
• Type of injury or illness
• Type of terrain and hazards (ie. high tension or power lines)
• Weather conditions in the area
• Identify any obvious landmarks or potential landing sites

See also  Emergency Call-ins  This article provides a structure for emergency contacts in bushwalking clubs and schools to respond to callers.  

This section is from the Outdoor Action Program’s Guidelines for Handling Emergency Situations and is not contained in The Backpacker’s Field Manual. Copyright © 1999, all rights reserved, Rick Curtis, Outdoor Action Program, Princeton University and Random House Publishing, New York.

Have you had any experience using a mobile phone to summon emergency help? Let us know how it worked for you, by commenting.

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Bushwalking Rescue: Emergency Evacuation by Helicopter

Have you ever needed a helicopter rescue? Ever raised the alarm using your (personal locator beacon) PLB or marine EPIRB? What can you do to make the landing or winching site safer? How can you attract attention and give signals to a circling aircraft? What information do you need to provide?

Well I’m fortunate and have never needed a helicopter rescue, neither has anyone in any of my groups. Nor have I ever had to raise the alarm using my PLB (personal locator beacon) or EPIRB, but I have walked in lots of areas in Tasmania where this is a regular occurrence, either due to poor weather, bushfire or injury.

On occasions, I have seen a helicopter circling and wondered whether someone is in trouble. On one occasion I was approached on a track by Parks and Wildlife staff who had been in radio contact with a rescue helicopter which had been circling and were trying to locate a person who had set off an EPIRB (emergency beacon) and then left the spot, tuning off their beacon when they left.

On most of my walks into isolated areas I have taken an EPIRB ( no longer licensed), now replaced by a PLB. Walking in the Gammon Ranges and further north I have taken a VHF radio for communication with nearby homesteads. Along the south coast and south west coast of Tasmania,  I have taken a marine radio for communication with passing fishing boats. Of course I always have my signalling mirror and mobile phone with me!

Alerting Rescue Services

Modern technology has provided us with several devices

NB Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife has PLBs for hire

    Alert Detection

    Radio distress beacons operate on 406 MHz with a 121.5 MHz transmission feature being used for final stage homing.
    NOTE: After 1 Feb 2010, old analogue EPIRBs and PLBs operating on 121.5 MHz are no longer licenced for use.
    The technology of distress beacons is so advanced that the location of the boat, aircraft or individual in distress can be calculated to a search area of as little as 110m with a digital 406 MHz beacon, if encoded with GPS.
    A digital 406 MHz beacon can relay much more information than simply the distress location.  When registered properly with AMSA, 406 MHz distress beacon can provide the RCC Australia with information such as the registration details of the aircraft, vessel or vehicle as well as emergency contact names and contact numbers.   This may allow further information to be gathered relating to the type of craft, survival gear carried and the number of people on board etc.  REGISTRATION IS FREE.
    After defining the search area, aircraft or other rescue craft rely on homing equipment to locate the beacon’s exact position.
    It is important that once a beacon is switched on in a distress situation you should not switch it off until rescue has been affected or you are advised to by the rescue authority. ”  Australian Marine Safety Authority

      Traditional methods include

      • lighting signal fires: three fires in a triangle for an emergency.  Have green vegetation handy to create smoke.
      • signaling with a mirror:  lightweight signaling mirrors with a hole in the middle to assist location are cheap
      • laying out markers and recognised symbols

      Ground to Air Signals

      • V require assistance
      • X require medical assistance
      • SOS: repetition of 3 signals, separated by a minute

      The following universal signals  are for strip signals, recommended to be built from rocks or tree branches or dug in the ground and are designed to be seen from the air. Make your signal big ( 6 -10m  by 1 m, with at least 3 m between symbols) so that it can be seen from a distance, and select a highly visible location.

      Wilderness Survival Forum

      N – No, Negative
      Y,  or A – Yes, Affirmative
      A square – require map and compass

      Preparing the landing area

      • Chopper can only descend vertically 15 metres
      • Select landing spot with clear approach and exit into the wind, clear 25m diam landing spot with a further 5m no more than 60 cm high, no more than 10% slope.
      • Mark landing area with a large H
      • Streamers or smoke to mark wind direction
      • Clear the landing spot of loose debris. Eye protection should be worn.
      • Approach helicopter from front & lower side on slope only when signaled.

