Archive for June 2012

Communicating from the Backcountry

Communicating from the Backcountry

Communicating from the backcountry for non-emergency reasons is a real challenge.  Heck, that is an understatement.  More to the point, unless you have a satellite telephone, very often one is simply cut off from the frontcountry world.  Yes, of course, cellular coverage in remote settings has vastly grown in the last ten years, but it is still limited, and it is worse for those (like me) who use smartphones.  However, thanks to a new generation of Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) this is beginning to change. Historically, PLBs have been used solely for emergencies.  They are designed so that in case of an emergency, no matter how remote the location, one can signal for assistance with just a click of a button.  Not all products are created equally, though, as some of the more popular ones have technical limitations, thus giving a false sense of security.  Arguably the best and most dependable […]

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What It Sometimes Takes to Survive

What It Sometimes Takes to Survive

Earlier today, my friend and fellow outdoors instructor, Derek “The Deuce” Tirado forwarded to me a newspaper article published today in the Canadian Herald Sun.  You can find below the story in its entirety. As a heads up, I think that you will find it a gripping account since it plainly illustrates the extreme ends to which one must sometimes go to survive. And, of course, because it underscores one particular life lesson: It is better to potentially be judged by twelve than definitely carried by six. Read on … Lost Camper’s Smoke Signals Accidentally Start Massive Island Fire CANADIAN tourist who broke his foot while camping alone on a remote island in Norway has been rescued after sending out smoke signals – but the fire he started then engulfed a large part of the island. The 25-year-old man, who has not been identified by authorities, spent three days on […]

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A New Life Saving Tool for Your First-Aid Kit

A New Life Saving Tool for Your First-Aid Kit

Consider the following scenario: You and the other members of your group are finally relaxing around the evening campfire after another long day of hiking in a remote section of Allegheny National Forest. Suddenly, the shared banter and laughter is interrupted by a loud cry from your friend who, sitting just across from you while whittling, just sliced deeply into the back of his hand with his knife. As he leaps to his feet, you immediately see the blood begin to pour from the wound and vigorously drip from his fingers. You recognize immediately that this cut is bad … very bad. A knot forms in your stomach because you also know that it will realistically be almost twenty hours before he can get proper medical care. After all, the group can’t safely start the hike out until dawn, and not only does there remain a hard fifteen mile hike […]

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