[Cdt-l] Fwd: See SPOT run...

Jonathan Ley jonathan at phlumf.com
Fri Dec 3 10:48:20 CST 2010

I'm not sure I understand the animosity to technology... I mean, 
goretex, nylon, pop-tarts... they're all only possible because of very 
complex technology. So are all the maps and other trail navigation 
information anyone produces. As for being connected - people have online 
journals they update at each town stop - sometimes each day. They have 
cell phones... Isn't a SPOT just a better implementation of a 
cell/satellite phone? People don't complain too much about being 
connected via e-mail or cell phones (well, some do), so what magical 
threshold does a SPOT cross? Should we all be wearing animal skins, and 
eating game we shot with our bow & arrow? Writing journals in caves with 
finger paint?

These are all tools. Sure, they can turn into a crutch or be abused like 
any other tool, but they can also be life-savers. I've seen similar 
arguments about avalanche beacons (and we'll likely hear those all again 
this winter). In all these cases, there seems to be one constant - your 
most important equipment is inside your skull.  Any tool can be abused 
by a moron who doesn't know how to use it. If someone presses the SPOT 
button because they have a blister, or gets hypothermic because they 
wrongly thought their new jacket will protect them, or wanders across a 
dangerous avalanche path because they thought a beacon would save 
them... the fault isn't with the tool, it's with the person using it.

Personally, I probably wouldn't use a SPOT on the CDT just because I'm 
cheap, and don't feel like carrying yet another thing. Instead, I'd make 
sure that someone (someone who isn't paranoid) had my itinerary, and I'd 
check in at each stop... I think that's what most people do. But, I 
could envision taking a trip to more remote locales where a SPOT would 
be welcome... and I'd be happy to hike on the CDT with someone who had a 
SPOT - heck, more insurance, and I don't have to pay or carry the thing.

On 12/3/2010 7:51 AM, ks1007 at aol.com wrote:
> I don't think that I have seen it written anywhere that all MUST carry 
> a SPOT but after seeing it in person actually saving a human (and 2 
> goats) lives it sure makes me wonder about the value of someones life 
> not having it along just in case it's needed especially if you are 
> hiking solo - there is also nothing that says you need to "ping" 
> nightly or at all - rudy (cupcake) learned the hard way about giving 
> his family his itinerary - if he didn't ping them they got worried and 
> called the place where "he should be" next - we got a call from Paris, 
> France and so did julie in san lorenzo - I told him to not give out 
> his itinerary of where and when he should be next that he would just 
> call when he got there but he still had the SPOT just in case
> fine - you don't want to carry one then don't - your choice - but 
> don't try to sway others by saying they will lose their "freedom" by 
> carrying one
> *el coyote*
> *Keith and Mary*
> *Trail Angels*
> *Deming, NM*
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Magnanti <pmags at yahoo.com>
> To: matthew lee <heymatthewlee at gmail.com>
> Cc: CDT MailingList <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
> Sent: Thu, Dec 2, 2010 10:09 pm
> Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] See SPOT run...
> ps. maybe the article resonates less now that your website has them as 
> sponsor? :)
> ----------------------------
> Paul "Mags" Magnanti
> http://www.pmags.com <http://www.pmags.com/>
> http://www.twitter.com/pmagsco
> http://www.facebook.com/pmags
> -------------------------------
> The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust
> caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched
> --Thoreau
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