Outdoor Gear for the K9 Search and Rescue Team
Your SAR Ready Pack with your outdoor gear is like a house on your back. It allows you to be self reliant and comfortable if you need to spend an overnight or two in the wilderness. You need to carry what you need personally, and what the subject might need if encountered.
A 24 hour pack is the absolute minimum that should be carried during a mission. You will need to include all items that will help you function safely and effectively. For a complete list of items required to pass the SAR Tech II Test,
Consider the importance of carrying: Sunscreen, Insect Repellent, Eye protection, and Head Protection.
The Outdoor Gear
Personal Body Management and Protective Equipment
Insect RepellentWear clothing made of slippery materialChemical repellents that contain DEET, Indione, Rutgers, or DMPSkin So SoftNetting
Eye ProtectionProtect your eyes on missions! When working in brushAt nightIn hot, sunny areas or at elevation in now conditions
Head ProtectionA helmet might be necessaryProvides protection where injury is likely and can provide ear and neck protectionA hat that protect ears and neck in cold environments
Sleeping Systems - In the event you do have to spend the night, are you prepared?Sleeping during SAR missions may be required on occasionConsider: Ground protection, and sleeping bag systems as part of your outdoor gear items.
Ground Protection - Important considerations: Insulation and comfortLightweight, soft, compact, waterproof, and efficient insulationOther options:Air mattressEnsolite or polyethylene pad (closed cell)Nylon clothNatural surroundings
Sleeping Bag InsulationSynthetics - Polyester, (Polarguard, Primaloft, Dacron, Holofil, and Quallofil)Natural - Down
Sleeping Bag ConstructionConsider LoftManufacturer reputationKey is to trap dead airDifferent types of construction/baffling
Sleeping Bag BafflingQuilted (sewn through)BoxShingle
Shelters - The multipurpose tool for protection against discomforts.Consider WeightWater repellencyversatility
SheltersTarps - Lightweight and versatileInexpensiveNot durable
TentsHeavier and more expensiveProvide maximum security
Mess Kits and UtensilsA bowl, cup, and spoon are the only utensils needed.Plastic holds heat longer than metal and won't burn your lipsMetal is easier to clean
Types of StovesChemicalPressurized gasLiquid gas - Alcohol, White gas/Coleman fuel,other
Water Bottles and Hydration SystemsAn important part of outdoor gear!Hydration is essential! Consider:DurabilityAccessWeightDrinkability
Walking StickCan be helpful when carrying a heavy pack over a long distanceConsider: Durability, Weight and length, Portability
Headlamps/FlashlightConsider Spot or focusBattery usage and compatibilityIncandescent vs. LEDHeadlamp vs. handheld
Other Outdoor Gear and ToolsKnife - All purpose "Swiss Army" type is idealRepair/sewing kit - for minor repairs"Hell" box - Anything that might come in handy for comfort, repairs and emergencies.
Hygiene and Sanitation Many "necessities" can be done without, or improvised from other pack items.Rinsing with water and scrubbing teeth with a towel can get mouth clean.Toilet paper - No one should be without it in the wilderness.
PacksConsider - Intended use and needsCombined weight and space of all the items you intend to carryYour body structure
Internal FrameBetter suited for activities requiring balance and freedom of movementFit close to the back and are flexible
External FrameRigid pack frames with fitted bagsMost comfortable and convenient method of carrying large loads on extended trips
Packs -Look for:Frame ConstructionShoulder straps and hip beltBack support and adjustmentsQuality and reinforcementsPockets/compartments and accessLash points
Been on a memorable search and want to share your experiences? What was your most memorable search and why?
All of us has had some sort of experience while on a search. Want to share yours? What were some of your most memorable moments and why? What would you have done differently if anything? Have a funny moment, or a great picture? Share it!
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