THIS COULD HAVE EASILY BEEN AVOIDED
Daily outdoor excursions are truly what we all live for. Let’s face it, a day of fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, etc. are all invigorating and gives a feeling of new life.
Multi-day trips can also be some of the most satisfying pleasures life can offer. A weekend to the cottage or camping is a staple in the north (or anywhere for that fact).
When it comes to extended adventures however, it’s about common sense and preparation!
A NEAR TRAGEDY
A recent news story came up as an elderly 67-year-old man Mark Miele, embarked on a one-week kayak voyage in the Florida Everglades. A thing of beauty for sure. However, he obviously did not take all the precautions that he should have (or at least from what I read).
The man’s intention was a one-week trip. However, Miele did not return home at his expected time. Once his family reported him not coming home, the local sheriff’s office started a search.
Ingeniously they downloaded data from Miele’s phone from the last time he used it (Sunday night) and used his most recent coordinates, which were logged on Jan. 31, to launch an aerial search. They found his phone and belongings but not Mark.
Continuing the search, the Aviation Unit discovered Mark and was able to guide a police boat to his location, just a few miles away from where his belongings were discovered. He was floating face up with a yellow life jacket on, alive!
Not much has been said as to his belongings with him and any safety devices other than the PFD he was wearing.
His PFD and his phone were the only reasons he lived. All this haphazard searching could have been brought to a minimum had Mark taken some extra precautions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE
If you are about to embark on a multiple day or especially a weeklong+ trek into the wild, there are a couple of “extras” you really need to bring along.
The above-mentioned guy needed a GPS unit. That alone would have saved his agony of being lost or missing.
The other piece of kit is a global satellite communication device.
Both are highly recommended.
Nowadays, GPS’s are the norm. We have them in our vehicles, we have them in our boats, we have them in our phones. If we have a GPS unit on hand, we’re unlikely to get lost. A portable hand-held unit is essential for a trip like the above Kayaker was on.
As for the global satellite communication device, Garmin’s inReach series is world-class. For activities like kayaking where bulk is an issue, the inReach Mini is perfect. It takes up hardly any room yet is always available if need be.
BILLY DON’T BE A HERO
That old song Billy Don’t Be A Hero should be on the playlist of anyone that decides to venture out into the great outdoors for an extended length of time and feels that a GPS and an inReach are overkill. Who needs it right?
Use your head, don’t be dead!