Grant County Forest Deputy and Search and Rescue Coordinator Dave Dobler stopped by Elkhorn Media Group studios to talk about SAR. He said they’ve had some missions recently. One that featured a happy ending took place near Granite, to the report of an overdue snowmobiler with possible medical issues. Dobler said it was especially difficult for Search and Rescue personnel due to the fact the snowmobiler had not informed anyone of where he was going or how long he’d be. Fortunately, the snowmobiler employed some creative thinking to keep warm before hiking out:
“I believe he ran out of fuel—is the story I was told—and actually started a fire in his helmet, because he couldn’t get it going anywhere else—which is an interesting technique. Got his hands warm and was hiking out, we’re glad it turned out that way.
A little bit hypothermic, not too bad, didn’t need a medical transport or anything.”
Wintertime in Grant and Harney Counties can be harsh to survive the elements outdoors. The Grant County Forest Deputy informed our listeners of some simple, but effective fire building supplies that could save your life if you get in a bad spot:
“Storm matches. There’s different kinds of just regular matches, all it takes is if you can hold that match and you can strike it. They’re specially-coated and they’ll burn for a couple of minutes.
Another technique—cotton balls with petroleum jelly. Works really well, will burn for several minutes; and hand sanitizer. Most people carry a little of that in their car. Put that in your backpack, you lay it out and you strike that with a match, and that will burn too.”
Dobler says this time of the year, when fire danger is low, is a good time for folks and even whole families to test their fire building skills using different methods.