      Abandoning Camp

      If you have to abandon camp, leave clear direction markers to show where you have gone and continue to mark the track, so you know if you have doubled back.

      References

      Creative Commons License
      This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Some Great Uses of the iPhone for Bushwalkers

      For an update see: Bushwalking Equipment | Can I Really Do Without a Smartphone?

      The iPhone 4 has many features which make it suitable for bushwalking and some which don’t. The built in GPS and compass, 5 Mb camera  with geo-tagged photos, the HD video recorder, its multimedia capabilities and its voice controlled mobile phone and wi-fi communications make it ideal.

      I have just bought an iPhone 4 from Telstra, as they have better coverage, especially in regional and remote areas, and have being trying to find some iPhone apps* which might be useful. It wasn’t difficult!
      Here are some links to useful iPhone apps for the outdoors. The descriptions below are from the iTunes Store.
      Emergencies/Survival/Rescue

      Simple slider motion to contact emergency services and launch RESCUE app (all functionality requires connection and access to local cellular and 3G/Edge or Wifi networks) Automatically detects new country and inserts appropriate local emergency number Sends 4 sms/email messages to your contacts with an emergency message and location. Provides your emergency call back number in case you have a private or blocked number. Loud audio alarm to warn bystanders, predators, or yourself, that the RESCUE app has been activated. Hyperlinked messages to Google maps so your location is instantly known. 60 second countdown to automatically call emergency services, in case you cannot. Ease of operation during emergencies

       Rescue@ helps locating you when calling an emergency number. In an emergency and needs help? But unsure where you are? By using Rescue@ when calling the emergency service you will be able to provide that critical, and maybe even life-saving, information to the emergency service personnel. The application works by first locating you using the location service on your iPhone. This location will then be saved as a contact name when pressing the “Call emergency”-button within the application. You can then read your location out loud by simply looking at the contact name in the caller-ID screen. 

      If you’re ever in a tight spot or emergency just press “Rescue Me!” and this application will send your location to your Twitter followers, and Facebook friends, and email account you set. This alarm message will come in the form of longitude and latitude coordinates, a Google Maps link, and a help message (which you can set) to ensure you can be found. The online society and your friends can take care of you. RescueMe can be a lifesaving tool.

      Rescue Light is a simple app but very functional that can help you at various times. Need a red alert light? This is the app.

      Stroboscope and Torch Light – FlashLight ! iStrobo is an application that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a stroboscope. Define its frequency and start the stroboscope !

      MorseEmergency is an application that sends a light SOS Morse signal through the screen of your iPhone or iPod touch. In some circumstances, long distance, noise… a light signal is the only message that can be sent or received.  

      Send SOS alerts in Morse code with the blink of your screen!

      In a swiftwater rescue scenario, it is useful to determine how far a person in the water has travelled downstream so that the search area may be narrowed and more effectively conducted. Although the math for determining this distance is relatively straightforward, it requires precious time that could be better used elsewhere. Mistakes may also be made in a high-stress situation, which may also cost time.

      SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy best selling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

      SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy bestselling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

      Don’t panic! You have a survivalist in your pocket. iSurvive marries common sense to meticulous technique. This application addresses the essential needs of wilderness survival. iSurvive instructs the user, with concise language and detailed photo illustrations to tie knots, construct shelters, set snares, start fires, and find clean drinking water. It also serves as a quick reference for First Aid, Navigation, Weather, Rescue and more.

      NOW you are able to send your location via email or SMS wherever you want whenever you want…A simple application that shows the user the exact geographic location in degrees, minutes and seconds. Along with that you can get the course in degrees and the speed in 3 different units (km/h, nm/h, mi/h).

      First Aid

      With Sun Alert you can calculate the maximal sun exposure time from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Whether you are at the beach, climbing mountains, skiing, walking, jogging or working outdoors you need to protect your skin from the UV radiation and thereby lower the risk of adverse health effects.

      MediProfiles gives you peace of mind by having all of your Friends, Family and Co-worker’s emergency medical information at your finger tips. (St Johns)
      Resuscitate focuses on the importance of the St John DRABCD Action Plan. The DRABCD Action Plan is used by First Responders around the world as primary assessment for every casualty. Included in the App is a powerful proximity sensor that locates your nearest St John Ambulance Public Access Defibrillator (PAD).

      ‘First Aid’ is Australia’s only iPhone app that presents step-by-step emergency First Aid information to the user with a large clear image for each step. (St Johns)

      Know when and how much to drink before, during and after sports. 
      Hydri-Assist helps ensure you are consuming enough fluid. Simply enter in your pre-workout wight, and then your post-workout weight (plus how much fluid you consumed in-between), Hydri-Assist will let you know how dehydrated you are, as well as how much fluid you should consume post-workout.
      Navigation/Maps/Planning

       distcalc 

      Allows users to find the distance between 2 or more points by simply tapping a path along a map. No addresses to enter or search for. No dragging pins around. 
      walk-tracker-free-sprintgps 

      Fully customizable activity planner with training history, calorie graphs, audio feedback and in depth workout plans with targets. As you exercise you can see your time, pace, speed, calories burned, training intervals, splits, view map in real time, take photos, listen to iPod music and receive audio feedback on your progress. When you have finished your activity you can view your activity history with stats, route map and splits. View cumulative graphs for distance and calories burned. View your personal best. View your photos and share your activity with friends on the Walk Tracker Website

      The intuitive and easy-to-use interface of the app makes it easy to track how far you went, how long it took, what your pace/speed was, how many calories you burned, and the path you traveled on a map. Once your activity is completed, the data is synced to the RunKeeper website (www.runkeeper.com) where you can view a history of all of your activities, and cumulative totals of all of your vital stats. You can also share your progress with friends by posting your activities to Facebook and Twitter, and creating a profile page that allows people to view all of your public activities. (Free version available)

      map-and-land-navigation 

      The Map and Land Navigation app is the U.S. Army’s official training guide to map reading, determining location, and navigating and includes over 600 pages of great content.

      bit-map

      Bit Map is an offline map viewer for your own topographic or specialised maps in standard image formats (eg, PNG, JPEG) or .OZF2 map images. Store multiple maps on your iPhone, and switch between them. With Bit Map, you can view your own choice of maps, instead of generic maps chosen by somebody else, making it ideal for specialist maps with details not available on other mapping applications, such as highly detailed topographic maps obtained from your government mapping authority. Your topographic maps can also be viewed while offline with no cellphone or wifi network access, making it ideal for a wide range of outdoor pursuits including bushwalking, hiking, trekking, camping, cycling, touring. 

      gps-tracking 

      With the push of a button, let other GPS Tracking users know where you are or request their location. GPS Tracking populates your iPhone’s built-in Google Maps with the locations of people in your private “opt-in” buddy list, as soon as they approve your request. It’s an interactive friend-finder, party-starter, child-locator, social networker and much more — a must-have, “Where are you? I’m here!” visual locating app. Push notification and GPS must be on for App to work. (Free version available)

      gps-compass 

      For users with older iPhones without a built-in compass: this app will determine the direction you are facing based on GPS readings taken while you are moving. The app takes this reading and allows you to see the direction you are heading on a Google map. You can also choose to rotate the map so your direction is always shown straight ahead…this capability was previously only available to 3GS owners with a built in compass!

      gps-footsteps-trails-trip 

      Turns your iPhone into a handheld GPS with compass and complete trip tracking!

      Topos2Go

      Topos2Go Free allows you to view topographic maps. You can download freely available maps and store them on your device for use without WiFi or cell access. The full version of Topos2Go adds the ability to locate your position on maps and import/export waypoints.

      Exact Altimeter for Australia

      Uses different ways to determine your altitude. It has built in elevation database, and it can get your altitude from online altitude service. Furthermore, it shows you the altitude given by the built in gps. Additionally it provides information about the nearest settlement.

      Safety
      thunderstorm-calculator 

      Calculates the distance of a thunder storm by measuring the time between a lightning and the corresponding thunder.

      gone-trekking-safety-outdoors 

      Gone Trekking is a location aware safety notification application for outdoor adventurers. The application utilizes the GPS, Google maps, calendar and camera features of the iPhone. Gone Trekking enables the user to record their departure, destination and waypoint information. The application also enables the user to email or post a Twitter message containing their trip details and maps. Video (Free version available)

      firesau

      FiresAU is about bringing bushfire awareness close to you if you live in Australia (NSW, Tasmania, SA). Where is the nearest fire to me? Is it where I need to go? Will I need to deal with one on the way?

      adventure-tracker 

      Designed for adventure runners, ultra marathon runners or just about anyone who wants to track their location whilst out and about. Adventure Tracker is designed to run in the background and update your location to the server every 10 minutes. Adventure Tracker can update your position for up to 20 hours with a single battery charge. Data is automatically uploaded to the Adventure Tracker website where you can view your tracks or send tracking links to friends. If you are in an area where there is no mobile reception such as out in the woods or in a foreign country Adventure tracker caches all the data it is unable to send to the server so you can upload it over WIFI or 3G when available.

      track-trip

      Track Trip uses the GPS receiver in your iPhone to record your location as you walk, run, bike or drive. This can be done in the background and uploaded every 10 minutes saving the battery. 

