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Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome during a summer storm, Yosemite National Park

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Re: Panic Button

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avatar Panic Button
July 30, 2011 02:42PM
By 3:30, the loneliness and anxiety were overwhelming. She pressed Help. Then she fumbled with her compact camera and recorded a three-minute video, sobbing as she described her predicament. A few minutes later, she pressed 911—an act she would regret later, after the weather eased up and she walked to safety under her own steam.

avatar Re: Panic Button
July 30, 2011 04:37PM
I liked this part:

Outside Magazine
According to NOAA, its network handles about 7,500 emergency distress calls every year, coming from a universe of roughly 75,000 registered PLBs. Of those, NOAA reported in 2010, almost 68 percent were later determined to be false alarms.

So...each year, 10% of such devices will essentially demand their owners be rescued. I have never required rescue, I think its clear I frequently visit the backcountry, I've done so in the Sierra since the late 1980s. Something's badly wrong with that ratio.

Speaking to another issue raised in the article...yeah, with those numbers I'd expect that any user fine would be coupled with a manufacturer fine. Those numbers would suggest the devices are defective with respect to their declared purpose.
avatar Re: Panic Button
July 30, 2011 05:00PM
I suspect the biggest problem with Spot is the lack of two way communications. All SAR can do is go find the person. They have no way to determine if they should.
avatar Re: Panic Button
July 30, 2011 05:29PM
I'd like to see the real number of times that the device is REALLY needed to SAVE someone.
I highly doubt the makers want you to know that number.

- Leave a detailed plan of where you are going (for me this includes a number of probably routes)
- Wear COLORED clothes so that you stand out (or have at least some gear that stands out)
- Carry a signal mirror
- Know and hike within your limitations
- Be prepared for the weather

Do those and you should be fine. (I am really sick of hearing about SAR and idiot rescues)

Have a nice day

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Panic Button
July 30, 2011 05:55PM
You are a very wise bird.

Can you carry me now instead?
avatar Re: Panic Button
July 30, 2011 06:01PM
Well...sure...but none of your options require one to Purchase Technology! How do you plan to solve _that_ "problem"?!

I think eeek's right on the main issue w/ Spot, but Spot's a client and I think that problem's inherent in how the server was implemented, because I think the server was designed for people who were trained in its use.
avatar Re: Panic Button
July 30, 2011 08:20PM
This is my favorite quote from the article:

“The problem isn’t whether beacons should be part of the wilderness experience,” Steve Howe says. “It’s whether some people should be allowed out of their yard.”
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