Articles: Electronics in the outdoors (and more)

7:03 a.m. on September 30, 2010 (EDT)
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These came to me via a SAR newsletter. Even thought this section is really for Trailspace articles, I thought I'd share them with our members here on Trailspace.com. Read, enjoy, comment.

Click HERE for one view on the subject of electronic device use being required by climbers.

Do electronic devices actually hinder your outdoor experience? HERE'S a good article on the subject.

Finally, there has been a great deal of discussion on the subject of SAR teams, dangers to them, and who is responsible for the cost of search ops. Here's an interesting look at one option.

7:28 p.m. on September 30, 2010 (EDT)
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An interesting rule I ran across in Baxter State Park (Maine, location of Katahdin) that was explicitly stated to me by a ranger is that "being caught out overnight is not an emergency. But if you haven't returned by the next morning, we might hike up the trail you signed out for to check on you." Note that he used the word "might". You are required to sign out at the trailhead, with time out, intended trail, and upon return, sign time of return (if you come back by the same trail - I did a loop where I did not pass the intermediate signout point at Chimney Pond on the return leg, but did sign out at the campground trailhead). You are required (if I interpret the wording on the sign correctly) to have flashlight, water, food, clothing and other necessities to allow for an afterdark return or overnight stay. He did say that they would send a team out if there were a report of an accident or other emergency. The basic point was "you are responsible for yourself."

6:38 a.m. on October 1, 2010 (EDT)
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I've always traveled, ascribing to the credo of self rescue. It fosters greater prudence.

Back in the 1980s the Bishop and Lone Pine (Sierra Nevada) ranger stations used to require you check out if you got a permit for winter trips. On at least one outing they said a spotter plane would make a couple of passes sometime during our trip, that we could signal for help if necessary. I don't know if there was such a spotter plane, nor sure if it would be very effective deployment of such assets; perhaps it was their way of suggesting if we get in trouble to gain the attention of any air craft over flights. I thought the check out policy was a good thing, but have not been required to do this in many years. We still check out on winter trips as a courtesy.
Ed

4:41 p.m. on October 4, 2010 (EDT)
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I consider myself irresponsible if I don't take everything I need to spend a night or two out when I go for even a short hike. It's doesn't weigh much, and in 3 seasons it all fits in a small camelbak.

I may get a spot sometime, but that would be for some peace of mind for others, not myself. I intend on being physically and mentally prepared for self rescue and sustainment. Tee only "backup" I have is the prudent practice of leaving the details of area and route with one or more capable people along with approximate time I should be back.

August 21, 2014
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