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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hiking or Mountain Biking? Your cell phone could save your life - Updated

"If you own a cell phone, bring it on every hike. Before you leave, give your phone number and service provider to your check-in contact. Plus, don’t think that a cell phone or GPS is a substitute for a good map and accurate compass. Keep your phone turned off during the hike, but power it up occasionally to check for service (and to drop some digital breadcrumbs). If you become dangerously lost or injured, dial 911 even if you don’t have strong service. For better service, head for higher ground—cell phones operate by line-of-sight radio waves. And finally, just be careful out there."

With more and more mountain bikers going into more and more isolated terrain and track like the Heaphy opening up for cycling (During the winter!), we can expect more people to be getting into trouble in the Great Outdoors.  This article is an interesting explanation about how technology is ahead of how we think cell phones work in "non-service" regions.

In New Zealand, don't dial 911 - dial 111.
Full article here explaining why your phone may save you even when there is no service.

And guess what?  The same day this advice is posted, we get this reported about a mountain biker who had, unbelievably, been attempting a Southern Crossing of the Tararuas:

"On Wednesday, the missing man made contact with us via cellphone. He was in a distressed and hypothermic state, uncertain of his exact location. Due to extremely bad weather conditions, rescuers were unable to be flown to where they suspected the man might be, instead being dropped off in a riverbed some hours away."

Read the news item here.

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