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Topics - Paul Hitchen

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Training tips / Ultimate Navigation School - Launched!
« on: January 29, 2017, 05:40:48 PM »
Lyle has launched a new charity called the Ultimate Navigation School!

The school provides navigation courses across the Uk for the public through to Mountain Rescue and Special forces selection candidates. Courses are from Foundation through to Advanced levels in land navigation and sat nav skills.  The courses are externally accredited too by OpenAwards so they count as professional development courses.

But the best part is....All the net profit from the School goes to four charities who support the hills we all love - The John Muir Trust, Mend the Mountains, Fix the Fells and The Mountain Bothy Association.

The new website is here

Lyle's channel trailer on youtube is here

If the great navigation community on could help the charity by making people aware of its launch - it would be much appreciated!

best regards and many thanks   :D


Emergency & Backup Equipment / Grab Bag Contents
« on: July 26, 2014, 06:56:07 PM »
I am putting a grab bag together for a light aircraft flight over the channel and would appreciate advice. This is just in case the spiny thing at the front stops mid channel and I end up swimming the last bit. It has to give a nod to overall weight. Plus it is a busy shipping lane, so if I make the ditch I will probably be run over before I get picked up  :D

Thoughts please ?

McMurdo Ranger PLB 199.
Pans Wessex red flare 10
Pans Wessex orange smoke 17
Mcmurdo floating grab bag 33 to put it all in - 5 m of floating rope tied to it.

100 lumen waterproof torch 22

AESU FTA-310 AIRBAND TRANSCEIVER 190, waterproof , 5w, new 8.33 channel compatible  - to transmit on 121.5 to overflying aircraft (most aircraft have a second set listening on the emergency channel). It will be nice to have someone talk to someone while I wait to be picked up. Plus my mobile will be in a man overboard bag around my neck in case I am in range of shore and can phone for pizza.
(I thought about a marine band but I can use the air band in the aircraft in a normal flight if the 2 sets on board decide to pack in).

Jotron strobe floating.
Jotron 121.5 transceiver (I had this already not sure if blasting out on this at the same time as the 220 does it as well, will help or hinder).

Water, big block of chocky, a couple of ambulance dressings, foil blanket (radar defection).

4 person dinghy with cover (rented), plus flight crew life vests  (owned already) and worn throughout.

Thought about mirror but its usually cloudy over the channel ! Whistle, maybe but not much use to attract a helicopter ☺.  Thought about immersion suit but it will be summer and you can go too far, the odds are small that it chooses exactly that 25 mile stretch out of 250 to pack up, vs sweating my nuts off and not enjoying the trip.

Any advice gratefully received. Many thanks in advance.

Apps / Map Tools for IOS iPhones - conversions
« on: September 11, 2013, 09:26:25 AM »

You guys will have already seen this but just in case...

I found Map Tools by Clever Applications on Apples App Store.  The free version translates formats and datums, but you pay 1.99 to get access to 'all' of the datums and options.

So for example it converts UTM to different Lat/Long formats and vice versa on WGS84, or Ordnance 36 Eng and Wales Grid refs to Lat/Long WGS 84... or whatever datum and formats you wish to convert.  There are probably loads of these tools but this is easy to use and works offline so when you are out in the  sticks with no internet it still works.

Plans / Obergurgl - Austrian Apls - Tyrol
« on: January 04, 2013, 04:12:07 PM »
I am off skiing to Obergurgl with my wife, 22 year old son and his girlfriend. She has never been to the Alps, Mountains or skied before and I can't wait to introduce her to the magnificence of the Mountains! 

As I bounced about with excitement packing I said to my wife that I'd have to find some way of making a living in the hills.

'Maybe there will be an advert in the Obergurgl Post office for a part time Yeti' I joked.  Her reply was harsh bit true. Without looking up from packing she said -

'Well your back is hairy enough'.

Ouch. Truth hurts.

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