try to avoid disturbing your family back home

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rlown
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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by rlown » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:35 pm

With inreach one can select the plan and turn the plan off when not in use. works for me. I can text my wife and tell her when I'll actually be home, esp if I'm going to be late. The SOS button also puts you directly in touch with a two way text with "rescue central." Of course that only works if you're not dead or have a partner that knows how to use it. I showed my hiking companions how to use it and the instructions are also on the back of the device.
If you are solo and can't press the button due to a medical emergency, then, well.. You all know how that goes.








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mrphil
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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by mrphil » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:22 am

We use the two day rule; if we're two days overdue, feel free to make calls. I also leave an extremely detailed itinerary that lets them know where I will be, and when I plan to be there. If two days hasn't gone by, you sit on it. I carry an ACR. If I have a problem, I'll "hit the button". If I'm dead, what are you going to do, come collect my carcass so that there's more to cremate than if animals ate part of me?

This is a really touchy subject around here. Is it that I'm old (I'll still outhike you, sweetheart) or really in any more danger of dying or being seriously injured while I'm hiking than I am when I'm dealing with work stress or heavy traffic? I get paid to do that, and my time out is my joy and respite from it. Call me mean and heartless, or even lacking in empathy, and I get all this worrying about people we love, but is it that I need to carry 2 lbs of extra communication equipment to assuage your generally baseless concerns on a daily basis, or is it that you need to get a handle on your fears and realize that, statistically and realistically, I'm probably better off than you are at this moment, and hearing from me or SAR is when you actually then need to get really worried, not when I'm obviously somewhere that I don't have the cell signal that you take for granted as being a given? Maybe that extra couple pounds would serve me better if it went into something like enhancing my first aid kit than hauling around a bunch of questionably useful electronic junk. Really, for those of us with kids that are older and not living at home, does not hearing from them every day instantly cause you to start calling the CHP and all the hospitals you've programmed on your speed dial?...that's your problem, not anyone else's. "Sorry honey, wrap your mind around it and deal."

Aside from the strict adherence to the two day rule at my house, in knowing me, my loved ones also know full well that if they pull the trigger and launch a SAR incident on my supposed behalf, and I find out about it, I'm going to get home, not even bother to pull my gear out of the car, storm into the house, and instantly let them have it with both barrels. So, in order to make sure that things remain in the proper perspective (a real safety net that serves us much better than a daily blah, blah, blah text), fear my wrath over pulling a BS stunt like that more than you should ever allow yourself to fear what frightens you with the unknown. I'll come home and they'll wish I was still gone, and they know it. I'm the given. Bam! Actual problem solved.

And even better yet, if you can't get over the worry, I'll instead spend all that money for a comm subscription or sat phone on buying you your own gear, and if you really love me and don't want to worry, you can strap on your own pack and come with me. We'll either have a great time together, or we'll face whatever it is that happens together. And if I do die, oh well, that's just destiny, and I would rather get it doing something I love than at the hands of some impatient jerk that thinks their life depends on getting to the mall 3 minutes faster.

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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by BigMan » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:17 pm

Alleviating my wife's worry and potentially saving my life are two reasons I carry a device (Delorme InReach, in my case).

A third reason, and one that's very important to me, is to minimize the risk to SAR crews who have to search for me or my body. If I can't trigger the SOS feature, or if the device fails halfway through my trip, there's still a good chance some breadcrumbs will have been recorded, allowing SAR crews to narrow the scope of their search and therefore increase the liklihood that all of them remain safe during their search. This applies even if I'm already dead.

This also increases the liklihood that SAR crews will find my body sooner, rather than later. I'm sure that would help my wife, family, and friends attain some closure.

I have the means and I'm happy to pay the cost for these potential benefits.
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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by maverick » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:28 pm

If I can't trigger the SOS feature, or if the device fails halfway through my trip, there's still a good chance some breadcrumbs will have been recorded, allowing SAR crews to narrow the scope of their search and therefore increase the liklihood that all of them remain safe during their search. This applies even if I'm already dead.
And using our Reconn Form, or something similar, as a written back-up that has all intended routes to be taken. :)
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by BigMan » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:53 pm

Absolutely.

And not just intended routes, but gear, including shoes, which can also help SAR narrow their search.

