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PostPosted: May 17th, 2019, 2:44 pm 
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Joined: March 24th, 2010, 9:49 pm
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We all have the goal of getting away from it all from time to time. Maine is one of the few places left where this can actually be done in this day and age. I've been working at camp for the past couple of weeks and it got me thinking. I've been working with chainsaws, skillsaws, axes etc. I've been all by myself,five miles from RT.201 and five miles from cell phone coverage. If I were to have an accident at camp I would be in a world of hurt. We take for granted emergency services being minutes away. Well, when your goal is to "get away" you are also leaving this comfort zone. There aren't many places where you don't have cell phone coverage but there are some. There are also some places in Maine that have cell phone coverage but help is still hours away and that help may not be a fully staffed hospital. I guess what I'm saying is be careful out there. The remote Maine woods aint Disney World.


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PostPosted: May 17th, 2019, 7:17 pm 
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So true. Ive been out in the woods alone with a chainsaw many times, foolish for certain. Too old for that now. I had one situation working alone on a pile of cedar high above Caribou Lake when I fell hard and could have broken something, no cell service available. i could have died out there and never found.

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PostPosted: May 17th, 2019, 7:23 pm 
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Joined: August 7th, 2004, 12:00 am
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Location: Plymouth, ME
There's probably a hundred different threads you could pull from your short story. One of them must certainly be the reliance on and pervasiveness of cell phones. I am old enough to remember when the first "mobile" phones appeared and how much fun we made of anyone who had the nerve (and money) to walk down the street with one of them to their ear. Fast forward a short decade or two and bingo, a city dweller all pumped up from reading LL Bean catalogs, discovers that Google Maps ain't worth much when there's zero cell service.

In my youth, when we went adventuring, it was assumed we would take care of ourselves and deal with anything that might happen. It never occurred to us that there would be someone to come to our rescue. I'm not so sure that's the same any more. Constant contact via cell phones and the internet may be giving a false sense of security that can turn around to bite you if you're not careful.

A retired Warden Service friend has a bunch of stories about folks who didn't have the respect they should have for the Maine woods. Many of those stories don't end well.


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PostPosted: May 17th, 2019, 8:49 pm 
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Location: Windham
I spend most of the winter exploring the North Maine Woods off of groomed snowmobile trails. Certainly have days when I’m 50-100 miles from any type of services like in Jackman(limited) and never see another person, track, etc. I am seriously considering the Garmin Inreach. Satellite texting, and SOS button so with the push of a button you got a bird in the sky coming for you. The cost makes me want to throw up, but there are days I’m solo doing this stuff.

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PostPosted: May 17th, 2019, 9:16 pm 
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Formerly Larvae wrote:
I spend most of the winter exploring the North Maine Woods off of groomed snowmobile trails. Certainly have days when I’m 50-100 miles from any type of services like in Jackman(limited) and never see another person, track, etc. I am seriously considering the Garmin Inreach. Satellite texting, and SOS button so with the push of a button you got a bird in the sky coming for you. The cost makes me want to throw up, but there are days I’m solo doing this stuff.


We have them at the office for folks who work remote sites. When you need to use one- the value out weighs the cost.

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PostPosted: May 18th, 2019, 7:27 am 
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Joined: May 21st, 2004, 12:00 am
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I enjoy these type of threads.

Couple of thoughts/observations.

I also do a lot of solo adventures up north. All one can do is prepare and plan accordingly. Leaving your plan/schedule with a friend/family member is key in the event something goes south.

Taking a lot of people bird hunting over the years, it's been my experience that a lot of folks under 40 have little to zero navigation/situational awareness experience. As stated above, they are 100% reliant on their phone for directions/location. They know where they want to go but have no clue how to actually get there. I've had people try and tell me to "turn left here" or say "you're going in the wrong direction" all while staring at their phone maps or gps app. I'll ask "put that down and tell me how to get where we're going"....they can't. Drives me mad. I always review maps and understand the general orientation of the area I'll be in. My GPS is just a bonus.

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PostPosted: May 18th, 2019, 10:35 am 
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Joined: July 3rd, 2011, 10:53 pm
Posts: 149
Location: On the water.
Compared to most of the fellas on here, I'm young. Early twenties. In 6th grade, I started bringing a laptop home from school for the entire school year. Definitely a member of the tech generation, but my parents encouraged me to play outside. I had pocket knives and bows and BB guns from age 6 and on. I shot squirrels off the bird feeder, made fires in the yard, and paddled up and down the Kennebec by myself from an early age, in whatever weather I wanted to. My parents were definitely loving, but they didn't hover and I was somewhat feral in that sense. As Tinsnip said, I was expected to take care of myself. I learned to carry a small first aid kit, a headlamp AND a small flashlight, a light silnylon tarps, a small repair kit, and it applicable, maps. I had good mentors who not only encouraged me, but made it clear that if I was to spend any portion of my life in wilderness settings, courses like Wilderness First Responder and Swiftwater Rescue were pre-requisites, and that I owed it to myself, my partners in the field, and my family to carry those tools and skillsets with me at all times. If I am planning on hiking into a very remote pond to fish and it turns out I don't have a functional source of light, I adjust my plans. I familiarize myself with the topography of an area before heading into, e.g. even if I feel lost, follow water downhill to the shore of Pemadumcook head left, and I'll hit a camp road. No map needed if the area has clear terrain clues like that. I wear chaps and a helmet religiously when using a chainsaw, even if I'm just cutting a tree out of the camp road. Not having health insurance also informs some of those decisions. :lol: I don't go into the woods with people who don't have my back, and I make that clear to people.

I have considered getting an InReach as a backup, and would hope to just forget about at the bottom of my pack.

But in the end, I'm not going to let the fear of something going wrong "out there" keep me out of the woods. I feel like I'm a helluva lot more likely to get crunched on the interstate, fall off a ladder, or die of some obscure disease well within cell phone range.

Just my two cents.

Sam

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PostPosted: May 18th, 2019, 12:32 pm 
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Vermont/Rangeley
I grew up in suburbia, my only rule was to head home when the street lights came on. It wasn’t the Maine woods, but it taught self reliance!


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PostPosted: May 18th, 2019, 8:58 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5389
Location: Manchester, ME
When I was a little older than Sam, I bushwhacked my way up a remote Maine trout stream from a campground. The trout fishing never panned out--I should have headed DOWNSTREAM, as I learned a year later--and wound around through a maze of beaver dams and boggy banks. A mile or so upstream, I decided it would be a lot drier and easier to bushwack out to a woods road that knew as about 1/4 to my east, then follow the road back to my truck. That quarter mile took me well over an hour. I ended up going through a blow down, and at one point was up on top of the blown down trees when my foot slipped and I fell about 6' to the ground. Fortunately I landed on my shoulder, not my head, and didn't break any of my flailing limbs, and once down on the ground realized I could crawl to the edge to the blowdown.

Since then I have been far more careful in the woods, though I still probably take more risks than I ought to wading and boating. I don't know if an in-reach would save my ass from most of the kinds of trouble I am likely to get into.


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PostPosted: May 18th, 2019, 11:22 pm 
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Joined: March 24th, 2010, 9:49 pm
Posts: 537
I use a simple "risk vs reward" strategy. Is the reward I hope to attain worth the risk I'm about to take to attain it? To do this you have to abandon the "bad things only happen to other people" mind set. I'm old enough and experienced enough to know this is not true. When you are 25 years old a negative episode can be a simple adventure, at 65 years old the same negative episode can turn into a huge mess. Simple reality.

Working with power tools and sharp objects at camp I just slow down and think things through. Accidents happen but at least I can hope to minimize careless accidents.


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PostPosted: May 18th, 2019, 11:26 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
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FL, I would highly recommend the InReach - as you know, a simple mechanical failure, no fault of your own, could be life-threatening - the cost of the device is sickening only if it's used like a teenager uses a cell phone - for mine, I pay $25 per year to keep my account open and $15/month for the "Safety Plan" (minimal service) for 1 month a year - aside from being a superior safety device, it can also be used for 2 way communication (text) to and from any place on the planet, just in case you don't want to deal with international cell phone plans - if you're worth more to your family alive than dead, there's really no good reason not to have one...Happy Trails!

