[pct-l] Sierra Solo
fdumville at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 18 01:12:19 CDT 2012
You should encounter a fair number of hikers along the PCT in summer, but depending upon when you start there may be some lonely sections.
You are already thinking about the additional risks of hiking solo so that's a good sign. You have to evaluate those risks and determine if it's worth it to you. How experienced are you? Do you get lost easily? Are you good at evaluating risk? Will you like being alone?
The answer for me is that the risks are worth it to hike solo. I think one of the great experiences of the trail is the chance to be alone. I do have a far amount of experience.
For emergency communications you may want to look into a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). This is a device that sends out an emergency signal on command only. It is intended to initiate a SAR response and provides information for the searchers to find you. There is no tracking like the SPOT and it is only to be used for life or death emergencies. The last I looked a PLB cost about the same as a SPOT device but there is no service contract. You do have to register the device with a government agency.
Another option might be a portable HAM radio. I don't know much about these but maybe someone else can talk about these.
These devices can help, but shouldn't be relied on. Hike like you don't have one.
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