      Food
      classic-camping-cookbook-meal

      Users can search for a recipe based on the type of food and ingredients necessary to make the perfect meal. This is the first application that allows users to plan meals for an entire camping trip. Pick the number of days and campers and let the application do the rest. Generate shopping and equipment lists so you never forget an essential ingredient at home. 

      Equipment
      backpacking-check-list-must 

      Nothing is worse than driving 80 miles down the road for a glorious few days of backpacking, hiking, fishing and relaxing to find that you have left at home a few really essential items. You’ll be disappointed, and your entire trek could be ruined. Even Fido will feel the frustration. You can edit the extensive lists.

      the-backpacker-checklist 

      Huge list of items to consider
      – Super easy to mark
      – – what you’re going to bring
      – – what you might bring
      – – what’s already packed
      – Add anything you find missing (or change or delete items)
      – Group items by function
      – Plan where to get your items (e.g., supermarket, sporting goods store, attic, garage cabinet)
      – Indicate the weight of items (that we haven’t already weighed)
      – Provide an estimate of what you’ll be hauling along the trail
      – Store and switch between your gear lists for multiple trips
      – See the weights of items according to the “status” you assign to them and by how you use it
      – You control the order of categories in the main checklist
      – Use metric or English units 

      Utilities
      animated-knots-by-grog

      Animated Knots by Grog is simply the best and most comprehensive teaching and reference tool for boaters, climbers, fishermen, scouts and hobbyists. Watch as knots tie themselves in simple step-by-step photo animations. Use the manual controls to step through the animations frame by frame as you learn each knot. Tap the info button to get detailed descriptions about each knot’s correct use, advantages and disadvantages, and other information.

      knots-guide 

      A SIMPLE quick reference collection of different knots. Currently the application contains 92 knots divided into 10 categories. (Free)

      learning-the-ropes-navy-knots 

      Tying knots is a vital skill to have in the Royal Australian Navy. With this handy tool, learn to tie different Navy knots with 3D animated tutorials and facts. (Free)

      knots-splices-and-rope-work 

      Knots, Splices and Rope Work’ is the complete original 1917 classic treatise by A. Hyatt Verrill, the renowned American inventor, author, illustrator, archaeologist, explorer, zoologist and friend of former President Theodore Roosevelt.

      google-mobile-app 

      Search Google quickly using your voice, pictures, and location. Google Mobile App includes the following features:
      * New! Google Goggles – use pictures to search the web. Goggles recognizes things such as landmarks, books, wine, artwork, and logos.
      * Search by voice – speak your queries in natural language. Simply hold your iPhone to your ear and say your query.
      (Supports American, British, Indian or Australian English accents, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Czech, Polish and Korean.)
      * My Location – avoid typing your current location when searching for nearby businesses (e.g. “pizza” or “starbucks”)
      * Google Suggest – tap suggested web search queries and local businesses that appear as you type
      * Search history – quickly search again for queries you recently performed
      * Contact search – search your phone’s contacts.
      * Vertical search – search Google Maps, Images, News, and Shopping
       (Free)

      Fitness
      iexercise 

      Weekly goals for calories, time, or distance
      – Workout tracking and history
      – Body weight tracking system and charts
      – Achievement system
      – Twitter integration
      – Personal weight tracking
      – System designed by Personal Trainer

      itrail 

      iTrail is an all-in-one, in-your-pocket, sports performance tracking tool, and GPS recording application. Whether you are running, cycling, walking, skiing, or drive, use iTrail to record your performance and location as you move. iTrail will work in the background whilst you listen to music, talk a call or anything else. iTrail uses iPhone’s GPS receiver. 

      logyourhike-gps-pedometer 

      The LogYourHike iPhone App uses the built-in GPS of the iPhone as well as the built-in accelerometer of the iPhone and iPod Touch to measure the distance of your exercise activities. By working both as a pedometer and a GPS device you do not have to wait to get good satellite reception to start your run – the pedometer will measure your distance when the GPS signal is poor.

