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October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby oldranger » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:56 am

LC

I had problems this summer with the OK message. I re-read the instructions and found out it was operator error! I held down the OK button too long! Turns out that activates the tracking function which I did not pay for or intend to use so nothing happened. When I returned to the quick push and release and gave the Locator a full 20 minutes to connect with a satellite it worked fine. It also helps that my family knows I am kind of spacey and am just as likely to forget to activate the damn thing. I also have the philosophy (that I have shared with my family) that 99 times out of 100 if something was to make it impossible to activate 911 when I need it I would probably die even with 911--so why worry unless they get the 911 message (even then I warn them that I might also activate 911 for someone I encounter that needs help. But you can bet I won't activate it if they only have a little owie or are thirsty or are late for a meeting at work!).

Mike
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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby rlown » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:15 pm

oldranger wrote:LC

I had problems this summer with the OK message. I re-read the instructions and found out it was operator error! I held down the OK button too long! Turns out that activates the tracking function which I did not pay for or intend to use so nothing happened. When I returned to the quick push and release and gave the Locator a full 20 minutes to connect with a satellite it worked fine. It also helps that my family knows I am kind of spacey and am just as likely to forget to activate the damn thing. I also have the philosophy (that I have shared with my family) that 99 times out of 100 if something was to make it impossible to activate 911 when I need it I would probably die even with 911--so why worry unless they get the 911 message (even then I warn them that I might also activate 911 for someone I encounter that needs help. But you can bet I won't activate it if they only have a little owie or are thirsty or are late for a meeting at work!).

Mike



20 mins to connect seems like a long time..they should fix that. the 911/die thing is disturbing, but i understand it completely.. sigh.. pretty much why i don't go solo.
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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby lostcoyote » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:17 pm

yeah, i was careful not to press and hold it down.

for what it's worth, here is some info on globalstar network:
http://www.crystalcommunications.net/sa ... alstar.htm
(SPOT uplinks to Globalstar Sats and if there are 2-4 sats in view at any one time, then yeah, it's important to have near 100% sky view)

i guess it's not 100% coverage across the globe whereas the irridium network is:
http://www.crystalcommunications.net/sa ... ridium.htm
Last edited by lostcoyote on Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:18 pm

Hey Mike

What about if you left you 151 or summer sausage at the car, would you use it then?
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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby peninsula » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:39 pm

maverick wrote:First of all I am happy to read that JenniferP has changed her mind about coming
back to the Sierra!
Second of all thank you for all these updates on the Spot, I was considering getting
the newer model to put my wifes mind at ease, but from these reports it seems it
may cause more anxiety than good.
Lostcoyote and Peninsula, was your Spot the newer model also?
Peninsula what photo workshop did you take?


Hi Maverick,

I have the original SPOT and I was careful about how I activated the OK button. It is a 2 second push to go ON or OFF, and only a quick push to activate the OK button. I think the 911 button calls for a 2 or 3 second push.

I always checked with my GPS to be sure I could get a reading before activating my SPOT in areas of questionable coverage. I could not get a reading at all in the earlier section of the Mountaineer's Route over Whitney.

I took Alain Briot's photography workshop. I really like Briot's work and teaching style. If you have not read his books, he has published two, and they are both excellent.
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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:56 pm

Hi Peninsula

I have visited his site, he offers a lot of beneficial information.
Have you read any of Ron Bigelow's articles, there are quite good too.
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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby oldranger » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:56 pm

Maverick

Sometimes you've just got to rough it!

Russ,

You are absolutely correct! But sometimes being with companions makes life more difficult, don't you agree? And if there are two people in a group aren't the chances doubled of someone getting hurt? With 3 the odds are even higher. So it seems to me that the odds of an injury or illness interrupting a trip is greater with every person you add to a trip. (unless you drop them off with George) And some of us just savor being alone in the backcountry and in 98 times out of the 99 cases even with friends you're gonna die. There are just some things that require immediate skilled medical care and equipment to survive. While I always suggest others not go alone I don't follow my own advice and feel comfortable with the risk. I look at it like this: I have spent a couple thousand days in the backcountry with one serious illness that I was able to self evac (I was with a friend but I could/would have done it on my own). Cause was a UTI and I now carry a broad spectrum antibiotic with me at all times. By my calculation out of 100 cases of being ill or injured approximately 99 I will be able to activate the locator successfully. 99% of the time that I could not activate the locator successfully I would die even if it worked. In that 1% that the I couldn't activate the locator a friend might save my life less than 1/2 the time either through direct first aid or moving the locator to another location where the locator would work. The bottom line for me is that in a true life threatening situation are you and your companions knowledgeable enough to do the right thing rapidly enough to save a life. A long time ago someone told me the best way to deal with illness/injury is to avoid them. I try to do that by being tuned in to how I feel, staying in as good physical condition as I can, and traveling carefully through the backcountry whether going cross country or on trails. I am happy to report that this season for the first time in 3 seasons I did not fall flat on my face after tripping on a root or rock in the middle of a basically flat trail!

I still contemplate the words of my old District Ranger, "I'd rather die than call for help!" But that was after he had to go search for a backcountry ranger that got lost! True story! it was that ranger's first and last season. (so you know it wasn't me, george or skibum!)

Anyhow I would never count on electronic technology to find my way or get me out of trouble (except carrying the spot locator gets me out of trouble with my wife).

Cheers

Mike
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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby peninsula » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:21 pm

maverick wrote:Hi Peninsula

I have visited his site, he offers a lot of beneficial information.
Have you read any of Ron Bigelow's articles, there are quite good too.


I have not, but I'll definitely check him out. I can never get enough information on photography!

Thanks!
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Re: October Snowstorm, Sequoia National Park

Postby rlown » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:26 pm

oldranger wrote:But sometimes being with companions makes life more difficult, don't you agree? And if there are two people in a group aren't the chances doubled of someone getting hurt? With 3 the odds are even higher. So it seems to me that the odds of an injury or illness interrupting a trip is greater with every person you add to a trip.
...
Anyhow I would never count on electronic technology to find my way or get me out of trouble (except carrying the spot locator gets me out of trouble with my wife).

Cheers

Mike


Most of the injuries our group sustains are blown feet (blisters, etc.) My worst personal experience was a blown ankle that actually touched the ground when the rock i stepped on rolled out; sound of the ligaments snapping wasn't fun but, that's another story. After i wrapped it and put my boot back on, and poured snow down around the sock and took some pain meds, It was nice to have others there to redistribute the weight to get out the next 8 miles. If it were more severe, i would have stayed with someone and sent someone else as a "runner" for help. notice, no mention of electronics there. It's true that life get's more complicated as the size of the group increases, and not just about injuries. I try and pick who goes with me carefully. Sometimes, you want to bring someone new into the experience. That generally is where complications start, but it's worth it if you choose correctly.
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