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

Mike Cunningham hikermiker at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 3 11:34:04 CST 2010

The animosity is not to the technology. It is to the idea that we MUST carry them and must always be available. I have a cell phone & often carry it on hikes. I sometimes even turn it on. 
I have a gps. Once in a while I even use it. I also have a compass on my  watchband. When I hike in an unfamiliar area I almost always have a map. I almost always have enough with me to survive an unexpected night out.
I am personally amazed at people I see out hiking who have no pack, no map, and often no idea of where they really are. These are the people who call SAR for trivial reasons that you & I would hike out of.

--- On Fri, 12/3/10, Jonathan Ley <jonathan at phlumf.com> wrote:

From: Jonathan Ley <jonathan at phlumf.com>
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Fwd: See SPOT run...
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Date: Friday, December 3, 2010, 11:48 AM

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...

#yiv1906849146 #yiv1906849146AOLMsgPart_2_5d854e09-595f-4005-aeb6-40c7199abba8 td{color:black;}#yiv1906849146 #yiv1906849146AOLMsgPart_2_5d854e09-595f-4005-aeb6-40c7199abba8 DIV {margin:0px;}

ps. maybe the article resonates less now that your website has them as sponsor? :)

Paul "Mags" Magnanti
The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust 
caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched

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