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PostPosted: May 19th, 2019, 11:47 am 
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Joined: March 24th, 2010, 9:49 pm
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Brian Foley, Until this thread I never heard of "In Reach" . I, like many of my generation, are technologically impaired. This is by choice. I don't want to carry a cell phone. Granted, this attitude gets in my way once and a while.

One of the things I like about camp is there is no electricity. Unfortunately I know it costs me business in the long run. It's an eyeopener to see sports show up with microwave ovens and curling irons and watch them try to comprehend the fact they are off the grid. Sometimes I think their heads will explode. Yes, my camp literature warns guests in advance about the electricity situation. The fact is, people don't read things.

For the 40 years I have been involved with the camps there has always been one constant, People either love it and never want to leave or they cant get out of there fast enough. I comfortably live with the fact that you can't please everybody. I would have it no other way.

I don't reject technology totally. I don't want to let it rule me. I enjoy aspects of the computer like this board and I collect antique fly fishing tackle and ebay is a constant source of that. I do have a cell phone at camp. My guests and I gear up in the morning and stop at Parlin Pond (the closest cell phone coverage) on the way out to check the river flow line to see which river we are fishing for the day. Sports get a kick out of that . This river flow situation used to be a hit or miss process. I don't miss that.

I don't think Jackman Maine has cell phone coverage. There aren't many places left that can boast that. Thanks for the education. I may go kicking and screaming into the 21st century yet.


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PostPosted: May 19th, 2019, 8:22 pm 
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hatch wrote:
Brian Foley, Until this thread I never heard of "In Reach" . I, like many of my generation, are technologically impaired. This is by choice. I don't want to carry a cell phone. Granted, this attitude gets in my way once and a while.

One of the things I like about camp is there is no electricity. Unfortunately I know it costs me business in the long run. It's an eyeopener to see sports show up with microwave ovens and curling irons and watch them try to comprehend the fact they are off the grid. Sometimes I think their heads will explode. Yes, my camp literature warns guests in advance about the electricity situation. The fact is, people don't read things.

For the 40 years I have been involved with the camps there has always been one constant, People either love it and never want to leave or they cant get out of there fast enough. I comfortably live with the fact that you can't please everybody. I would have it no other way.

I don't reject technology totally. I don't want to let it rule me. I enjoy aspects of the computer like this board and I collect antique fly fishing tackle and ebay is a constant source of that. I do have a cell phone at camp. My guests and I gear up in the morning and stop at Parlin Pond (the closest cell phone coverage) on the way out to check the river flow line to see which river we are fishing for the day. Sports get a kick out of that . This river flow situation used to be a hit or miss process. I don't miss that.

I don't think Jackman Maine has cell phone coverage. There aren't many places left that can boast that. Thanks for the education. I may go kicking and screaming into the 21st century yet.


It’s a love hate relationship for me. I spent 2-3 days a week and a couple 10 day stretches across the street from Parlin Pond all winter. Without the great cell signal, my wife and I could not work when we needed to, therefore wouldn’t be able to stay more than a weekend. Many days I would wake up, head out by you to the end of the Spencer rd to Appleton Corner, swing north and come into Holeb, take the pond to Attean, back down over Catheart Mt to camp and jump on a conference call at 10am. I hate being able to be reached all the time, but the flip side is I could be in an office 40-50hrs a week.

Jackman has a tower, but it’s a relay tower so it’s just pulling the signal from Parlin Tower. It’s spotty, and only good for Verizon/us cellular.

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PostPosted: May 20th, 2019, 6:49 am 
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Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
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I just opened up camp this weekend, and after switching cell carriers to save $30 a month, I realized I am in the wrong side of the line. There is USUALLY someone within earshot or at least within hiking distance, but with small kids, accessible only by boat, power tools, CO creating heat, I will be going back to Verizon shortly. Equally, if doing a quick call for work affords me another day/night out there, it’s worth it.

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PostPosted: May 21st, 2019, 7:50 am 
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Joined: May 15th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 56
Location: Bar Harbor
I have been a subscriber to InReach for years.... it absolutely works. I like being in remote areas exploring and fishing but my family takes a dim view of this practice. I have used this device from Alaska to the Southern Hemisphere without a glitch. The subscription for service is very reasonable considering the freedom it affords me. When I’m on safari in northern Maine my family is adamant that I don’t leave the house without it.


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