[pct-l] Why you shouldn't rely on SPOT, GPS, and Cellphones...

Don Billings dbillings803 at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 23 18:24:05 CDT 2010

The way I read that article was the safety devices worked as they were designed. 
It was 

the brains of the people described that weren't not working as designed !!

And the following statement that portends to be genuine sounds way more like an 
legend (i.e. BS) than real events.

""People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request  refreshments 
or a guide;
 in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even  asked for hot chocolate."

I've read that in some states, they have developed criteria upon which they 
measure the 911
call to determine if the person should be charged a hefty rescue fee or not. The 
hikers who
called for help three times in the Grand Canyon would have been reallllllly 
unhappy with a 

$10,000 debt to the SAR service. The same type of critieria has been used for 
several years
even at the local level where at fault drivers are the ones who pay a special 
fee due to their 

causing a traffic accident.

If anyone on this board wants to read actual case studies of SAR operations in 
Yosemite, I 

recommend "Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite." A thick book that documents all the 
over the decades in which people (hikers, tourists, campers, park employees) 
died through
poor or non existent back country planning. In some cases the victim died
not as a result of their own injury, but as a result of the rescue helicopter 
crashing. There
is a companion book on the Grand Canyon. One way to learn the "don't do that" 

One of the more curious cases was a tourist who dropped his camera over the 
where it lodged upon a rock. Upon attempting to retrieve it (by hanging over the 
he went airborne straight down a 1,000 feet or so. 

----- Original Message ----
From: Austin Williams <austinwilliams123 at gmail.com>
To: pct-l at backcountry.net
Sent: Mon, August 23, 2010 1:08:29 PM
Subject: [pct-l] Why you shouldn't rely on SPOT, GPS, and Cellphones...

Good article by the NYTimes should remind everyone to rely on skills and
being prepared.  Technology should simply be treated as a convenience.



Austin Williams

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