Tuesday, March 29, 2022

What IS that????


I am a solo hiker most of the time. One of the places I go is into a mile square of uninhabited land with two valleys, a few caves and two streams. One of the hikes to my favorite rock shelter and ice cave is a 3 mile round trip from my back door. 

The valleys typically do not have cell service. This is my neighbor's land held in a family trust. The only time there are humans on it now is during deer hunting season and perhaps turkey season.

The one brother who farmed the land died in an accident involving an old John Deere 5 wheel UTV. The guy that was with him survived and tried to call 911. He couldn't get reception. Of course that was 2005, however my phone dings often and tells me a message "No Voice Service Available" when I am in the valleys.
I've been riding solo or exploring this land by foot since 1997. 

With my last check up and some tests done, I was dx'd with severe osteoporosis [I don't feel it!] and there was a question about an anxiety attack I'd had. Was it anxiety or A-Fib or something else. I was required to wear a heart monitor for two weeks. 

The monitor showed that I had a normal heart with no issues. 

So my doctor asked me if I was still hiking solo in isolated areas. I told her yes. She asked that I not go anywhere without cell phone coverage and always lay out a path and let someone know by calling them when I leave and when I get back.

I rolled my eyes at her and sighed. 

I read the book last year called When You Find My Body: The Disappearance of Geraldine LarGay on the Appalachian Trail. She had a locator device that she never activated because needed to be synced with her cell phone and her husband said it was complicated, so she left it with him. In short, had Geraldine had her PLB activated, she wouldn't have died.

So I had been considering a PLB for a while and had been doing comparisons and reading reviews. I didn't want a fancy gadget so I settled on PLB1 rescueME. Just flip up the antennae and push the button.

I admit it. I won't likely change my hiking habits in the near future. I am a wanderer and explorer. I'm comfortable out there. I'm at ease. 

This is just a safety device that would help me in case I got into a scenario where I needed to be rescued. It won't protect me and it won't save me from an injury. 

I do generally write down my intentions on a pad of paper and leave it in the vehicle when I am at the Reserve or other places. I practice safety when I hike. But things can happen. And I don't always stick with my plans. 

When I opened the box and held it up for hubby to see he asked me:

What IS that?

I replied in the simplest terms I could.

"Honey, it is my Help Me I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up! device!"

This may sound a bit like overkill to some folks but think about it. I don't have someone to go with me 95% of the time. I admit it, I am older and perhaps no wiser. But if I really get into a situation, I don't have to depend on cell service. And that is worth it to me.


  1. Well, if they can't save you, they will at least find the body, right? Dying in the great outdoors seems like the perfect place to me. But, in the event a twisted ankle or broken leg might prevent you from crawling to civilization, then that sounds like a helpful tool. Thankfully, Cheryl and I do not stray too far from the beaten path. Some biker or walker will find us before we starve. But when I was in Alaska, that might have been a different story...

    1. If it is activated they will be able to find me however if I just drop dead, naw, best guess is that they could look for my cell phone?
      Most of my hikes near home are in a heavy forest so no trails.

  2. Good for you, so glad you will have it with you just in case! I know how much hiking means to you and this will allow you to continue! :)

    1. I just love meandering about and observing things around me in the woods and other places. I like the idea of knowing I can get help if I really do fall and get badly hurt.
      I'm always careful anyway. But it never hurts to have backup!
      Thank you!

  3. I cannot tell you how happy this post makes me. I am a big sissy and as much as I admire your adventures, secretly I was very worried when you went on your hikes alone. And knowing you are a fellow "hollow bones", even scarier. I had no idea these devices exist! I live in a hilly area and there are many times my phone gives me that message just driving down a road. This is just terrific and I am giving you a huge sigh of relief!!! And I love the name "I have fallen and I can't get up". Wonderful!!!

    1. I told my husband that I have bird bones and that is why I am so little and light! Too bad I can't grow feathers and fly!

      Kidding aside, this has been something I thought about long before the technology existed for hikers and before smartphones.

      Yes, this device is registered with NOAA and uses their technology in the case of emergency. So obviously it is not to be used except for except for a true emergency.
      Knock on wood. I have not had one yet!

  4. It's a great option to have when one explores remote area's as much as you do. I wondered what the PLB device you mentioned looked like. Let's hope you never need to use it.

  5. It is really wise to have it.


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