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Once Again -- Electronic Devices in the Backcountry

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by townsend, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. townsend

    townsend

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    Location:
    Plano, TX
    I used to post more here when I lived in TX. Now I live in western Colorado.

    I hike a lot, especially around Ouray and vicinity. Almost always alone by default. I almost always hike on trails, and by repeating hikes, I have expanded my range and comfort range. I have started to carry a high-quality button compass, but I haven't needed it . . . yet. I will hike off trail occasionally, but always in known areas in and around recognizable land marks.

    A friend came and stayed with me, and he bought me a SPOT Gen3. I haven't really messed with it, and he brought it to me months ago. So now I am having questions. I think he "activated" it . . . but he never did give me the user name and password. Lol . . . he's a good person . . . and means well.

    At any rate, having read about it, it is only useful if one pays approximately 150.00 per year, and that with auto renewal. I am just not willing to "go there." Yes, you can "opt out," but it is involved. In my mind, I just don't hike enough in wilderness to justify the continual cost. I am not an "auto renewal" type of guy. I have experienced this with my VPN, online dating services, and Sam's club membership. I have cut ties with all three.

    When I use the term "wilderness," what I mean is unknown areas without marked trails.

    I did look at this thread (from 2018):
    http://canyoncollective.com/threads...x-etc-what-is-best-satellite-messenger.25543/

    So here is my question: is there something I could carry that would function like a PLB in the rare situation where I am lost and clueless, that wouldn't require continual subscription?

    I guess this question enters into cellphone territory, which is limited by network coverage, but it seems that in the previously thread, there are ancillary devices that work with one's cellphone? Does anyone have first hand experience with this (e.g., I use it, and have not only read about it)? As one poster mentioned, some of these have "pay as you go" plans. I might be willing to buy a device and do that; but I am not willing to pay 15.00 a month during the winter months when the trails are impossible to hike due to snow pack.

    It is easy to say "get a partner"; but finding one is another animal altogether. (I rarely see any lone male hikers on these trails who might be candidates for a partner).

    In the meantime, I will continue to hike alone, being careful.

    BTW: hiking around Ouray is spectacular. My favorite hikes are Corbett Creek, Oak Creek, Weehawken Creek, and Dexter Creek (I am just beginning to explore Dexter). Though I have some canyoneering experience in my past, I am not willing to take on these as canyoneering adventures alone. But the hikes offer plenty of fun and adventure, and often about 2000' of gain as well.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2021
    Kuenn likes this.
  2. Downward Bound

    Downward Bound

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    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I have owned one of these for about two years, no subscription needed:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JXY0CQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Expensive up front , but no other costs. Downside is that it is a one-way device, and you are never sure the SOS signal has been received.


    I recently purchased a Garmin InReach Mini. It is a two-way device that lets you send and receive texts, as well as being a PLB for sending out SOS signals. I chose it so the wife and I can stay in touch when in remote areas with no cell service. The subscriptions are expensive and I’m not sure I can justify the cost in the long run.


    Edit: The first unit appears to have been replaced with this:

    https://www.amazon.com/ACR-ResQLink-400-Buoyant-Personal/dp/B07PPJ8RRM?ref_=ast_sto_dp
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
    caboalta, Yellow Dart and townsend like this.
  3. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    Location:
    La Verkin
    townsend likes this.
  4. caboalta

    caboalta

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    Have carried the resqlink for about 4 years now. Last year in Stevenson Canyon a friend fell and snapped his fibula and tibia. We pushed the button and a helicopter arrived within the hour. It worked for us and paid for itself. 911 will often work on a cell phone when no other calls work, always worth trying if you got a phone and nothing else.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    townsend and Dave Melton like this.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    How narrow was the canyon where you had good reception?
  6. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Gotta chuckle out of this.
    If SPOT Gen3 can safely navigate you through "online dating services" that's money well spent! :thumbsup:
    townsend likes this.
  7. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    On a technology side note.

    Met a friend from St George at an open air pit this past Saturday. He, wanting to get in some TAG vertical fun. While setting the rope pad he bent over and his iPhone took a 162' plummet - freefall no less. SPAT!

    He took this picture of us just prior to the incident...
    3B065827-A515-4235-A6CD-2B79A2EE549B.
    Like I said, just prior to the incident. He sent me the photo later that evening.

    If smartphones can survive a 13 year old, they're obviously pretty tough!

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  8. caboalta

    caboalta

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    Not narrow at all.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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