This past Sunday I activated my Delorme InReach SE Satellite Communicator. I am now connected to the Iridium Satellite Network with 100% global coverage.
The SC performs 3 main functions.
1) It locates me anywhere on the Earth within +/- 5 yards. I have chosen to have the signal send a coordinate every 20 minutes which will appear on an internet map that you can access from the map in the right sidebar. I tested this function last fall on a trip to Beaver Island, MI., and it worked perfectly. Even in the deepest swamp, the signal made it through every time and filled the map with blue dots along my path.
2) It allows me to send 160 character messages to a cell phone, Facebook, Twitter or email. To make this function more user-friendly, the SC can be paired with a smartphone through bluetooth. During my expedition of Boone Trace I will be sending all my posts to my wife, Kimberly, who will be distributing them to my cyber hikers on the aforementioned outlets. This function will only be necessary in places where a cell signal is not available, which is only the deep wilderness.
3) The last function is the pièce de résistance. It has a dedicated SOS button which, when pressed, will contact a 24/7 rescue monitoring center. It is a global network with resources to extract me from the deepest jungle, storm-tossed sea or Kentucky roadside ditch if I fall into trouble. With the 2-way messaging, a rescue responder can communicate with me until I’m reached.
An additional plus to this mighty device is that when it is paired with my smartphone, and the proper topo maps are loaded, it can serve as a GPS navigation tool. No chance on me getting lost for long.
So let’s look at the map you cyber hikers will be using to follow.
This first map is what you will see when you first access the map from my website. The red arrow shows where you can change the type of map to view from topographical, to satellite (aerial), or road map. The blue arrow is the zoom in/out slider
At 9 a.m. on March 10th, you will find a string of blue dots in the Kingsport, TN, area. That will be your’s truly heading out. Click on any one of those dots and a window of information will pop up. If you are so inclined to know the latitude and longitude, time, direction of travel, feet above sea level and other nerdy trip tidbits, then maybe you have the same mental problems I do.
You may find a couple of icons in the info panes that indicate you can send me a message or “ping” my location. DON’T DO IT! Those are extra services I’m not paying for. After all, my website is LOSTinthewander not FOUNDinthewander.
This second pic is an actual shot (in aerial mode) from the map created on my Beaver Island trek. If you’ll notice the blue dots have a line drawn between them. This line seems to indicate that Austin, my son, and I cut through the vegetation and skipped the bend in the road. Not so. The SC was set to “mark” every 10 minutes and that is how long it took us to walk that curve.
On my Boone Trace Expedition you will need to interpret the dots to understand where I walked. I plan to wade some rivers and only use the bridges over the nasty flows. A dot may appear on both sides of the bridge but it could be that I left the road, got a foot soaking, and re-entered the road in the 20 minutes between markings. Likewise, a line connecting 2 dots that bisects a building means I walked around the building not over it, unless I’m wearing my cape, which I did pack just in case.