Mountainpathfinder>> Georgia SAR>> Frequently Asked Questions about...NASAR SARTECH II Evaluations
Q: "How do I find out about your next SARTECH II?"
A: I primarily assist other Lead Evaluators with their tests.
Q: "Do I have to take a FUNSAR class in order to challenge the SARTECH II evaluation?"
A: No, but it's strongly recommended. The FUNSAR class covers all of the written and practical information for the evaluation. If you pass the FUNSAR written exam, you may exempt out of the SARTECH written exam for up to 12 months after passing it. However, there are many students who succeed at the SARTECH II through self-study or after having taken non-NASAR classes.
Q: "Can I take a SARTECH II evaluation immediately after completing a FUNSAR class?"
A: Yes, but I don't recommend it. The FUNSAR class covers all of the written and practical information for the evaluation. The FUNSAR doesn't afford you the time to become proficient enough to pass the field land navigation section. Some students also need more time to master the knot-tying skills. I strongly encourage students to practice these for some time between the FUNSAR and the SARTECH.
Q: "What's the toughest part of the SARTECH II evaluation?"
A: Undoubtedly the field land navigation. It's a difficult point-to-point, dead-reckoning course done often through brush and while wearing a ready pack. Nerves get the best of students on tying some knots. After that, the written test's questions on ICS and map and compass are tough on some students. The area search portion of the practical exam is another stumbling block. Some candidates either fail to communicate with each other or they only look to their front for clues. They don't consistently search the "searcher cube" by looking above and behind them as well as to both sides.
Q: "How do I prepare for the SARTECH II evaluation?"
A: Several things can make life easier
Q: "Can I pack extra quantities (say, 12 matches instead of eight) of supplies, or must I carry exactly the quantities shown on the pack list - no more and no less?"
A: Yes. You can carry extra quantities of the necessary supplies up to as much weight as you can bear. However, you are expected to finish the land navigation station with at least the minimum required quantities of supplies that you had when you started the station. "Dumping" supplies is not permitted.
Q: "Can I pack extra items (say, a radio or cell phone) or must I carry exactly the items on shown on the pack list - no more and no less?"
A: Yes, with the EXCEPTION OF A GPS RECEIVER OR ANOTHER GPS-LIKE NAVIGATIONAL AID. I encourage everyone to carry either a cell phone or a Family Radio Service (FRS) radio on the land navigation station.
Q: "Is there a "best time" to take the SARTECH II evaluation?"
A: Undoubtedly it's the "brown season" between the time that the leaves fall and when the trees start leafing out again. This affords you the best view of the targets among the trees. There's a reason that most orienteering meets are held from fall to early spring. The level of challenge is much higher once the leaves start blocking your view.
Q: "Do you teach other SAR workshops to prepare for the SARTECH II evaluation?"
A: Yes. I occasionally schedule a one-day workshop to discuss the SARTECH II evaluation. Participants DO NOT get a NASAR certificate upon completion of the workshop. I sometimes schedule a workshop to cover all objectives in the weekends prior to an evaluation. If a team wants it, I can coordinate a workshop with the team to cover just the objectives that the team wants covered. Please email me if you want to discuss this.
Q: "Will we still do the SARTECH if it's raining, snowing, etc.?"
A: Yes. Lost person work is an all-weather affair done in daylight or dark. The evaluation will only be affected if weather is too hazardous to travel or work in the field (ice storm, severe thunderstorms, etc.). We have done SARTECH II evaluations in the snow in Georgia.
Q: "My SARTECH II question isn't answered here. Where do I go?"