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DEBRIEF -SATURDAY NOVEMBER 15, 2014: FAUSETTS FARM

 

Fausetts Farm

11/15/14

 

Rideout Time:  1100

 

 

 

If a small child is lost in the woods and we are called, we will go, no matter the weather.  Our training enables us to be better searchers than the average person.  One of the primary facets of SAR training is the safety of the searchers.  Your individual clothing not only keeps you comfortable but also keeps you safe.  Being cold and wet will make you a lousy searcher.  Being cold and wet for a long time will make you hypothermic, a serious medical condition.

 

Saturday the temps were around 32 when we got there, rose to about 40 by the time we left.  Sun was out, just a little breeze.  It was a very nice day to ride as long as you were dressed for it.  “As long as you were dressed for it.”  That was the lesson for Saturday.  I plan my riding attire based on 10 degree ranges.  I know what to wear when it is 50-60, 40-50, 30-40, 20-30, and below that.  I’ve ridden in single digit weather in a snow storm.  You can dress for it.  Rain complicates your clothing choice but it too can be dressed for.  Weather conditions will probably be different at the search site than out of your kitchen window.  Take enough gear to be prepared for 20 degrees colder than what you expect and rain whenever you go to a search or training.  “I left that at home” is not a good excuse for missing out on a search.

 

Your clothing choices are based on trying to stay warm and dry while you provide little to no activity.  You wouldn’t stay warm in the saddle if you wore the same clothes you wear when you go jogging.  Early training in SAR you learn that “cotton kills.”  What that means is that when cotton gets wet, it loses all insulation value and will remain wet for some time.  All bad things for a long, cold day in the saddle.  We all ride in blue jeans.  Dry days we can get away with that but a cold rainy day, wearing jeans could get us into trouble.

 

Understanding limitations is necessary.  We all need to understand that two hours into a search is not when you need to find out that you didn’t dress right.  Plan your clothing choices for different weather conditions for an all-day search.  If you show up at a search and are unprepared for the weather, you won’t be doing yourself or your teammates any favors by trying to endure it.  You might become a medical emergency and SAR resources would be diverted to take care of you.  We train to learn new skills but also to learn limitations of ourselves and our horses.

 

Saturday our confidence increased in our clothing choice for sunny, 30-40 day.  We learned our choices would work very well under those conditions.

 

Look outside today.  Could you go if we were called?  Do you have the clothing to be safe and comfortable outside, all day?  Weather conditions will vary this week.  Each day write down what you would wear if we were called out.