One of our own SAR guys has another take - in the thread on PLBs and hiking solo, Schroder said, " ...if you're going solo in the backcountry off-trail and don't have the means to be located with the technology that's available today, you are irresponsible. The easy solution also is to find a friend."
While I appreciate Shroder's insight and wisdom, I don't agree that it's always "irresponsible" to not implement the newest technology into one's outdoor experience, to me that is somewhat of a "sweeping generalization".
-------------- Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
Maybe it is time to consider accident insurance for outdoor activities? The main reason I joined the American Alpine Club was to access their basic accident insurance program. The European Alpine clubs all offer insurance to members to cover accidents. I would never recreate in Europe or Nepal without appropriate accident insurance.
Accidents (or incidents) in the mountains will always be with us. More users means more incidents. I am thankful for the rescue services provided by the military services, counties and volunteer mountain rescue organizations in this country. Maybe it is time to professionalize these services? I would rather the users community dictate the nature of rescue services rather than politicians whom might not act in our best interest. I believe that reliable responsible rescue programs are in the best interest of all outdoor users. Yes some will abuse the system but I believe that will be the exception rather than the rule.
Maybe it is time to consider accident insurance for outdoor activities?
The problem with that is the people who need it most frequently would never buy it - the casual weekender that gets in over their head. You also need an army of volunteers for large searches & professionalizing wilderness rescue tends to work against that. Sending people a bill after-the-fact has never worked.
As for my comments in being irresponsible in not utilizing the latest technology - the context of this was in a couple of massive searches for a couple of "experienced" soloists for whom their searches consumed the entire annual budgets of the search agencies. I myself prefer having a partner with me up on a mountain than relying on the tech. If you want to commune alone with nature, go do it in a place where you can be easily found.
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