      Weather
      pocket-weather-au

      Forecast & observation data for hundreds of areas around Australia. Select it via GPS, Map or list.
      – Push current temp, text forecasts and state,regional and local warnings to your iPhone (NEW in 2.1)
      – Custom interface for browsing BOM warnings, all nicely formatted for your iPhone
      – Tide graphs for hundreds of locations around Australia
      – National Rain, Satellite and Synoptic Chart
      – Animated weather icons
      – Sunrise/sunset times
      – All of the BOM rain and wind doppler radars with Find/Track me function as well as the ability to have it auto update (see ‘Live Radar’ in settings)
      – National rain & cloud radars & Synoptic chart
      – Extended forecasts for regional areas
      – Give your locations custom names
      – Shake to refresh, simply shake your phone to refresh the data
      – Realtime UV support for some locations
      – Last update is always cached, so you don’t need a network connection to check the weather for the week, once you’ve got it once.
      – Updates are tiny (less than 10kb) so you don’t have to worry about your iPhone data cap.
      – Supports landscape and portrait view, and in landscape you get all the information on a single page. 

      oz-weather

      – 7 day forecasts for more than 250 official forecast locations
      – Detailed local observations, typically updated every 10 mins
      – Each forecast location includes up to 6 nearest official observation locations, accessible by side-scrolling action.
      – 50 rain radar locations around Australia
      – The radar view also has a “Locate Me” feature which queries the iPhone’s GPS and then centres the radar map on your current location along with an animated crosshair cursor.
      – Radar data delivery has been carefully optimised to arrive quickly on your iPhone
        (Free version available)

      oz-radar-weather

      1) It uses GPS to show your location on the radar.
      2) Oz Radar supports full screen landscape view.
      3) National cloud and synoptic charts.

      Time and Australian Weather, a match made in heaven. Weather sourced directly from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) displayed elegantly alongside the current time. 

      a-barometer-for-iphone-itouch 

      iBarometer is an application pretty, simple, accurate, and efficient. It lets you easily know what is the pressure near you. Contrary to standard applications (with predefined cities), this version of the barometer will give you precisely the pressure of where you are. It integrates its own conversion system.

      world-tides-2010

      World Tides uses the Simply Harmonic Formula and harmonic constants provided by the UKHO to give 7 day tide predictions without the need for an internet connection. Features: Moon/Sun Rise/Set times, large slidable tide graph, recent locations, built in zoomable map, gps sensor, search, and details page.

      moonlight 

      Moonlight features a photorealistic display using OpenGL rendering technique that paints the moon’s current appearance including all variations in distance, equatorial ecliptic angle and moon libration. The program takes the observer’s (that is you) current position and time into account for exact rendering of images. Alternatively, you can enter your own coordinates and view the moon from anywhere in the world. Go into time warp mode and accelerate time: Fast forward or rewind to see how the moon changes over time.Moonlight not only displays a pretty 3D image but also shows various essential data points: moon phase, distance between earth and moon, julian date or local sideral time.

      Wooly Wind Chill plus ground Speed 

      Calculate wind chill temperature by simply selecting the air temperature and wind speed. The calculated wind chill temperature is displayed “on the fly”.For those who travel by bike, motorcycle, boat, or other means where you find yourself exposed to the elements while in motion, Wooly Wind Chill now has the option to calculate the approximate effective wind chill based your current moving speed (not factoring for actual wind speeds).

      Field Guides
      gemstones-by-varietal 

      Pictoral database of common gemstones, with high-resolution images. Over 2000 gems are included. The images in this app are categorized by Varietal (Agate, Amethyst, etc.) This app includes some information about the gemstone, such as location found, habit, shape, hue, tone, etc. This app is mainly aimed at students, professors, scientists, hobbyists, and those in the field who wish for help identifying gemstones, or learn a bit about what they’re seeing in the field. 

