WhiteBlaze Pages 2022
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$5 for printable PDF, AVAILABLE NOW. $9 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 39
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2007
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Age
    40
    Posts
    6

    Default Concerns About Hiking Alone??? (Spot Satellite Messenger)

    Hello All,

    I'm still planning a NOBO hike '08 ... still haven't set a start date *cough* *cough* But rest assured my name is signifigant and I feel confident to pull something out in the clutch... However, back to why I'm here today.

    The New York Times, Business Section runs a Circuits article every week (today in fact, Thursday) with updated gizmos and gadgets and I urge anyone who is hiking alone or worried about hiking alone to read on.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A copy of the article : "Retrace Your Steps or Just Say, 'I'm All Right,' by Satellite
    1/24/08
    by: John Biggs

    Satellite phones are still largely associated with dashing reporters and superspies, but the Spot Satellite Messenger from Spot Inc. brings a little celestial high-tech to the common hiker.

    The $170 Spot (www.findmespot.com) is a seven-ounce waterproof communications device that works for about 14 days on one battery charge. It keeps in constant contact with G.P.S and communications satellites almost anywhere in the world.

    The Spot can store your position over time, the replay the trip in Google Maps. Its "check O.K." feature lets you send a signal to loved ones, informing them that you are fine. If a message does not go through every few days, they will be alerted that something is amiss.

    The "Ask for Help" function notifies friends and family of your location and tells them you might need a pickup. Finally, the 911 mode alerts the authorities - and supplies G.P.S. coordinates - in an emergency. The satellite service costs $99 a year.

    The company also offers $7.95-a-year search-and-rescue insurance, for those times when even Spot can't help you.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are probably different reactions to this device. Obviously the word is, "If you leave Springer anywhere between March and April you will not be alone." I don't condone supporting a product I haven't used. However, I may look into this for my hike. Interested on your thoughts....

  2. #2

    Default

    L-M, I have a SPOT ordered, for $149 and I think the yearly monitoring fee is very reasonable. This week I talked to park ranger he said they are excellent devices. His wife carries one on all of her hikes, he said it gives him peace of mind knowing where she is. Check this thread for more

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...highlight=SPOT

    http://www.rei.com/product/766529

  3. #3
    Cindy From Indy
    Join Date
    08-04-2007
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Age
    57
    Posts
    178

    Default Neat Gadget

    This looks like a neat gadget. It would certainly calm certain family and friends who are overly concerned for my safety.

    My kids would enjoy tracking my progress on the computer

  4. #4
    Registered User Ramble~On's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-10-2004
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    1,684
    Images
    860

    Default

    Okay Mom....

    I know you're reading this. I haven't had or needed one of these on any of my hikes well, except for that rattlesnake bite last year and the one a few years before that one...and then there was that time those bees swarmed all over me..and that time I ran out of.....but I'm not getting one of these.

    Hint hint. I guess if you're worried about me all alone out there in the big bad wilderness...you'll want me to have one of these. Right ?

    Actually, these could get more people into trouble rather than keeping them out of it.
    The false sense of security that having one of these units would provide could cause some people to venture
    further or "bite off" more than they can chew...in the event of trouble and even if you did use the "911" feature it could be
    hours and perhaps as long as a day before help might reach someone and for the ill prepared that could be too late.
    I guess the "what if" factor in that also holds true to GPS units and cell phones...but each year there are too many S&R teams out looking for people who shouldn't have been where they were...and only ventured there under the security of the technology in their pockets. I'm sure that these devices will save more lives than they will harm..... and Mom, Christmas isn't that far off.
    Last edited by Ramble~On; 01-26-2008 at 08:47.

  5. #5
    Registered User bullseye's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-29-2005
    Location
    lindenwold,new jersey
    Age
    58
    Posts
    355
    Images
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritWind View Post
    I guess if you're worried about me all alone out there in the big bad wilderness...you'll want me to have one of these. Right ?
    Which wilderness trail would that be? Even the 100 mile wilderness isn't wilderness.

