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Changes Backpacking Habits

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Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby Bluewater » Tue May 28, 2013 11:14 am

Another Spot user. I enjoy solo hiking, the challenge of traveling cross country and the feeling of being solo for several days in the backcountry. Although it is an imperfect solution I have used one for years. Before using the Spot I carried a GPS with an emergency radio built in (I rarely carry a GPS anymore). My family is more comfortable knowing where I am and I like the SOS feature. It does feel like a leash to civilization and it detracts from the overall wilderness experience but after what happened last summer it seems essential.



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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby schmalz » Tue May 28, 2013 5:39 pm

Add me to the list of people who are adding a SPOT to their packlist this year. Larry's story definitely helped inform that decision, but having a child was the biggest factor. It will make my family much happier and is simply the responsible thing to do.

On top of that, I always leave a good itinerary. I try to allow some flexibility in my trips, but I specifically chart out what the options are in my itinerary and the SPOT should help people track the decisions I end up making.

I'm also getting more into doing snow hikes in southern california during the winter, and I've seen enough incidents in those conditions that warrant a SPOT as well.
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue May 28, 2013 6:58 pm

Over all it's a simple thing. If you value your life then take a safety net. It's not much different than taking a first aid kit.
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Tue May 28, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby oldranger » Tue May 28, 2013 9:22 pm

Rogue

I respectfully disagree. Check most of the posters who carry a communication device. For most people it is not for themselves but for their family. Some also look at it as a responsibility to those who must search if we turn up missing. While some say carrying the device ruins their sense of independence the truth is that whether you want it or not organizations and individuals will take it upon themselves to try and bail you out. In our society we are never truely independent. Anyone who claims differently has their head in the sand. How did we get to the trail head? Who built that trail that we start out on? Who built the equipment we use or grew the food we eat, etc. ? Who bears the cost of a search? So for many of us it is not our personal value that counts but how we value others.

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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue May 28, 2013 11:47 pm

That all may be true but I never factor it in for myself. I have no family that I care about or that I think have any legitimate reason to care about me. I also absolutely refuse to have my life dictated by the uncontrollable actions of others such as SAR. They make their own choices and sometimes pay the consequences of their actions. No one accepts the saying "they made me do it".
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby sparky » Wed May 29, 2013 8:20 am

I also want to add that it will have to be a cold day in hell for me to activate a PLB. I would crawl out with a broken leg if I could before I would hit a button. I would have to be unable to move.
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby Jimr » Wed May 29, 2013 9:16 am

For me, stuck in the high country with a broken leg would be a cold day in hell :nod: Maybe a cold night.

Regarding independence, I can choose to view it any way I want. I can view this little gadget as a major or minor impediment on my sense of independence or I can view it as just another little piece of equipment that I bring, just in case, and I probably will not need to use. I'll choose the latter. Why should I let a little lump of plastic on my pack deter me from my sense of freedom.

For me, securing more life insurance was the big issue. The last thing I want is my family to become destitute because the bread winner is dead. A PLB/SPOT is a present for my wife and a bit of back-up when my kid is with me. I feel a greater responsibility when I'm responsible for the health and safety of a minor. In fact, the first thing I said to my wife after exiting the helicopter last year was

“I’m so sorry, I had to put you through this. We were safe the whole time. It was the only way to get our son out safe. I got our son out safe baby, I got him out safe.”


Mav, you make a very good point regarding potentially putting others in your party at risk trying to rescue your arse.
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed May 29, 2013 11:21 am

I don't see taking one as effecting any sort of freedom. To feel that way I think we are talking about the tinkerbell effect. The problem like most things is choice. As long as we still have the freedom to choose for our own lives we maintain that sense of freedom. It's when a law is passed that we must all take PLB's and probably one day real time tracking devices then we will have lost our own freedom over wilderness.

Now if you were to take a satellite phone I would feel a loss of wilderness because at any time someone could reach me.
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby Jimr » Thu May 30, 2013 7:33 am

"Now if you were to take a satellite phone I would feel a loss of wilderness because at any time someone could reach me."

You can choose not to answer
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby maverick » Thu May 30, 2013 7:43 am

When carrying a Satphone years ago, for two seasons, it was turned on only when
making a call, it's not like a cell phone that you have on all day Rogue.
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby SweetSierra » Thu May 30, 2013 8:45 am

I carried a sat phone for a number of years when I hiked with my husband. It gave me a sense
of security to know I could contact someone in an emergency as we were often on 9-day mostly off-trail Sierra trips and my husband would take long day hikes while I often stayed at camp. I now carry a SPOT for all the reasons others have mentioned here. I also backpack solo sometimes. Having it in my pack doesn't detract at all from my wilderness experience. I use it mainly to send OK messages.
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Re: Changes Backpacking Habits

Postby AlmostThere » Thu May 30, 2013 8:53 am

We won't have requirements to carry PLBs as they will be superceded by satellite coverage, which will also make search and rescue turn into recovery teams...

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