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Discussion Starter #1
I will begin volunteering next month to play victim roles and watch the local SAR group train here in AZ.
As a minimum, what gear does a beginner need? Clothing, equipment, etc. Could you tell me what some of the good sites are to buy from?
 

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I would say you need to just dress for the weather. Do you have a dog that you will be training or are you just the victim? As a victim, you might have to spend a lot of time at the spot, so you might need to bring a blanket to lay on, or sit on, otherwise you don't need any other gear. The people who are training their dogs will give you the dog's toy, or what ever they use to praise the dog, when the dog finds you.
If YOU are training your dog, ask the group what to buy and where. They should have some type of a list what equipment they use and where you can get that. At first you don't need much!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not training with my dog, at least not yet. I'm still feeling out the SAR world and commitment. I've always enjoyed the job, and I wanted to get involved and help.
Even if I don't do it professionally, at least I can learn some of the techniques and games first hand.
I spoke with one of their leaders through email and he said to have an orange shirt, long pants, good boots, a hat, a camelback, sunscreen/ repellent. I'm always over-preparing, which is why I was asking for anything else, hehe.
 

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Besides bringing the essentials appropriate for the conditions, you might want to bring a kids soap bubble dispenser.

While you are waiting for a dog to find you, that is a good time to pay attention to the air movement around you. Blowing bubbles periodically can help you visualize where your scent is going. Also watch where the dog approaches you from and see if that jibes with your wind observations. What you learn from this will make you a better hider and will be valuable to you if you decide to become a handler.
 

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When I was mainly a victim, I brought a small back pack with a snack, coffee thermos, and a book. I also had a small blanket or tarp depending on the weather. Often you are placed well before the dog and handler even start--make sure you have a radio so you know when they start!! Bug spray is a must as well!! Those bugs love to hover around you when you are stuck in the woods!

As soon as I heard or saw the dog, I would make sure to be still, and enjoy watching the dog work its way in. That has always been my favorite part of training!!

I am sure the handlers will tell you what to do and not to do, but one thing I will mention because it happened to me a time or two with new victims----Dont help the dog at all. I had one victim who was so eager to have the dog succeed that when he was close and working out the scent (they really dont see you unless you move), she said 'psssstttt' to give him a hand. I was annoyed and amused all at the same time LOL.

Have fun!!!!
 

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You don't want to carry too much.

Small basic first aid kit. (real basic)
Cheap emergency poncho (the kind you can fit in a pocket)
A whistle. Fox 40 pealess. You should not go in the woods without one.
Definitely a basic orienteering compass and some flagging tape
Gloves (if you have briars)
Walking stick (they come in handy for many reasons - you can get a cheap one at Wally World)
lip balm
TP
Extra socks (wet socks are real uncomfortable if you get wet feet)

For what you need at this stage, WalMart is just fine - Dicks Sporting Goods sells a fox 40 mini but I really had a hard time locating one locally when I lost my old one. They all sell them with peas in them.

I watch campmoor for closeout sales and brigade quartermaster and there are whole lots of places with neat gear.
 

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Thermorest makes a small inflatable seat cushion. It rolls to the size of a soda can and keeps your keester warm, dry, and rock free. I use it on day hikes. You might want to add that to the list!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry, been a little busy lately with work.....

Yeah I didn't think about a seat, I think I will add that!
 
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