    Mom

  6. #6
    Registered User bullseye's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-29-2005
    Location
    lindenwold,new jersey
    Age
    58
    Posts
    355
    Images
    57

    Default

    Actually, I too have heard this is an excellent device. I wouldn't carry this myself, but it definitely has some applications even in the "real world", like being broken down in the middle of nowhere type situations.

  7. #7
    Springer - Front Royal Lilred's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-26-2003
    Location
    White House, TN.
    Age
    64
    Posts
    3,100
    Images
    19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bullseye View Post
    Actually, I too have heard this is an excellent device. I wouldn't carry this myself, but it definitely has some applications even in the "real world", like being broken down in the middle of nowhere type situations.
    I thought that's what cell phones were for....
    "It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America." - Daniel Boone

  8. #8
    As in "dessert" not "desert"
    Join Date
    09-16-2007
    Location
    Annapolis Maryland
    Posts
    2,467

    Default

    If it is satellite based, it will have a signal where cell phones don't.

    I don't think of the AT as remote enough to carry one, but if I were on the CDT I might.

  9. #9

    Default

    Agreed. Cell phones can give verbal access to your friends and relatives except where the signal is weak. Mine weighs 4-7/8 ounces.
    I understand that cell phones have a GPS device in them that can alert searchers to your presence if you cannot operate the phone.
    Is this correct?
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker View Post
    Agreed. Cell phones can give verbal access to your friends and relatives except where the signal is weak. Mine weighs 4-7/8 ounces.
    I understand that cell phones have a GPS device in them that can alert searchers to your presence if you cannot operate the phone.
    Is this correct?
    Yes, as long as it's turned on.

  11. #11

    Default

    My understanding is if you use one of these devices for 911 and a helicopter and S&R are dispatched and they find your situation is not life threatening you will be fined $10,000. A broken leg or flat tire is not considered life threatening.

  12. #12
    ...Or is it Hiker Trash? Almost There's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-01-2005
    Location
    Woodstock, GA
    Age
    48
    Posts
    2,454
    Images
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J Rabbit View Post
    My understanding is if you use one of these devices for 911 and a helicopter and S&R are dispatched and they find your situation is not life threatening you will be fined $10,000. A broken leg or flat tire is not considered life threatening.
    Um...are you sure abou that, February/March in the smokies with a broken leg could very well be life threatening if a snow storm rolls through. That being said, if there are other hikers out there, then you're right I wouldn't call it life threatening. Judgement would definitely be an important factor here.
    Walking Dead Bear
    Formerly the Hiker Known as Almost There

  13. #13

    Default

    Typical conversation:

    "Hello, Mother?"
    "Yes, Son."
    "Uh, I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere and my diaper's soiled with stool. Please help me!"
    "What??"
    "The noseeums are vicious and I think my thermarest has a slow leak. Please send help!"
    "Where are you?"
    "Uh . . . I'm quite a distance from the parking lot but I can see my car from here. The fog is rolling in now and . . . I can't see the car anymore!!"

    Etc,etc. Frivolous emergencies, etc.

  14. #14
    As in "dessert" not "desert"
    Join Date
    09-16-2007
    Location
    Annapolis Maryland
    Posts
    2,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Almost There View Post
    Um...are you sure abou that, February/March in the smokies with a broken leg could very well be life threatening if a snow storm rolls through. That being said, if there are other hikers out there, then you're right I wouldn't call it life threatening. Judgement would definitely be an important factor here.
    A broken leg is always presumed to be life threatening unless you know otherwise. Many a person has died as the result of a thromboembolytic event, such as a pulmonary embolism, stemming from a broken leg.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dessertrat View Post
    A broken leg is always presumed to be life threatening unless you know otherwise. Many a person has died as the result of a thromboembolytic event, such as a pulmonary embolism, stemming from a broken leg.
    Survival's not the bottom line. Have we not got the memo? Everybody dies. If personal existence, survival and longevity are the dominant motivations in life, no one would go backpacking or do much of anything else. Even being a couch potato is risky, very risky.

    I'd say just take this giant multi-headed American reptile that is FEAR and stuff it back in its cage. Then have a good hike.

  16. #16
    ECHO ed bell's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-28-2004
    Location
    upstate SC
    Age
    53
    Posts
    3,774
    Images
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Survival's not the bottom line. Have we not got the memo? Everybody dies. If personal existence, survival and longevity are the dominant motivations in life, no one would go backpacking or do much of anything else. Even being a couch potato is risky, very risky.

    I'd say just take this giant multi-headed American reptile that is FEAR and stuff it back in its cage. Then have a good hike.
    How many times do I have to say it? Great post, Tipi.
    That's my dog, Echo. He's a fine young dog.

  17. #17
    Registered User Ramble~On's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-10-2004
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    1,684
    Images
    860

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bullseye View Post
    Which wilderness trail would that be? Even the 100 mile wilderness isn't wilderness.

    Mom

    What trail ? The backyard is "wilderness" in Mom's eye and likely in the eye of a lot of people who will buy these and set off into the woods under a false feeling of security. While it might make my mother or anyone else's happier with us hiking solo if we had one of these nifty little gadgets they still wouldn't get the larger picture of why some of us venture out of the backyard and off the beaten path to begin with.

    People die every year and the size of the wilderness area, nat. park, forest or recreational area didn't kill them. Being ill prepared and lacking even basic outdoor skills likely played a far greater role in their death than did the remoteness, ruggedness or vastness of where they were.
    Having one of these gadgets isn't going to aid in hypothermia, heat stroke, lightning strike, reaction to bees etc.
    Was it last year that three climbers were killed climbing Mt. Hood ? Would having one of these devices saved them?
    From what I understand these were some pretty experienced folks. I don't put much faith in modern technology as a safety net but being able to send a final goodbye and coordinates to where your corpse will be...

    I'd like to thank Last Minute for posting the information about these. I wasn't aware of them and there is a market for them. I'd imagine they'll sell pretty well. I don't have a use for one in what I do and wouldn't carry one on the AT or most other trails...but I have a mother who doesn't understand backcountry travel and my love of solo hiking and if I knew it would calm, relax and allow her to sleep easier knowing I had one of these things...I'd carry one. I'm sure that there are plenty of folks out there with wives, kids, parents or friends that worry about them being in the woods alone that can relate to that.

    In the right hands and for the right reasons these things have a place and will serve a purpose.
    In the wrong hands just as the GPS and cell phone, these will give a false sense of security to people who will venture too far from the campground and get into trouble and expect the local fire department to come save them.
    Last edited by Ramble~On; 01-27-2008 at 07:53.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-26-2007
    Location
    maine
    Age
    62
    Posts
    4,964
    Images
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dessertrat View Post
    A broken leg is always presumed to be life threatening unless you know otherwise. Many a person has died as the result of a thromboembolytic event, such as a pulmonary embolism, stemming from a broken leg.
    That translates to a traveling bloodclot? Never good.

  19. #19
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-27-2005
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Age
    44
    Posts
    2,079

    Default

    Cell phones work everywhere on the AT?

    I definitly went a long time without being able to use it. Anyone who says that cell phones work everywhere on the AT really need to think about what they are saying. There were more places it would not work than it would.

    Carry it if you want. I am planning on getting one at some point. Having said that I think like a southbounder. Not very many people on the trail between Oct and Jan.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Almost There View Post
    Um...are you sure abou that, February/March in the smokies with a broken leg could very well be life threatening if a snow storm rolls through. That being said, if there are other hikers out there, then you're right I wouldn't call it life threatening. Judgement would definitely be an important factor here.
    I was told a broken leg wasn't life threatening by a park ranger. Now in the event of a storm in the Smoky's with temps in the teens or single digits well.... You gotta use common sense in every situation and a little first aid knowledge can go a long way. Or you can always call your momma.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •