Every summer, thousands of hikers will use the Appalachia Trail to reach the highest mountain peaks, swim in the rivers and enjoy the scenery that the region has to offer. Hikers and their loved ones now have an easier way to stay safe while out hiking. Now, new apps and other cell phone features aid hikers who are on the Appalachian Trail.
Though many hikers enjoy the solitude and quiet of the wilderness, cell phone technology can be an asset in the event of an emergency. In many cases, cell phones have been critical in alerting authorities when a hiker is in need of rescue. Our Greenville personal injury attorneys are dedicated to preventing personal injury and helping victims get the medical care they need after an accident.
Cutting through 14-states, the Appalachian Trail is 2,178 miles long and can pose many risks for the unwary. Certain trails are known to be dangerous grounds for hikers and campers, including high peaks and the threat of animals, particularly bears. Many hikers believe that given the many narrow, winding and difficult paths, the technology of an app makes the hike less lonely and safer for travel.
There are an estimated 2,250 hikers who will start at the trail head in southern Georgian and complete the entire hike that would end in Maine. Other hikers will do the entire hike in reverse. The path can be long and grueling for hikers and any injury could pose a serious risk. Hikers must be able to depend on their equipment as well as ensure that they take proper safety precautions throughout the trip.
Hikers should make sure that they have enough water, that they have proper food and clothing and that they know how to respond in the event of a fall or accident. In the past, hikers who fell or needed emergency assistance would have to wait for another hiker to pass-by and then wait for help. Now they can simply dial 911 from the trail. Other emergency devices can transmit GPS coordinates to responders.
It is estimated that 80 percent of hikers will use cell phones while hiking the trail. The primary reason for carrying cellphones and using hiking apps is for the purpose of seeking emergency assistance. In addition to safety features, the phone app also allows hikers to track their distance and post photographs along the way. Hikers will also use their cell phones to play audio books, check weather, and play music.
Despite the number of hikers who see an advantage to using technology in the wilderness, others feel that use of cell phones can be disturbing and distracting. Safety advocates also want to remind hikers that cell phones are not a sure thing and can pose their own hazards. The Appalachian Trail Conservatory guide advises against posting plans or locations online to avoid unwanted encounters.
This summer, if you are participating in outdoor recreational activities, be sure to have the proper safety equipment, training, and know how to respond in the event of an emergency. For you and your loved ones, a cell phone and other digital location devices are one option to reduce response time and increase your opportunities for recovery in the event of an accident.