Happy Independence Day!
It has been too hot for hiking this past week or so. I've taken some early morning walks for 3-4 miles before work when I can, and on the weekends. I went to an electric bluegrass concert ("Trampled by Turtles") last Friday night (outdoors with the actual air temperature was 101 degrees at 7PM). I walked the cancer survivor laps Saturday afternoon at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. But no hikes, not since my out and back to Saint Mary's Falls almost two weeks ago. But when I do hike, I have a new way to stay in touch - DeLorme's InReach.
The InReach pairs up with my DeLorme PN-60 GPS. I can send a customized message - up to 160 characters - from just about anywhere in the world, as long as it can find a satellite. And I can receive a text message back, displayed on the GPS. Think of that - you could be off hiking for two weeks in the Alaskan wilderness, and keep in touch with family and friends! I've sent a message on each of my last two hikes, and so far, it has been fast and reliable. The service is not cheap (although the safety plan that I am on really is very cheap) but as long as people you send messages to don't deluge you with replies, it is not expensive either. And because you can send an SOS message that goes to command center that will dispatch search and rescue, it gives one a certain peace of mind and safety net. I do at least some hiking in pretty remote areas by myself, so having a way to summon help in case of an emergency is a great feature. I do a lot of reading, including some true life adventures, and in many cases, having something like this would mean that the person would have survived their adventure.
I think I am really going to enjoy this new electronic gizmo. GPS and InReach - it's a long way from map and compass (although I never go on a hike without those either).
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