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

Steve McAllister brooklynkayak at gmail.com
Sat Dec 4 11:12:42 CST 2010

I agree with Jonathan,

I have never worn headphones when hiking. I have had a little radio that I
listened to in camp at times.

I once witnessed a guy get hit by a train when he couldn't here it coming
because of his ipod/walkman/whatever.
Joggers and bicyclists often get killed because they don't here the cars
that they cross paths with.

I watched a friend almost get run over by a tugboat when he got careless in
his kayak and drifted into a shipping channel while listening to his IPod.

Not that you have that much danger on the trail, but maybe you might miss
the sound of someone's cry for help, a rattlesnakes rattle, an ATV or
snowmobile riding up your ass, ...

I like the various sounds around me when I hike and wouldn't want to miss
any of them.

On Sat, Dec 4, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Jonathan Ley <jonathan at phlumf.com> wrote:

> Just a couple more points of interest...
> I agree people shouldn't be mandated to use/wear/carry anything out there.
> Hike naked for all I care (it can be liberating ;-). People should just
> understand their own limits and the limits of technology. All I'd ask is
> that people be educated about themselves and their tools. Whatever a spot
> costs, I think that $ would be better invested in a wilderness first aid
> course. Or buy both if you want to.
> Just remember that unless you're hiking naked, you are relying on
> technology out there. Just because it's not electronic doesn't mean it's not
> technology. Silicon-impregnated nylon doesn't seem to offend anybody's
> sensibilities, so why does a gps or a spot? True, there's a big difference
> between some thing can transmit/receive to the outside world, and something
> which can't... But I think what matters most is how we perceive these things
> in our own minds. The spell of wilderness isn't broken when I look at or
> rely on my technologically-advanced backpack, so why should it be broken
> when I press a button on a gadget?
> As for being wired... My biggest "old codger gripe" is about iPods and
> radios out there. They're amazingly ubiquitous on the trail, and I just
> don't get it. For me, the best part of a long hike is being immersed in it,
> with all my senses attuned to the world around... Letting my thoughts
> develop naturally as a result. When I have something plugged into my ear,
> I'm suddenly "somewhere else"; not only aurally, but mentally. At home, I
> listen to my iPod a lot (podcasts, music), but out there? I'd rather listen
> to a hundred miles of silence. To me, an ipod is a lot more intrusive than a
> spot, which sits in your backpack untouched 98% of the time. Anyway, I know
> people hike for all kinds of reasons, so I don't really want to criticize
> the iPod-wearing masses - its their hike to hike.
> Jonathan
> On Dec 3, 2010, at 10:08 PM, Jim and_or Ginny Owen <
> spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com> wrote:
>  Jonathon -
> Those exact words were the battle cry in 1997 over cell phones.  They
> started a flame war that
> went on for months, generated something over 6000 posts and made more
> enemies than George
> Bush has.
> The difference is simple ...and subtle.  There are those, like Mags and me
> and Ginny, who understand
> that the freedom of a thruhike is liimited if one carries a lifeline to the
> outside world, if you're willing
> to split your mind, your life, and your hike between two worlds. You can
> deny that
> if you wish, you can carry a SPOT, or a GPS or a cell phone is you want.  I
> don't care what anyone else
> does in that respect.  But as has been said before, it starts with the
> argument, progresses to an attitude
> that it won't affect ones thruhke, then slides into an expectation that one
> MUST carry (whatever) in order
> to be "safe".    And then hardens into anattitude that those who
> don't/won't  "carry" are irresponsible,
> selfish, stupid, unsafe and a whole gaggle of other negative adjectives.
> And some of that may or may not be true.  But what is also true is that if
> one is "checking in" every day - or
> every week - on a "schedule" with the specter of dealing with SAR if one
> fails to do so, then it WILL affect
> the hike. And it won't make it any safer, because that check-in won't stop
> the slide on the snow that breaks
> ones leg or the tree branch that falls and hits you or the bear attack that
> leaves you bleeding.  Not that I
> know of ANY thruhiker ever enountering that last situation -  it's just
> something many people imagine.
> The other side of the coin is that those who "carry" never know what it is
> that they've missed. Most of
> them think that their hike is just as good as everyone else's.  Maybe for
> them, it is.  But I seriously doubt
> it.  And I know that their hike would be unsatisfactory for me.
> Personally, I once owned a GPS.  After using it in Alaska for navigation
> (just once) and then using it to
> waypoint water sources in New Mexico for those who apparently can't find
> them on their own, I sent it
> home from Lordsburg.  After finishing the CDT I gave it away.  It was a
> time waster with respect to navigation
> and it wasn't worth carrying the weight.
> We also carried a cell phone on the AT and PCT this year.  Didn't do a damn
> thing for us except increase
> the pack weight.
> On the PCT last year, I tore the meniscus in my right knee just north of
> Walker Pass.  One of the other hikers
> had a SPOT and offered to call me a helicopter.  I think I shocked her
> when I told her that I'd rather crawl the
> 9 or 10 miles to the highway than do that.  My attitude is that if you get
> yourself into the situation, and then depend
> on technology to get you out, then you have no business being out there in
> the first place.
> For better or worse, I'm a dinosaur.  I live by a different set of values
> than many of todays hikers.  And I understand
> Ed Abbey's words completely.  I am willing to accept the consequences if
> necessary.  That means that I'm better
> prepared than those who do "carry" in both training and attitude.  I've
> done the First Aid and Navigation courses.
> We do the planning so we'll know what the alternatives are at any given
> point on the trail and we carry maps that
> will show us how/where to bail if it becomes necessary.  How many other
> hikers  do so?
> Y'all realize, I hope, I haven't actually hiked "solo in nearly 20 years -
> and not likely I will again.  I would if necessary
> but Ginny would shoot me if I left her behind.   [image: Smile]
> But our attitude - that the freedom, the solitude is worth the risk - after
> all these years, that still remains.  The obsessive
> safety culture that most of this country lives with is a form of
> self-delusion, but I won't beat that horse either right now.
> In any case, I'm not gonna tell anyone to "carry" or not.  Nor will I give
> you all the arguments against.  Those who
> understand (and there seem to be a few here - as I would expect) will have
> a different experience than those who
> don't. But I will tell you that if you expect me to "carry" you'll be
> disappointed.
> Walk softly,
> Jim
> http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/
> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 08:48:20 -0800
> From: jonathan at phlumf.com
> To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
> Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Fwd: See SPOT run...
> 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> <pmags at yahoo.com>
> To: matthew lee <heymatthewlee at gmail.com> <heymatthewlee at gmail.com>
> Cc: CDT MailingList <cdt-l at backcountry.net> <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.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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