Another side note: the nightly planned itinerary we give the Inyo Ranger may not be adequate, as it's limited to their inadequate drop down selections. For example, they don't have "Miter Basin", "Sky Blue Lake" or "Iridescent Lake" as pull down selections; they only have "Rock Creek" and "New Army Pass" to choose from. :derp:
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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by mrphil » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:49 pm

I get alleviating worry and all, but let's say for a minute that you're planning to be out for 10 days. You've sent an "I'm OK" text for the first eight of them, then on the ninth, your batteries die/you're in a deep canyon/under heavy canopy/leave it on a rock... with no signal to be sent or received...Do eight days of comforting moments then get replaced with two more days of staggering panic because the established norm has gone out the window? You're otherwise fine, but a technical glitch or reliability issue (which is part and parcel to most devices with two-way communication capabilities) begins a situation where fear of something far more serious (worse case scenario) is then expected, and SAR teams are dispatched and potentially placed in unnecessary danger, and resources that could've or should've been better expended elsewhere are deployed on a "false alarm" when they didn't need to be. All because of a misunderstanding that was based, first on fear, followed closely by an overreaction to it. Lessers of evils? Realistic and rational scenarios aren't usually what an already worried mind will create and run with.

It's great, and even kind of fun to be able to talk to your wife, mother, whoever when out on the trail, not to mention, having a reliable way to summon help if you need it, but I just happen to believe that it's best to create a mindset wherein not hearing from me is just part of it, but hearing from me is where the problems start.

We hear way too many stories about the regular communication expectations of family members not being met and triggering SAR incidents needlessly. For example: Maverick recently posted a SAR report for a 70 year old PCT hiker. Not hearing from him for several days (as was the expected norm) after he resupplied in Bishop, his family became concerned and notified the authorities. They issued an inquiry and probably some sort of initial search. Herr Vitt was thankfully not in trouble, and who knows what happened with his comms falling off, but he was found absolutely booking it up by Burney Falls. So, what was the real problem that needed responding to?

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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by rlown » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:57 pm

The conversation worked with my wife. Basically, "I'll be home when I said but here is the number to call if I'm 3 days late and you don't get a text."
Exact scenario happened when I was in Trinity with some friends. I was 3 days late as it takes a while to hike out a 350lb bear. She responded, "I was ready to drive up there." I responded, "what would you do? You don't hike."

She knows better now to leave it to the professionals. The reconn form is a good backup to electronics.

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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by AlmostThere » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:37 pm

That breadcrumb feature worked not at all, in the case of Bob Woodie. Not the only case, but the one that you can google and read about. He was found, eventually, nowhere near where the last few breadcrumbs were plotted on the magic map.

You still gots to leave a good itinerary and specific instructions with someone. The tool is fine, relying on it 100% is not, no responsible SAR volunteer or park employee should say otherwise. And it literally instructs you in the SEKI wilderness planner (a good read for planning trips in general despite a lot of info specific to the parks) not to rely on the devices. Rely on trustworthy people who won't panic when the device fails.

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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by mrphil » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:30 pm

AlmostThere wrote:That breadcrumb feature worked not at all, in the case of Bob Woodie. Not the only case, but the one that you can google and read about. He was found, eventually, nowhere near where the last few breadcrumbs were plotted on the magic map.
Obviously, Bob Woodie died from the hypothermia within a relatively short amount of time, and the snowfall and his choice of cover were contributing factors in the failed recovery by the teams, but aside from their own incoming weather safety concerns, wasn't the search effort largely ineffective because the PLS indicated by his last SPOT entry had the ground personnel and helicopters in completely the wrong area?

If so, seems like the whole premise of being able to check-in along the route backfired in this case, and all things considered, a simple and straightforward distress signal, in-situ, not the ability to send a text, was the only course of action that possibly could've ever made any difference at all.

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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Post by limpingcrab » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:07 pm

My wife asked me to get an in-reach for climbing, caving, sketchy fishing or solo trips once we had kids.

The deal has always been, “no news is good news” and I repeat it often. I never send messages at regular intervals or tell anyone I will at any certain time. Doing so is asking for trouble!

Now that I’m used to it it’s been nice to have. I’ll use it to arrange pickups, asking a friend for a forecast on a summit day, or even just telling my brother about big fish so he can live vicariously. When I’m not in the backcountry it just stays in my car instead of closet for flat tires or engine trouble on dirt roads. When my wife joins me on trips she likes knowing that we can get important news about our two young kids if necessary.

Feeling required to make any sort of communication would really annoy me and, like others have said, would likely lead to more stress than reassurance for family and friends in the long run.

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