Safety on the trail is a hot topic currently and apparently it's mostly in regards to women. This is my surprised face. I belong to a bunch of hiking groups for Ohio on FB, and in the last few weeks several women have asked a) if as a woman, they will be safe if they hike alone and b) what folks use to stay safe while on the trail.
I was shocked at the majority of responses (over 80) that said gun & a CCW...and not one person, besides me, said a GPS satellite communicator amidst the spackling of other suggestions (pepper spray, don't hike alone, tell someone...basically another blog post at some point).
Fuck that noise, noting that I have nothing against guns (I'm too clumsy to carry, not to mention I'm guessing someone would wait till they were right next to me to attack me and getting the gun pulled at that point would be quite difficult). However, this isn't to debate guns on the trails, but one particular way that can help you stay safe - GPS Communicators. Because, in reality, you're much more likely to fall, become seriously ill, etc. on the trail than you are to be attacked by a person.
In fact, one of my biggest sources of anxiety was getting in to an area, having an issue like a seriously fall or coming across someone in need of help, and not being able to contact anyone. It freaked my family out, too. With the Garmin InReach, that's not an issue anymore - and I can see it's practicality, not just in hiking, but all sorts of situations - like a car accident in a rural area without service (check out my previous article on all the benefits of a GPS Communicator here).
So what's awesome about it? Well, it's small - 3.9 x 2 x 1 inches and weights only 3.5 ounces. Weight reallllly matters to me with my back injury, and was one of the main reasons I hadn't picked one up previously.
What I Love - pls bear in mind I have the cheapest subscription option...:
I've used the Garmin InReach Mini on quite a few trips now, and EVERY. SINGLE. MESSAGE I've sent has made it through, even when in valleys, in the snow, and it's overcast with tree cover.
At some point, I'll go over one that I tried before the Garmin that wasn't quite as...successful, as well as how to stay safe against predators - both human and animal.
Do you use a GPS Satellite Communicator? Why or why not? Do you like it? Leave a comment below or contact me here!