      clouds-and-weather

      This app brings back the ancient knowledge of former generations: Here you will find out how to identify conclusively a thundercloud and what kind of weather can be expected in what time frame when you see fleecy clouds. Here you will find out if it is going to rain when the spider stops spinning its web and much, much more. With detailed descriptions of all cloud types and the weather they bring
      – Complete cloud atlas with all cloud families, species and types according to the International Cloud Atlas of the WMO (World Meteorological Organization)
      – Large photo gallery with over 70 examples of all cloud types

      the-michael-morcombe-eguide 

      Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds has been called the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds in the market today and now it is perfectly complimented by the eGuide which features:
      -iPhone optimised controls   swipe to next or previous species, one-tap enlargement of an image and rotate the device (landscape) to enlarge an image completely (and fit the width of the screen).
      -Over 3000 hi-res bird images covering over 790 bird species.
      -Most bird species have a detailed distribution map showing any subspecies that occur.
      -Detailed text descriptions of almost all bird species including songs and calls, measurements and breeding behaviour.
      -Over 1800 carefully-selected and edited sound recordings for over 600 species. Many species are represented with multiple call examples showing the full range of vocalizations.
      -The ability to compare any two images, maps, or sounds, side by side on the screen. The ability to filter by geographic location, so that you see only the species likely to occur in your location, and to further reduce the possibilities to usual or vagrant species in the selected area.
      -A  Smart Search  that gives the ability to search by distinguishing features such as size, colour, physical features, habitat and exclude certain types of birds (eg. Passerines).
      -A basic personal species list that stores your sightings saved to the device* (ability to upload list coming soon)
      -A comprehensive help and introduction section to help you if you get stuck or don t understand how a certain feature works.

      birdsight-australia 

      Need a quick and easy way to keep track of bird sightings? This app makes adding sightings in the field quick and easy with these features:
      – Quickly search through a complete list of over 800 Australian bird species using common name, scientific name, or “alpha code” abbreviations.
      – Automatically connect to web resources to help verify your sightings, including Flickr images, Google images, and Wikipedia articles. Access a wealth of birding info without huge downloads hogging space on your device.
      – Save and manage your frequently used birding locations with gps tracking and map view.
      – Annotate your observations with notes and protocol information.
      – Export your data as a .csv file that can be opened with spreadsheet applications or submitted to birding websites.

      goskywatch-planetarium-astronomy

      Displays the sky view at the correct orientation when held at any angle not just landscape or portrait. Simple operation, no buttons to press or modes to select, just point to the sky to start exploring. Unique rotation scheme enables touchless navigation even for the iPod touch without a compass.
      Many features specifically for efficient outdoor use. Red light mode to preserve night vision, magnitude adjustment for viewing conditions, planets shown with relative brightness for easy identification, touchless navigation, heads up information display, full 180 degree display to see at a glance what is in the sky and where. Looking for a planet or star? Just use the finder and let the arrow guide the way.

      bird-in-hand 

      The App covers 23 of Tasmania’s common and endemic birds and includes bird calls, high quality pictures and information on their habitat, breeding, diet etc. Use the App while out bush to work out which call is which.

      Birds of Australia

      This application includes up-to-date Wikipedia entries and pictures of over 700 birds native to Australia. Prepare for your birdwatching activity by downloading (caching) all articles and images on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad (approx. 600 MB). Reference the guide when outdoors without an Internet connection. Over 700 birds grouped into 93 species families!!!
      Key Features
      * Wikipedia articles cached complete with full large images. Simply click on any image in a cached article to view the large image.
      * Image Picker
      * search capabilities
      * landscape & portrait modes
      * Wikipedia pages formatted for iPhone display
      * Cache update from server resumes where last stopped
      * Server will be updated periodically with new entries and updated data from wikipedia.
       

      Trip Records
      outdoor-adventure-blogs (Free)

      Stay up to date with the latest Outdoor activity and lifestyle blogs, ideas and adventure writings with heaps of news and posts preloaded into this app and being constantly updated by some of the most engaging bloggers in the world. You can also use the Outdoor Blog Reader as your main news/blog reader because you can easily add your favorite rss feeds on any topic via the “Add Blog via URL” or “Search Blog via Keyword” features.

      Blog Reader features include:

      * Heaps of pre-loaded blogs
      * Search Blogs via Keyword
      * Add Blog via URL
      * Read blogs offline
      * Checks for new Blog posts when you launch
      * Delete, move or add blogs
      * Categories
      * Email blog posts to your friends
      * View in posts in Safari
      * Unread posts indicated by number
      * Help for Blog Reader functions

      Trip Journal allows you to document vacation experiences and share them with your friends and family. Impress everybody with real time updates from the visited destinations and let people see proof of your latest adventures, as your journey unfolds.
      * software applications downloaded  from the iTunes store.