Posts Tagged ‘safety’

SPOT Global Phone

SPOT Global Phone

SPOT, the leader in satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, announced the new SPOT Global Phone, a portable, easy-to-use and data-enabled satellite phone. Hunters, hikers, boaters, off-road travelers and all outdoor enthusiasts will find that SPOT Global Phone provides industry-leading, crystal clear voice quality where cell service won’t work.

“Outdoor recreationists have come to appreciate SPOT as a brand that keeps them safe as they explore new ways of getting off the grid,” said Jay Monroe, Chief Executive Officer, Globalstar. “As the first satellite phone available in major retail outlets such as West Marine, REI and Cabela’s, SPOT Global Phone will not only provide a lifeline during these adventures, but an opportunity to connect with impeccably clear voice quality on a satellite network that is light years ahead of the competition.”

SPOT Global Phone Features
•       Compact size: 5.3″H x 2.2″ W x 1.5″D
•       Lightweight: 7 ounces
•       Satellite-based technology
•       Superior voice clarity with no noticeable delay or echo
•       Backlit color display optimized for outdoor daytime viewing
•       Long-life battery: 4 hours talk time, 36 hours standby
•       Data capable enabling email and file transfers
•       Quick online activation, ten-digit dialing with local phone numbers
•       Ergonomic design
•       Lighted keypad
•       911 emergency service access

SPOT Rescue Map

SPOT Rescue Map

SPOT Global Phone ensures users can connect with family, friends and businesses even when their adventures take them out of cell coverage. With patented Qualcomm-based CDMA technology providing crystal-clear voice quality from anywhere within the service footprint, SPOT Global Phone users experience superior performance. Critical communications happen in an instant, with no noticeable time delays on a network that transmits even a whisper. With the availability of Express Data on most data plans, guaranteed data speeds of 9.6Kbps provide up to four times the data speed of most other mobile satellite data services and enable emails, file transfers, and basic services to occur at high-speed.

Pricing and Availability:
The SPOT Global Phone is the only satellite phone to be offered in major retail outlets and is also available online and through a dealer network, expanding the reach of the mobile satellite service (MSS) market beyond oil fields and commercial fishing. The SPOT Global Phone retails at $499 plus a required subscription service that provides industry-leading voice quality starting at $24.99 monthly or as low as 25 cents per minute. For more information on where to buy the SPOT Global Phone and other SPOT products and service offerings, visit FindMeSPOT.com or call 866-651-SPOT.

SPOT LLC, a subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc., provides affordable satellite communication and tracking devices for recreational use. SPOT voice devices use the Globalstar network to transmit two-way communication.  SPOT messaging devices use both the GPS satellite network and the Globalstar network to transmit text messages and GPS coordinates. Since 2007, SPOT has provided peace of mind by allowing customers to remain in contact completely independent of cellular coverage, having initiated over 2,300 rescues worldwide. For more information, visit FindMeSPOT.com.


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By Josh Fink

Josh Fink has come out in support of a new article that details hiking safety tips for those planning to hit the trails now that warmer weather has arrived. The advice comes from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, which is hoping to prevent falls during hiking trips, like one that occurred recently, which required an extensive rescue.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation recommends that hikers should grab a park map before they set out on their expedition, as this document helps a nature enthusiast to get their bearings even if they have no cell phone service.

Josh Fink comments on this advice stating, “Cell phones have become so prevalent in our society that many people just assume that they’ll always have their GPS with them. Unfortunately, when cell phone service fails, these individuals are lost and helpless. An old-fashioned map is one of the best things that a hiker can purchase before they depart. That way, even if cell phone service is non-existent, a person can figure out where they are and get home safely. It’s important that people learn how to read a map if they don’t already know how to do so, too. You’d be surprised how many hikers get maps, but realize they don’t actually know how to interpret them when it comes time to use them.”

In addition to carrying a map at all times, hikers are advised to embark on a trek with others. In the event of a fall, snakebite, or another potentially dangerous

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes NY

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes NY

situation, it is important that this individual has support so they can get home safely even if they are hurt. When hiking alone, it becomes more likely that this person will not be able to get the help they need should they become injured. For those who do choose to set out alone, it is important to inform a family member or friend of the intended route. This makes it easier to get help should it become necessary. (Editor’s note: Footprint Press guidebooks are a great source of maps for trails in NY Sate.)

For those who want to hike solo but are still concerned about safety, heading out on well-populated trails is the wisest choice.

Peak Experiences ebook at www.footprintpress.com

Peak Experiences ebook at http://www.footprintpress.com

This enables an adventurer to experience nature alone, but helps to ensure safety since others are around to provide aid.

