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These Satellite Gadgets Will Save Your Butt in the Backcountry

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  • These Satellite Gadgets Will Save Your Butt in the Backcountry

    Everything I know I learned from Wired ...

    http://www.wired.com/2014/04/sat-comms/

    -r

  • #2
    How have we survived this long without them?

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    • #3
      Maybe we didn't survive and just don't know it. You see that- I just blew your fkin' mind.

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      • #4
        Whoa...

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        • #5
          Ironically I was just shopping for one of these last night. Spot has a narrative written about a paddler named "Ben" on their website who used his Spot to summon a helicopter to the scene of an emergency in California. The section of whitewater they were running is infamous and the class V boating community is pretty small so I inquired to the googles. Turns out that the "Ben" from the story is Ben Jackson who taught a kayak instructors course I took years ago. Here's a link to the story on the Spot website and his account:

          https://www.findmespot.com/en/spotem...article_id=665

          For Ben's account you have to scroll about halfway down his blog to May 15, 2013:

          http://jacksonoutdoors.blogspot.com/...&max-results=4

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          • #6
            http://www.wired.com/2014/04/monowheels

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            • #7
              The iSki link is about Sat Com devices. Not necessarily what you want in an emergency, and fees are expensive. They do allow two way text communication, but you need to tie them into a wifi device.

              This is the one I would buy, a Fast Find 220 PLB. A friend who delivers sailboats all around the world, takes one of these with him when he skis, even a local trip. Note it has GPS positioning built in. Unlike the Spot /Sat Com systems, no annual fees.

              http://www.landfallnavigation.com/fastfind220.html

              http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/emerbcns.html

              second link includes instructions on how to register your 406 MHz PLB with the authorities.
              Last edited by chamonix; 24 April 2014, 09:50 AM.

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              • #8
                Just make sure you know how to use the thing (circa 2010):

                http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_14501974

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                • #9
                  I have carried a PLB (FastFind) for several years on high routes, never needed to push the panic button. I recently got an InReach SE, mostly so that I can let Honey know I'm okay from camp each night. PLB vs. InReach/Spot = apples vs. oranges for lots of reasons.

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                  • #10
                    dschane, that happened right after I moved back to Colorado. I remember seeing it in the paper every time the dude went skiing. Funny enough, I can't remember ever hearing that the mystery was solved. Nice to know.

                    As far as the differences between PLB's and the Spot/InReach etc. - I'm trying to become acquainted. It seems the two biggies are that the Spot type devices have the ability to perform two way satellite comm while the PLB's are simply a distress. I'm kinda tempted by the Spot that plugs into my phone as I usually have it with me. The question becomes whether the value of two way comm is great enough to pay for the subscription fee. If you read the above link I posted to Ben Jackson's story he says that if you really get after it (don't we all - in our own minds at least ) then go ahead and get the GOES insurance. At $18 a year it's a value and they'll spend up to $50k an incident in getting you private help if the local S&R is fail.

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