Hiker Safety Issues are Existential to Long-Distance Hiking
This particular headline has been in the news recently. It’s part of a trend of more evacuations through GPS systems. I was slow warming up to the bona-fides of GPS. However, there have been too many cases of successful rescue via GPS to deny its benefits. A legitimate question though, is whether or not hikers carrying them are prone to take more risks.
Another issue I’d like to briefly touch on is hiker safety. It becomes easy for the “ins” and the machos of these great trails to affect such a swagger to act like anybody who pays lip service to their inherent danger is a wimp. No, America’s hiking trails are not really any more dangerous than everyday life in a city. However, they do by their very nature entail certain risks and exposures. These should be fully acknowledged. Almost every year there is a death on the Appalachian Trail. Usually it’s not by foul play, but from more mundane reasons such as exposure, dehydration, heart attack, etc. But this should all be part of a hiker’s preparation and psyche going forward. Enjoy–and enjoy greatly–your adventure. But be eternally vigilant.
Hiker airlifted off Appalachian Trail In Maine
9:04 PM, Sep 3, 2011 | commentsTwitterFacebookShareFacebook Twitter Google buzz Del.icio.us Digg Reddit Newsvine Buzz up!Fark it
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Craig Pushard FILED UNDER
WCSH 6 News
WLBZ 2 News
GREENVILLE, MAINE (NEWS CENTER)-Several Maine agencies combined to make a complicated rescue Friday afternon on the Appalachian Trail.
It began when John Abbott from Cleveland fell on the trail and broke his ankle. Abbott was attempting to make the entire two thousand 175 mile trek from Georgia to Maine. He got hurt about 70 miles short of his destination in Piscataquis County.
Abbott called his wife on his cell phone and his GPS helped wardens and forest rangers locate him 12 miles northeast of Greenville at West Chairback Lean-to. They got to him about 2:30 and loaded him into a helicopter in rugged terrain.
Abbott was airlifted to Bangor and arrived at Eastern Maine Medical Center about 5:30 for treatment of a severely fractured ankle.
Abbott began his journey on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, on April first.
by Bill Walker
Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail
Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail