Excellent information, John.
I recall in first responder training that you want to be certain to concisely state injuries, number in group and number injured and mobile, your actions and equipment, and what you want or need, as well as your exact location, or best guess.
This, I imagine, will start another good discussion about the benefits of different locator systems. It seems that there are advancements every year.
The really fine places to travel do not have cell coverage (and I hope they never do), so I don't bother to take one unless it's required to contact your ride when you reach the trailhead.
When Kathleen and I volunteered for two months in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, our FS-issued satellite phone only worked about 70% of the time, and one had to stand on a stump in just the right pose....
--- In email@example.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
> Interesting question, Rob, and I agree with your suggestions:
> If I had a Spot, I assume I would send just the explanation of what the
> problem was and where I was headed (if moving) and rely on the 911 button
> on the Spot to have sent my location and updates every 5 minutes
> If I was not carrying a Spot, and I had my wits about me, I'd try to stay
> within the 140 characters with something like this addressed to my
> resourceful wife:
> Notify Yos SAR: Hiker has HAPE symptoms at 0275 4167 NAD27 Zone 11 heading
> to Glacier Point Rd on Horizon Ridge Trail - 2 snowshoers
> OR if lost but with a GPS that told me where I was, and a map suggesting
> where I should head
> Notify Yos SAR: 2 snowshoers lost at 0277 4167 NAD27 Zone 11 heading down
> Illouette Creek Drainage - 1 with bum knee
> Zone 11 probably optional since SAR could probably guess the Zone. The
> 8-digit UTM defines a square kilometer grid and is probably enough
> precision if we are moving
> If I didn't trust my memory of the convention for ordering UTM co-ordinates
> with the Easting first, or if I was not moving, I'd do something more like,
> which would give a more exact location (a 10-meter square) and remove any
> ambiguity about Easting vs. Northing numbers
> 0275070E 4167255N
> but again a mistake here probably wouldn't really cause confusion since the
> Northing number is so much larger than the Easting in this location and in
> most or all of the US since a UTM zone is so much taller N-S than it is
> wide E-W
> NAD27 is a fine point and probably could be left off. More important to
> use all the UTM digits available if you were not moving and in tree cover
> than if you were moving in the open
> If I didn't have a GPS and was guessing where I was from a map maybe
> something like
> Notify Yos SAR: 2 snowshoers lost - we think we are near 0277 4167 NAD27
> Zone 11 and heading down Illouette Creek Drainage - 1 with bum knee
> Interesting, thinking about your question, about how much info you can
> squeeze into 140 characters.
> But would I be as that thoughtful in an emergency? Hope so, but who knows?
> Maybe I'd actually send something like "I've fallen and can't get up"
> I agree that the cold fingers problem is real in the winter or shoulder
> seasons. I've gotten in the habit of carrying multiple sets of handwear in
> the cold because you are so screwed if one pair gets wet and your hands
> won't work. Often fingerless carpenter's gloves as every-day wear,
> rainproof mittens for extra-cold or rain, wool or good heavy fleece gloves
> as a backup. If it rains and it isn't cold, I usually go without gloves in
> order to keep all three sets dry rather than lose the redundancy.
> John Curran Ladd
> 1616 Castro Street
> San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
> On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 7:22 AM, Wilderness <wildvagabond@...> wrote:
> > **
> > John - With big snow cruising across the Colorado Plateau for the first in
> > quite awhile - this is a timely cautionary note.
> > So, what are the suggested "critical" elements to this text message? I
> > assume they are GPS coordinates (if you have them), last known location,
> > intention (stay or go), direction of travel, number of people, equipment
> > you have - wow, the text is getting really long and your fingers no longer
> > work. So, what do you key in first?