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Re: PLBs for Fishing Alone

2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 1260

k-bob wrote:
a fishing partner can make things safer or not. a person who gets lost, doesn't act on weather issues, or otherwise gets themselves in trouble, can get you in trouble.

It's a wonder anyone fishes with us Bob!

All kidding aside, this is true. Don't fall into the trap of overconfidence just because there's somone else there with you. Stick to your plan...if you know you need 2 hours to hike out while it's still daylight don't keep pushing ahead just because you have someone with you. Don't guess on a brush bust up over the mountain if you're not sure exactly where you are or where it will take you...follow the stream back out to a known point, even if it's a longer walk.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 9:25

Re: PLBs for Fishing Alone

2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 92
I think the take away here is don't be stupid. ;)

Posted on: 2013/7/12 10:36

Re: PLBs for Fishing Alone

2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 893

wildtrout2 wrote:
All cell phones have a "location setting" which needs to be turned on by the user. This supposedly can still give your location regardless of cell phone towers in the area? It works by giving "pings" as to your location. I really don't know how well this works, but this is what I have read. I do know my "location" option is set on my cell phone in the event it does work. lol

Just to clarify this - cell phones have to support E911 by default, which allows a phone to be located for emergency purposes. This is on by default, but only accessible by the "authorities", meaning there has to be some worthwhile event that has occurred for your location to be accessed by the carrier (i.e. a 911 phone call is made by your phone, or you've gone missing and law enforcement comes knocking on the carrier's door). As an aside, all cell phones, even inactive ones, have to be able to make basic 911 calls. You can grant permission to other numbers or services by enabling the location permissions on your phone.

With a traditional cell phone, there are only two real ways to locate you - radiolocation, which involves using a number of different methods to determine your distance and direction to one or more cell towers, or GPS location, which gets embedded in the location data sent to the tower. But both methods still require you to be able to hit a cell tower. If you are located in an area without coverage, that best information that will be available is the last tower you touched with information.

GPS coverage definitely works where towers are not present; however, it is a receive only technology on phones. It's helpful in the sense that one of the tenets of not getting lost is staying found, so it can help you know where you are. But it won't do you any good if you break a leg four miles in and are dozens of miles of away from a cell tower, even if you have all the apps in the world installed on your phone. You may know exactly where you are at with your broken leg, but you have absolutely no way to transmit that information from your phone.

That would be where a satellite based PLB system would come into play.

Location tracking on a cell phone CAN be useful; just know the contingencies that go into it and don't depend on it to be the primary way of letting someone know where you are at if you aren't in range of a tower.

Regarding the use of a smart phone app that interfaces with an external device, I'm not sure why one would pay $120 to add another layer to helping one be found. Hopefully the external device works standalone and the smart phone app just adds another way of accessing it's functionality. The last thing I'd want to have happen is for my second phone battery to die in the woods on the third day of an unplanned overnight outing; meanwhile my battery pack that I carry for charging batteries got dunked in the stream when I took the tumble that broke my leg and put me in the predicament in the first place..

Regarding the notion that the old-timers (i.e. Daniel Boone and Lewis & Clark) didn't have this technology and they survived, that's definitely true. I think about this periodically - they didn't have Gore-Tex or hi-tech down gear and they managed to survive harsh downpours, cold winters, and boat/walk halfway across the continent. I marvel at what they did; I also have the cognitive ability to recognize that we have tools available to us now that they did not, and there are good situations to apply the use of those tools. They took risks that they could not mitigate. We have the same risks; we just have more tools to mitigate them. If you want to take higher risks, go for it (but be prepared to pay the SAR bill).

I've researched PLB on and off over the past few years but never pulled the trigger on one. I do periodically go fishing/overnight backpacking alone, which does cause my wife to worry. She either just deals with it (not good), relies on Google Latitude to know my whereabouts (better for general location, as I put the phone in airplane mode when hardcore fishing, and I like to fish in areas that don't have cell service, AND Google is discontinuing this service August 9), or I take someone with me. As I get older (and wiser?), for her peace of mind and for my own safety, and knowing that the risk of physical injury goes up with my age, most likely, I'll probably pull the trigger on a PLB. Or just downgrade to day-trips.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 11:20

Re: PLBs for Fishing Alone

2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 631

FiveWeight wrote:
All valid contingencies for safety in the wilds but, how in the world did Daniel Boone ever make it from here to Kentucky or any of us ever survive without seatbelts, etc. Yes I know that it's called progress but these are things never even crossed ones mind back even 30 years ago. Yep, do what you need to do to feel safe out there but lets try not to turn what is supposed to be a natural day of fishing into a science project.

It's called Dead Reckoning, with the emphasis on dead. Meaning of course if you depended on dead reckoning in those days, there was a good chance of ending up dead. DB was wounded a couple of time fighting Native Americans, his son was killed in a battle with some and there, were plenty of others who died in the wilderness from all kinds of causes, not related to Native Americans, so I'm not blaming them per say. Probably falls are the greatest cause of injuries in the back country.
Using dead reckoning lewis and Clark went to the west coast and back, and calculated the miles to the coast to within 40 miles of how far they traveled using the technology of the time. A remarkable feat, and only lost none member of their party, due to appendicitis.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 23:12

Re: PLBs for Fishing Alone

2013/6/14 8:09
From tully
Posts: 0
I tell my wife where I am headed. roughly.
I remembered when I heard the first cell on the creek. and the shop ownr attached to it. it freaked me out. I leave my cell in the car. I don't want to be bothered while I fish

Posted on: 2013/7/13 11:37

Re: PLBs for Fishing Alone

2008/6/25 12:40
From Chester County
Posts: 7
Garmin's SPOT is a great year-round solution. It's fun to have your buddies check your progress in real time.

A short term solution is a rental sat phone. Last time I got one from from Globalcom for about $4 a day + $1.89 a minute. You learn how to talk fast. They have since come out with a satellite text device that I hear is cheaper.

Posted on: 2013/7/13 18:25

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