Josh Fink states, “Hiking alone is very peaceful, but also presents more dangers than are present when hiking with another person. Instead of setting out alone, an outdoor enthusiast should try to find a person who enjoys their type of hiking. For instance, if silence is preferred, find a partner who feels the same way. This allows the individual to fully enjoy their experience, without putting him or herself into danger in the event of an emergency.”

Lastly, as the weather heats up and more individuals get ready to hit the hiking trail, the article emphasizes the importance of proper supplies. An adventurer should always carry high-energy snacks and water with them. This allows for proper hydration and nourishment while out on the trails.

Josh Fink supports this piece of advice stating, “Getting too dehydrated or fatigued can become problematic quickly. Hikers should bring more water than they feel is necessary, that way they won’t run out in the event that their journey goes longer than anticipated.” Josh Fink also recommends that hikers pack easy to eat snacks such as trail mix or granola bars.

ABOUT: Josh Fink is passionate about spending time in nature. He regularly goes on hiking, fishing, camping, and snowshoeing expeditions. His two children, who share his love for the outdoors, often join him. As a youth, Josh climbed some of the world’s most impressive mountains, including Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro.

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Hiking – What to Wear?

Hiking – What to Wear?

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source: HealthNewsDigest.com

Green Lanes in CanadaA different type of bike ride is rolling across the nation. That’s the word from researchers who say more and more Americans are using bicycles for short, utilitarian trips, especially in urban areas.

Since 2000, bike commuting has grown 73 percent in the 70 largest U.S. cities. The share of bike trips made for utilitarian reasons increased 21 percent between 2001 and 2009.

To go along with this rise in bicycling for short trips, a growing number of cities are building the next generation of bike lanes. Often colored with green paint, these innovative facilities are called “green lanes.”

Green lanes are inspired by the roads in bike-friendly European countries such as the Netherlands. Unlike a regular bike lane, green lanes are physically separated from car lanes, making bicycling safer and less stressful. And, unlike a regular bike path, they are still part of the roadway, allowing riders to get to their destinations as directly as they would in a car.

Green lanes aren’t just green because of their color. They are good for the environment because they promote more biking and less driving. They also bring the green—as in cash—to local economies.

New research from PortlandState University suggests that customers who arrive by bike spend 24 percent more per month than those who arrive by car. Another study in San Francisco showed that bike lanes increased the number of customers arriving by bike and improved sales for local businesses.

“Cities across the country are discovering that green lanes are one of the best transportation investments out there,” said Martha Roskowski, director of the nonprofit Green Lane Project. “More people on bikes creates more vibrant places, which translates into additional business for neighborhood shops, restaurants and stores.”

Currently, there are about 60 green lanes in the U.S. Roskowski expects that tally to reach 200 by the end of 2013. As more Americans choose to bike for short trips, this next generation of bike lanes continues to grow.

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by Howard Meyerson | The Grand Rapids Press, link to original post

Dave McDaniel, of Oscoda, member of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, collects loose gear and prepares to retrieve this overturned canoe after a couple capsized. (by Howard Meyerson | MLive.comPaddler)

Fall is a great time to go canoeing; the bugs are gone, and the colors are out. It also is a time for sensible precautions. Fall temperatures often are cold, and that can be a hazard, even on sunny days.

I was reminded of that a few weeks ago when I joined the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association for a day on the AuSable River. It wasn’t a hard route, and the group was mostly middle-aged paddlers with experience.

And yet, one older couple made a classic mistake. They came around a bend where a sizeable log jam extended out into the river. With little time to respond, the husband reached up to grab an overhanging branch to stop their progress.

What happened was predictable. He stopped, but the canoe did not; it rolled upstream and dumped them both into cold spring-fed water. The man is 78 years old. He has a pacemaker. His wife worried terribly about his well-being.

She later apologized to friends who came to their rescue and said: “Oh, I am sorry. We have been paddling for 50 years and never have gone over.” Never once — until now.

Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes

Fortunately, both were wearing lifejackets. He was closer to shore, but both were carried into the sweeper, where their capsized canoe was only lightly pinned by the water pressure. And yet, it was a treacherous and unpredictable moment. Either could be drawn under if they were not careful.

I looked on from directly across the river, swiftly weighed the options and prepared to go in, if need be. But what I really wanted was the rescue throw-rope I normally carry in my canoe. I wasn’t certain the woman had the strength to hand-over-hand her way back into shore. It was a readily throwable distance if her strength failed.

But I hadn’t packed it — an oversight. An easy four-hour float on the AuSable in big wooden canoes hardly seemed to merit one. I was wrong.

Fortunately, the couple was able to work their way to shore. Friends quickly arrived on the scene and worked to extract the boat and get them dry and changed.

What if they had been alone, I wondered, and was reminded of two others: Two men on a fall paddle in a canoe-camping course I taught years ago, had tipped on a miserable cold, day while floating the Manistee River. They had done much the same: grabbed an overhanging branch.

