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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 24, 2010

Technology to the Rescue or Creating a Disaster

MD900 on contract to the National Park Service...

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Technology in the outdoors: Is it helpful or dangerous?

The answer is both.  Technology can save lives, but it is also putting people at risk.  The national park service is reporting an increasing number of technology related “dumb accidents”

  • Taking hikes that are above your ability and counting on a cell or satellite phone and the park service to come to the rescue
  • Being gored by a buffalo while filming a video
  • Expecting cell phones to work in the wilderness where there are no cell towers
  • Backing over the edge of the Grand Canyon while taking a photograph
  • Getting lost when depending solely on a GPS for directions

People are also abusing emergency satellite and cell phones asking rangers for helicopter rides because they are tired, need water, want food and would like a guide.  By the way, it costs several thousand dollars an hour to run that helicopter and you may get billed for requesting it.

Be safe in the Wilderness.  If you are going hiking in a park, especially in the wilderness know the limits of your physical abilities.  Be realistic about the your knowledge of the activity and outdoor skills involved.  Also make sure you take along the ten essentials.

To read more go to the NY Times article:  Technology Leads More Park Visitors Into Trouble

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