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Re: [at-l] Cell phones and safety (realistically)

You list 6 questions below that are not relevant. 
Cell phones save lives! 
Of course, usually the life is saved before it reaches the trail...
Some of us would get killed by our spouses or significant others 
if we did not agree to take a cell phone on a thruhike.

In reference to your questions (seriously this time...), even if we 
pose these questions to the people staying at home it wouldn't matter.
It's not how useful a cell phone is in reality... Its how useful people 
at home think they are (this is what makes them feel better, even if you 
never use it and bounce it up the trail the whole time, they feel better 
you have it). 

They seem like they would be too much of a hassle to me,
especially since I hate talking on the phone... Especially when 
I am in the woods trying to relax.
Of course I''m a guy.... We would rather grunt and fart to communicate,
which I believe is an accepted practice at shelters....  
Not too high tech & gets the point across.  :-)


In a message dated 03/16/2000 1:56:52 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
phil.heffington@oc.edu writes:

 I hope we don't get a great cell phone debate going here, but every once in
 a while I think it is good to point out the misconceptions about cell phones
 and safety.

 1. What type of injury could you sustain that a cell phone would get
 you help in time to save your life on the trail?
 2. What is the response time for emergency rescue for a seriously
 injured person on a trail such as the AT?
 3. How many rescue units have a helicopter and hoist (don't be
 picturing the type the Coast Guard uses for sea rescues) to be able to lift
 you out of the woods, or off a mountain top?  (You probably won't get hurt
 on a "bald" where a helicopter could land.)
 4. If you suffer a brain injury, who is going to use the cell phone for
 5. Will the cell phone make you more careless because you have a false
 sense of security with a cell phone in your pack?
 6. How often would you be hurt in a spot where there is a reasonable
 expectation that a cell phone would have adequate coverage?
 Personally, I don't care if others carry cell phones or not.  However, you
 should be realistic about their usefulness in actual emergencies.  I am
 speaking from the voice of experience.  My first hike of several days left a
 member of our group with a broken ankle, fourteen miles from the nearest
 trailhead.  The cell phone wouldn't reach out from the spot and it took us
 24 hours to get her out.  By the way, we had to carry her over a mile to get
 to a spot where the helicopter could land - no hoist after all.
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