Paddle Lake George NY

There was no killer sweeper, just a branch too low to negotiate without getting low in the canoe. They swam after their gear as it floated away. Neither had followed instructions.

They had flimsy plastic bags rather than sturdy, waterproof dry bags. Nothing was secured to the canoe.

Their gear bags just floated downstream, taking on water soaking their sleeping bags, tent and clothes. Fortunately for them, it was the last day of the trip. Both would otherwise have had a long and miserable night.

I returned from this recent trip on the AuSable with a renewed appreciation for the
extras I usually carry, things that friends sometimes tease me about as overkill. I had no throw rope and there were no painters on the borrowed canoe. I had no way to fashion a tether to tow another boat or even to tie mine up.

My dry bag held clothes, rain gear, compass, food, water, fire-making materials, a thermal-blanket, first-aid kit and even a head-lamp, just in case. My river knife, to cut rope or tangles, lives on my lifejacket.

You never know what can happen even in seemingly benign situations.

Take A Paddle – Western NY

Sadly, the next weekend, I read a tragic account of a 50-something Minnesota couple who perished while canoeing on one of their favorite lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Their son reported to authorities that they were very experienced paddlers who ventured out for several weeks at a time, several times a year. The Twin-Cities Pioneer Press printed a heartbreaking photo of the couple kissing.

Both were wearing lifejackets, according to authorities. It had been windy, gusty and unseasonably cold. The water temperature was 50 degrees. Hypothermia was the suspected cause of death. Experts say unconsciousness or exhaustion sets in after 30 to 60 minutes, and survival time is one to three hours.

No one saw it or knows how it happened. They were alone. Their bodies were found floating the next day.

Authorities found their campsite “buttoned up, with good gear and everything seemed to be in order,” according to the story. In essence, they were out for a pleasure paddle.

Kayak – Thousand Islands Region of NY State

The lesson remains important no matter how old or experienced you are. Fall may be a great time to paddle, but it an important time to go prepared.

There are wonderful options for paddling across NY state:
Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks
Take A Paddle – Western New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks
25 Flatwater Kayak/Canoe Trips in the Thousand Islands and St. Lawrence Seaway region of New York State
25 Flatwater Kayak/Canoe Trips in the Lake George, NY Region
25 Kayak & Canoe Trips in the Saratoga Springs, NY Region

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I cringe every time I hear a woman say “I can’t go alone.” She’s usually referring to why she doesn’t get out for a walk in the woods more often. How did we become so paranoid of the outdoors?

To me, the woods, whether it’s a hundred-mile wilderness tract or a one-mile square of trees in a suburban setting, is a peaceful, welcoming place. It is where we can escape the hustle and noise that surround us the rest of the day. It’s a place to watch and smell the natural progression of the changing seasons and to listen to the birds, crickets, and frogs. It’s a place of solace and solitude.

But to many women, the woods are a frightening place – especially when alone. Granted, it’s a good policy to go with someone else when you head outside. Something untoward can always happen, from spraining an ankle to getting lost. A friend can be of immeasurable help and welcome company. But, going alone shouldn’t stop you from going at all.

The reality is that the most dangerous situation you’ll face is the drive to the trailhead. More people are injured and killed in cars than in other endeavors combined. Once you reach the park or trailhead, the most dangerous portion of the outing has been completed.

Take A Hike – Rochester (NEW) 3rd edition

I have hiked hundreds of miles on area trails. Most times I don’t see another soul. The people I have encountered have been friendly outdoors types. People who mean harm to others rarely head to a trail. It’s too much work. It’s not their natural environment. Take litter as an example. Most litter is found along roads and near a trailhead. The farther in you hike, the less you find. Those who disrespect nature enough to litter, like those who disrespect other human beings, tend to be too lazy to walk very far.

Having said that, there are precautions you can take when going for a walk:
When possible walk with someone else.
Take a map of the trail so you know where you’re headed (and how to get home).
Be alert to who is around you. If anyone seems out of place or suspicious, go the other way.
Don’t wear fancy jewelry to attract attention.
Tune into your surroundings (don’t wear headphones).
Go in daylight hours.
Pick a lesser-used, lesser-known trail.
Tell someone where you’re going and approximately how long you will be gone. Or, leave a note with this information where someone looking for you will find it.

If hiking alone is simply uncomfortable for you, consider going on the many guided hikes offered year-round.

Thousand Islands NY Area Hikes

Find a wealth of trail to hike in the guidebooks available through Footprint Press.

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The SafeHarbor project is responsible for making this free educational video describing the nuances of the New York/New Jersey port from the perspective of kayakers, ferry operators, motor boaters, sailors, and  commercial vessels.

There is also a lot of helpful information about tides, currents, etc on the website which can be found here.

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