I’ve spent half of my life or more surrounded by technology. I guess you could say I’m a 21st Century Digital Boy. 🙂 I adopted the internet and social media at a very early on and know my way around the VHS and TV remotes. Although I know technology, I have never really “depended” on it. Since becoming an Explorer and facing a few dangers, I’ve learned that sometimes technology (and water) can save our lives. This is a post about being connected and staying safe in the outdoors.
I first heard about inReach Canada one day in 2015 when I came across pro paraglider Gavin McClurg on Instagram. I immediately thought two things: holy crap this guy is a renegade, and, he takes his profession very seriously. Two things I admire. I saw some posts on his feed about his inReach Explorer GPS device and this got me thinking about safety while in the back country. Taking about being prepared and having a first-aid kit seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people are unaware and unsafe while exploring whether that be solo with other hikers.
I’ve always loved disconnecting, being with my own thoughts free of distraction, thinking deeply about nature and the universe and what it all means. However when I’m on an expedition I’m constantly thinking about how to push boundaries while staying safe. Taking calculated risks while making sure I come home to my family and friends.
When I’m on an expedition I am always thinking about how to more effectively share stories and experiences. I want to push the boundaries of expedition storytelling and part of that is involving the audience. Technology can become limited or useless depending on how far you trek into the back country and when mountaineering I only want to carry the minimal amount of gear on hand; one pound feels like 10lbs when you’re 8,000+ up a mountain. Apart from cameras and film equipment, social media has played a large role in expedition storytelling but beyond that – I want people to be able to SEE and DIRECTLY MAP my adventures. Beyond the safety functions of the device, the inReach Explorer allows me to publish and share my story in real time in ways that I have never done in my history of exploration.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a renegade adventurer, seasonal backpacker, have a family or not – you want to stay alive out there.
The best way to do that hands-down is by letting people know where you are by having a GPS device on you so you can be located promptly in the event of danger or an emergency. With the inReach Explorer you can now embed and promote your next adventure on your Facebook Fan Page and provide track points so your family and friends can follow your journeys. Directly connected to my Facebook page, the device will automatically sends out your position every 10 minutes. You can also send out updates from the device to social media networks like Facebook and Twitter with location updates so your family, friends and followers will know your location and see where you are. I used mine at the end of every day to let people know how high I was during a summit. Every message you send is was accompanied by a link that shows your live GPS position as well as previous positions on a satellite map. If an emergency ever did occur, I’d push the inReach’s SOS button and a long lasting signal would be sent out directly to a rescue team. View my inReach Map on my Facebook Page here.
Also, don’t forget the essentials.
Multi-tool. Head torch. Rope. Matches. Knife. Extra socks. Sunglasses. First Aid. Sunscreen. Obviously food & water. GPS unit or beacon/transceiver.
These devices are an advanced way to stay in touch with loved ones anywhere at anytime, a real must-have for any outdoor enthusiast.