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Hunting Insulators in the Wild
- Saw/Chainsaw - To cut off crossarms or pins
- Wrenches - to unbolt pins
- Oil filter wrench - to remove stubborn pins
- Tack claw - for pulling circuit code tags on crossarms
- Canvas bag - to put insulators in when up a pole
- Socks - for wrapping insulators
- Climbers - for going up poles
- Ladder - the easier way to climb poles
- Insulator grabber - an insulated extension pole with a gripping end
used by a collector on the ground to remove insulators high up on a crossarm
- Bolt cutters - for cutting guy wires attached to Johny Balls
- Backpack - for carrying insulators out of the wild
- Duct Tape - 1001 uses: An aid for dealing with blisters, a way to seel ripped plastic if caught in the rain, a means to hold insulator pieces together, provides some cushioning if wrapped around pieces, could be used to hold a splint together if your break a leg.
- Rope - to lower insulators to the ground, to help get your vehicle out of the mud, to create a splint if you break your leg, for a tourniquet
- Gloves - for pushing through sticker bushes or to avoid splinters when climbing a pole, to keep you warm
- Replacement insulators - I don't endorse the switching out of insulators on live lines.
- First Aid Kit (see Medical Supplies list below)
The July 2010 issue of Wired described their own basic first aid kit that
makes a lot of sense. Note that I am not a doctor and this information is
not meant to be thought of as medical advice. Prices were found online in
July of 2010. Here's the alphabetical list:
- Ace Instant Cold Compress ($2.79 for one). Can be used to stop pain and
- Acetaminophen/Tylenal ($10.55 for 500 tablets). Used for fevers.
- Adhesive bandages ($1.99 to $3.95 for a box, depending on the size)
- Adsafe Plus CPR FAce Shield with airway valve ($6.98). Used to give CPR
without exchanging fluids.
- Advil/Ibuprofen ($14.99 for 200 tablets). Used for mild pain and inflamation.
- Alcohol prep pads ($1.41 for a box of 100). Use these to clean cuts.
- Aspirin/acetylsalicylic acid (300 tablets of 325 mg cost $2.86). Used for
mild fever, mild pain, and inflamation. Also recommended at the first sign
of a heart attack.
- Benadryl ($4.86 for a 24 capsules). Temporarily relieves a runny nose and
- Burn Jel ($6.49 for 4 fl oz). Use for burns or sunburn.
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin) (By prescription). A broad-spectrum antibiotic.
- Dr. Scholl's Moleskin ($4.99 for 3 strips that are 4-5/8" x 3-3/8").
Used to prevent blisters.
- Imodium ($9.99 for 24 caplets). Use to treat diarrhea.
- NexTemp Disposable Thermometer ($13.95 for a box of 100). 5 year shelf life,
does not require controlled storage environment.
- Nuun Portable Electrolyte Hydration (8 tubes for $49.99). Use to fend off
- OxyContin (prescription needed). Very strong pain killer.
- QuikClot Sport Advanced Clotting Sponge ($9.57). Stops bleeding fast.
- Steri-Strip Wound Closure Strips ($36.55 for a box of 25). For serious cuts.
- Tagaderm Transparent Film ($55.20 for a box of 20). Provides a sterile breatheable
dressing that is better than gauze.
- Triple antibiotic ointment ($2.14 for 1/2 oz tube).
Maps and locational devices
- Global Position System (GPS) if you have one
- Paper bags - You can write on these the location where you find whole insulators or pieces and know where to return to get the rest of the pieces when you have time or when they are pushed to the surface
- Road map to find the general location of your hunt, parking places, and existing railroads
- Abandoned railroad maps
- Winterrich, Julie A. 500 Great Rail-Trails:A Directory of Multi-Use Paths Created from Abandoned Railroads. Los Angeles, CA: Living Planet Press, 1993.
- Nielsen,Waldo. Right of Way: Guide to Abandoned Railroads in the United States. Bend, OR: Old Bottle Magazine, 1974.
- Sanborn Insurance Maps
- Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac
- If you get sprayed by a skunk, the following recipe is the current, best way to get rid of the smell. Mix 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and a teaspoon of liquid detergent. Bathe with this, rinse with water and repeat if necessary. Use this mixture immediately and do not store in a closed container because the rapid release of oxygen from the mixture produces a great deal of pressure. This formula may result in bleaching.
- The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), Boston Club has the following advice:
If you're dehydrated by even 5%, you can experience a 20 to 30% decrease in your metabolism, an effect you certainly feel. Mild dehydration results in headache, weakness, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, and decreased resistance to hot and cold. To estimate your state of hydration, check the color of your urine. Clearer means that you are better hydrated - darker yellow indicates dehydration.
When you exercise, particularly in cooler weather, the thirst mechanism becomes suppressed, and it often requires conscious effort to drink enough. On a typical day hike, you will lose four liters of water (about one gallon), more than you probably drink. Most hikers load up on water (and calories) before they head out, perhaps by drinking a liter of water with breakfast, and they hydrate again when they get done. You should still drink two to three liters of water during the day hike. A caution: don't drink too much water at once. You can not absorb it that fast, and it will go right through you.
Along with water, your body also needs electrolytes. Your body fluids contain minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and others, which are responsible for muscles contracting and nerves working. So called "sports drinks" help replace electrolytes, as do certain foods such as bananas.
- One web site suggested "when you develop a blister, put a piece
of duct tape on your foot, covering the blister. You can also put a piece
of tape on the offending spot inside your boot as well. This quick fix
will keep your blister from getting worse and will see you through to
the end of your hike."
- Snake Bite
- WebMD offers a great deal of advice and also dispells a number of myths like sucking the venom out of the wound.
- To avoid snake bites, wear thick leather boots, stay out of tall grass, and don't stick your hand where you can't see
- Key points to remember: Immobilize the area bitten, wash with soap and water, get help, identify the snake if you can do so without endangering yourself.
- Wear layers of clothes, avoiding tight, constricting clothes that will cut off circulation.
- The first symptoms are a "pins and needle" sensation followed by numbness.
- An thorough review of causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention can be found on a National Institute of Health web site
Last updated December 11, 2008
Other updates: May 29, 2008, December 10, 2009