Daily Archives: January 15, 2013

Please Tell My Mom I’ll Be Okay

Like many AT hikers, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money on acquiring light-weight gear.  Furthermore, I constantly think “Can I leave this item behind?  How can this be lighter?”..  But now, I am adding a new item of gear that weighs 5 oz.  Lightweight hikers everywhere gasp in horror.
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I am going to carry a Spot Satellite GPS.  Laugh it up, but I want my parents to be able to sleep at night knowing that their daughter has stopped hiking for the day and is alive.   I don’t want to turn my phone on after five days in the woods to a flood of texts from my mother: “Are you OK?  I’m worried.  Did a bear eat you for a snack??”
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 I press one button at camp and this gets delivered to my contact list:
Greetings from the AT!  
I have finished hiking for the day and I am still alive.
Send food. Send money.
Love,  Acorn
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My GPS coordinates are also transmitted, so my parents can watch exactly how slow I hike.  Also, I can use the SOS feature on the Spot to call for emergency help too.   Maybe the next device update will have a “send pizza and root beer via air-drop” button.
Of course, there are other ways of keeping in touch with loved ones while on the trail.  I briefly considered sending text message updates with my iPhone, but decided I didn’t want to turn my phone on everyday and try to text.   The Spot was the best way to update worried loved ones without distracting myself from the wilderness experience.  One button push for “alive” and that’s it.  If I’m dead, I’ll try to not push the button.  Simple.
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Yes, it feels like overkill to have Satellite GPS on the AT, but that’s the price I’m willing to pay for a happy Mommy  (Love You!).  Just don’t try to convince me to carry a gun, life-preserver, or ankle brace.  It’s not gonna happen.
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PS:  It’s a little scratched up because it survived a thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail on my favorite hiker. Yes, this Spot is already completely bad-ass, and I’m hoping it enjoys thru-hike #2.
Categories: Pre-Hike | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

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