SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction
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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 16:49:12 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:19:58 MDT Print View

Very interesting, looking forward to part 2 and 3

I'de like to be able to send and receive text messages

My cell phone rarely works in the wilderness, but occasionally it surprises me where it works

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:20:05 MDT Print View

Its good to see these series of articles.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:22:19 MDT Print View

What is type 2 & 3 fun? Is there type 1 fun a what is it?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:25:29 MDT Print View

Hi Nick,

Here is a good example for Mountaineer Kelly Cordes.

Type I Fun – true fun, enjoyable while it’s happening. Good food, good sex, 5.8 hand cracks, sport climbing, powder skiing. Margaritas.


Type II Fun – fun only in retrospect, hateful while it’s happening. Things like working out ‘till you puke, and usually ice and alpine climbing. After climbing the West Face Couloir on Huntington, Scotty and I both swore that we hated alpine climbing. The final 1,000′ was horrific – swimming up sugar snow that collapsed beneath us, roped together without protection – and took nearly as long as the initial 3,000′ from camp. On the summit, Scotty turned to me and said, in complete seriousness, “I want my mom so bad right now.” By the time we reached Talkeetna our talk of Huntington turned to, “Ya know, that wasn’t so bad. What should we try next time?”


Type III Fun – not fun at all, not even in retrospect. As in, “What the hell was I thinking? If I ever even consider doing that again, somebody slap some sense into me.” The final 1,000′ of Huntington, when I stop and think about it…but, then again, a friend climbed it the next year and had perfect conditions.

I guess you never really know what sort of fun you’re getting yourself into once you leave the couch, which is fine, because it doesn’t always have to be “fun” to be fun.

Maybe the whole goal, the path of the enlightened, is to turn Type III situations into Type I fun. Right. Anybody had any luck with that?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:31:01 MDT Print View

Okay, where did the concept of type 1, 2, and 3 fun come from?

and if it's not fun at all, even in retrospective, why is it called fun?

us old guys are always amazed by the viral nature of this modern world

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:38:22 MDT Print View

I dunno where it came from, I have heard it a couple of times over the years.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Fun Scale on 03/19/2013 17:46:59 MDT Print View

http://kellycordes.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Fun Scale on 03/19/2013 18:22:27 MDT Print View

That's where I pulled it form, I mean I have heard it before that.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Two way texting - InReach on 03/20/2013 02:16:58 MDT Print View

I am surprised you didn't mention the InReach device which offers two way texting and SOS features. It can also link to a smartphone or GPS via bluetooth. Great device.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Global Travel on 03/20/2013 06:47:54 MDT Print View

Just an FYI for global travelers.

I travel overseas quite a bit and have considered buying a satellite phone until I traveled to India. They were really concerned about cell phones in general and wanted to know if I was going to leave one in India. They also were very concerned to know if I was carrying a satellite phone.

I didn't want to prolong that conversation any more than I had to so I didn't ask the obvious question of "If I did would I have to give it up?" The thought of forfeiting a $1000 phone was a little unnerving.

This is the only country which has ever asked me these questions but it's something to be aware of.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/20/2013 08:54:50 MDT Print View

DeLorme InReach devices will be covered in Part 3.

-- Rex

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Global Travel on 03/20/2013 09:12:40 MDT Print View

Ian,

At least they asked you in advance! You could have been thrown in jail for bringing an unlicensed satellite device into India, like the unfortunate Andy Pag:

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-03-21/jaipur/28138818_1_andy-pag-biofuel-driven-bus-telegraph-act-and-section

A few other countries have strict laws about satellite devices, including China and Burma (Myanmar).

Hence the advice in the article:

"Be sure to check the latest coverage maps and local laws before you choose a device, or take a device into a new area."

-- Rex

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Spot Messenger on 03/20/2013 11:54:30 MDT Print View

Is the Spot Messenger (black SPOT, W/ Bluetooth for yer cell phone texts) a "bentpipe" or sat network setup?

Seems the SPOT Messenger and yer cell phone gives the best combo for sending short texts. This way you can specify exactly your situation, location and needs W/O a "911" call for the calvalry.

Madeleine Landis
(yurtie) - MLife

Locale: Central Oregon
Thank you, very informative! on 03/20/2013 12:03:04 MDT Print View

We have hiked with a 75 year old friend who uses a SPOT for tracking and sending an "ok" to his wife from remote areas ( across the state of CA thru desert regions) and SEKI) It worked most of the time pretty well but only keeps records for ten days (so someone else has to capture the screen shots of the route) We do not own one and have very mixed feelings about such devices in the wilderness. We like to do ten day mostly off trail backpack trips in the Sierra and have had only one emergency in 35+ years on a Sierra Cub outing. The leader, our older friend, had to hike out 20 miles over a big E side pass, get a helicopter for a HAPE victim, which we got him out successfully on, then he hiked back in. It saved the man but pretty exhausting for the leader). My husband is a very fit 71 and I am 57, small & fairly fit and also do ten day solos. For me, ANY extra weight for a device must be reliable and worth carrying around just in case something really bad happens. I would only want a device for rescue and possibly weather reports. Just curious, does anyone have any experience or thoughts on how to get a wx report, ie on a small ipod thru radio or noaa radio or ??? Thanks. I look forward to the next installments.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Spot Messenger on 03/20/2013 12:06:55 MDT Print View

Eric,

All SPOT devices use the Globalstar satellite system, which is a "bent pipe" system.

SPOT devices can send text messages, but can not receive text messages, so they are not "two-way" devices. This article series does not describe SPOT devices in any detail.

-- Rex

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Spot Messenger on 03/20/2013 13:01:40 MDT Print View

Rex,

It will be interesting to hear your take on the Isat phone pro as I have one for about 2 years, its a bit heavy so just got a Res Q link for UL trips.

Michael Fisher
(mfisher) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Avian bandwidth on 03/20/2013 13:12:12 MDT Print View

Good one for including the carrier pigeon as a communication device. This brought to mind a quote I'd heard before: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway." That was from Andrew Tanenbaum. While totally off-topic for backpacking, it does bring to mind the importance of thinking outside the box. What other methods could be used for backcountry communication? Messages left in known areas that will be checked by someone at a specific, for example?

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
India on 03/20/2013 13:12:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing that article Rex. Seems extreme but their country so their rules. I've been all over the world but before this trip it never occurred to me that it might be a problem.

Peter Vickerson
(mtbarney) - M

Locale: Australia
Satellite phones on 03/20/2013 17:43:24 MDT Print View

I live in Australia and have used an Immarsat phone for hiking in Australia and New Zealand. I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that Iridium had much better coverage. I went to the Sat Phone shop to buy an iridium phone but the owner talked me out of it. He said that that in theory iridium had better coverage but in practice Immarsat gave more reliable coverage with little dropping out. He sold both types and in fact the Immarsat was way cheaper with a flat rate of $100 for 100 minutes prepaid and two years to use it in !
Australia is a vast empty continent with lots of areas of no cell phone coverage. Exploration companies use satellite phones and most go for Immarsat.
I have used the Immarsat in very mountainous areas of New Zealand without a problem. I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence of iridium not working very well in deep valleys.
The Immarsat is also a lot cheaper to buy and call .

In fact, I'm thinking of buying a second one for my wife, just in case we get separated in white out conditions. The phones will also give you your exact position.

Just my two cents worth.