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[pct-l] Moms (and Dads)

Carolyn asked

>Also on another topic, does anyone have any ideas about what to do about a
>fearful mother. My mom is going a bit crazy as departure for the trail
>gets closer. She want us to take a radio or a cellular phone for emergencies,
>but those are the things we're trying to get away from and don't want to
>bring them. Would a cell phone even work on the trail? Any way if any one
>has any ideas on how to put her worries to rest, please share them.

  Parents have an unalienable right to worry; if they didn't worry somewhat,
they would not be good parents.  I speak as both a terrible abuser of my
parents worries and as a parent now who worries.  When I was young and
"footloose and fancy-free" as one ranger on the PCT refered to me, I quite
often disappeared into the woods for extended periods of time, leaving little
word of where I was going and doing; had something bad happened, rescuers never
would have found my body.  My parents actually grew somewhat accustomed to
this, but never free from all worry.  It did not help that a good friend of
mine was killed when I was hiking the AT - I had just been with him before I
left on the hike - and they did not tell me until I was out of the woods for
good that year; my parents and his were best friends (and still are) so it hit
especially hard.  Though it did not stop me from doing the things I did, I did
wake up a bit to the dangers of the world and try to pay attention a little
  During my PCT hike, my parents handled my food boxes, the shipping and
re-packing of supplies necessary.  If your Mom can be brought into the process
of your hike in such a manner, it will help to soothe some of her fears.  She
might also include a stamped postcard in each food drop for you to send on, or
buy you some long-distance calling cards to use whenever possible.  I might be
wrong about this, but the first place to call from the trail heading south from
Canada will be at the road crossing in North Cascades National Park, roughly a
week or so from the start.  If you make up a schedule of where you will be on
some approximate dates and promise to contact her along the way, that may help
her too.  She may not understand why you are doing the hike but she may feel
proud of you and a part of your trip if you find some ways to share it.
  I have no experience with cell phones or radios.  Personally I would not
carry but that is your decision.  The only problem I can forsee is if you
promise to call on a certain date then find out that reception is not possible,
you might have a full scale rescue on your hands, so you might be very careful
if you do carry a phone.  I once wasted a very beautiful day sailing around
Prince William Sound (there are only a few such days per year), trying to get
good marine telephone-radio reception as one of my buddies had told his very
pregnant wife that we would call as soon as we got to our "basecamp"; little
did we suspect that we could recieve but not transmit from there.


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