Communications Equipment in the Wilderness
For Hunting, fishing, hiking, boating or cycling in all kinds of weather
Communication in the wilderness is a matter of survival, as well as convenience. Before even leaving home, communications must begin. In fact, our first two communications tips do not even require equipment or gadgets.
The second tip is to never head into the wilderness alone. Just as one should never go swimming without a swimming buddy, nor should one go long-distance cycling or hiking, nor hunting, camping or fishing in a remote area without a buddy.
My wife's uncle took the business end of large falling branch on his skull while out in the forest, knocking him unconscious and cracking his skull down the middle. Eventually his skull will heal, but only because he had companions to get him into town. Otherwise, he might still not be found.
This is fishing gear?
Assuming you are still conscious, it helps to have some communications equipment while out hunting, fishing or camping. Of course, there is the ever popular cell phone, which brings instant communications to almost everywhere in the world. Except maybe your wilderness trek.
But there are many places where cell phone range covers your fishing lake or hunting woods. The best part about a cell phone is that, even by your favorite wilderness stream, you can have utterly normal conversations with pretty well anybody.
"Yes, nice weather we are having lately. OK, darling, on my way back into town I'll pick up some milk and peanut butter and...wait! Was that an orca?!? Gotta go." Click.
A two-way radio is a much surer piece of equipment, because it does not depend on the cellular phone network to connect. The downside is that you get to speak to a much narrower range of people: other two-way radio owners.
"Hi there, Big Bear, do you read me? Can you get a-hold of my wife to see if I have to pick up milk and peanut butter on my way back into town? Do you copy? Oh yeah, you got the weather forecast there, by any chance?"
"Whaddaya mean thunderstorms and hail?!? I just got here, darling, I don't want to come home just yet. Oh...alright..."
Of course, you could just have someone email the weather forecast to you on your cell phone.
Chad Brown also suggests another piece of hunting equipment - keeping a very loud whistle hanging from your neck. If you are trapped under a tree, pinned down by a boulder, or wrestling a grizzly bear, you might not have the reach or the attention span to dial a number. If anybody is within earshot, they will come running...if not to help you, at least to capture the scene for America's Funniest Home Videos.
Our final tip might seem obvious, but make sure you know where to call. Have the emergency number taped to the back of the cell phone (ignore your wife's idea of tattooing it to your forehead; where would you find a mirror in the middle of a ravine?) and make sure you know what frequency to call for help on the two-way radio.
There you have it. You are prepared to go out into the wild and communicate. Make sure to prepare, to have the right hunting equipment or fishing gear for communicating, and know how to use them in an emergency.
And if the animals don't understand what you are trying to communicate to them, you might not be any worse off than in the city.
David Leonhardt is a freelance writer and a website marketing consultant who loves the outdoors.