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March 2021 - Search and Rescue

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This item is password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in club newsletter email.

Design By: Chris Mackey 

Dimensions 45 mm Wide

Thickness  3.5 mm

Finish Black Nickel
Enameling IHE Enamel

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

March 2021 - Search and Rescue Geocoin

Design notes from the artist:  Chris Mackey

This month's coin is a shoutout and thank you in recognition of the brave people and animals who allow us to cache in the great outdoors whether in local parks or remote wilderness.  Search and Rescue operations have been in operation since ancient times.  As far back as 980 AD, Bernard of Menthon, a missionary priest in the mountain villages of the Swiss Alps,  built a monastery and Inn in as a refuge for travelers in the highest mountain passes.  From those refuges, during heavy snowstorms, the canons, accompanied by trained herding dogs (later known as St. Bernards) went out in search of victims who might be overcome by the weather.


Since those days, centuries of Search and Rescue operations have continued and expanded from the mountain passes, to bodies of water, then to deserts and all manner of terrain across the planet.  These specialists and their animal companions continue to be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and ready at a moment's notice to go into action.  Their heroic efforts allow us, people who love the great outdoors, to strike out into the great unknown safe in the knowledge that if disaster should strike, they're ready and waiting.  


While these heroes are a great comfort to our peace of mind while out caching around the globe, they tell us we can make their job easier in a few easy ways.  We can be prepared with some very basic tools and knowledge that can keep us safe until they arrive if the worst should happen.  There are 5 tools and 4 skills that every cacher can employ to make their hunt both fun and safe.  

Every cacher should have 5 basic tools on their person: a fire-making device (lighter, matches, etc.), a container for water (stainless steel is best in case you need to boil water), a knife, cordage (rope, string, paracord, etc.) and some kind of covering (emergency parka, trash bag, plastic sheeting or raincoat).  Most of these can fit in your pockets and a water bottle is easy enough to carry in hand.  With just these few implements, you can drastically improve your chances to stay safe until Search and Rescue shows up.  


Every cacher who spends any time outdoors should also practice 4 basic skills: basic 1st aid, basic navigation (using sun, moon, terrain), foraging (learn what you can eat safely such as berries, tubers, etc.) and finally how to tie some basic and handy knots (useful for snares, building shelter, building tools, building sun compass, etc.)  Learning some basic survival skills are both fun and useful and hopefully this coin will be a handy reminder of the most important tools and techniques you can take with you the next time you hit the trail caching!  So study up, check your gear and get out there exploring.  With the right gear, the right knowledge, and Search and Rescue on standby, there's no terrain and cache you can't conquer!

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