Sunday, January 31, 2010

Full Moon Hike & Navigation Training

    One of my friends is part of the volunteer Search and Rescue team in Marin that I had planned on joining this year.  Because of my upcoming move, that won't be possible, but I did get to take part in one of their training sessions last night.  Clara, Ted and I drove up near the west peak of Mt. Tamalpais, and then sat around freezing our respective asses off while waiting to get started.  Clara and I considered murdering Ted for his gloves and beanie.  We restrained the impulse, mostly because we were depending on him for teaching us how not to get lost in the mountains that night. 
    Once the whole team was gathered, we were split into groups of 6-8 and given a series of coordinates in the area.  From there, we needed to plot the points on a topographical map, plot a course that wouldn't take us over any steep drop-offs or ravines, and then get to each point using a GPS and/or compass. 
    Other than the fact that we got to learn some cool Rambo shit, it was a full moon, and it was a rare opportunity to be up in the Marin highlands at night.  When we weren't laughing about something immature, it was dead silent, and you could see for miles all around.  Some of the coordinates took us on some off-season "trails," although we intersected with the main road a few times.
    We managed to make it back to the command post without any injuries, casualties, or getting too far off course, and were greeted with hot chocolate and boxes of beef-flavored cup o' noodles.  It was a good night.  Got to do some night hiking, got to use my beloved head-lamp, got hot chocolate (!), and got to learn some new skills.



Ms. C said...

let's see that head lamp now.

Amanda West said...

Lol. Glad to hear you made it out alive.

Anonymous said...

Another place you might want to do this is up in the Desert, Mojave....Of course it can get tricky but the views are insane.

Clara said...

And the blind leading the blind. Somehow you were in charge of the GPS for the rest of us... I guess I'll concede you do have some ninja skillz. SOME.

Good write up and thanks for driving!

Cheryl said...

Your life is so much cooler than mine.

linda said...

i second request for head lamp self portrait.

hike sounds lovely. i like the hot chocolate part the best

Lorien said...

Headlamps are the greatest invention EVER! They're so much better than trying to hold a flash light, with a map and compass in one hand. Good on you about the GPS. I've never done night land nav with a GPS, only map and compass.

When it comes to military exercises, my favorite thing is land nav! It's the most relaxing leisurely walk.

Is this when you heard about Geocaching?

Lissa said...

I'd never go hiking, but I love listening to all the stories. :) And that is one awesome picture!

Martin said...

Ms. C - OK! Next post will be dedicated to head lamp pictures.

Amanda - Me too! :)

Eric - I'd love to do some more desert trekking stuff. I want to get out to death valley later this year. Although really, I should probably go in the next few months before it gets too hot.

Clara - Your praise confuses me...Not Sure If Trust...

Cheryl - But yours includes more coffee, and for that, I am envious.

Linda - I'm with you. The hot chocolate part rocked.

Lorien - Your work with a compass is a lot more impressive. This was my first time using a GPS, and it really made things pretty easy. You need to teach me some compass skills, and then I'll seek a native american guru out to teach me to navigate by the constellations.

Lisse - I'm glad you like it! I got it from google images ;)

Lissa said...

I feel cheated now. I thought you took it. LOL. :P

 ALH said...

Sounds like an amazing experience. I'd like to see a post on how you manage to find/go on all of these rugged adventures!

And thanks for reading/commenting on my recent post! Glad it shook you up, that was what I was going for.

Martin said...

Lissa: I'm sorry I led you on ;(

ALH: Ihanks for coming by. I think a post on how I go on adventures might end up a bit boring. I just, like, go. :)

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