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OUTDOOR SAFETY – USE GPS!

PUT TOGETHER AND CARRY A SURVIVAL KIT
Put together you own survival kit -store bought kits contain some good basic items but you will likely want to add to it. Think of what is important to your survival in a bad situation - First Aid, Navigation, Fire, Signaling, Food, Water, etc.

Take time to learn survival basics by reading survival guides to get an idea of what you should carry. Then learn how to use it. You can carry a copy of the survival guide info with you on your PDA for handy reference.

Some items to include:

  • A GPS & maps
  • A couple bandaids and asprin or other pain medication
  • A few safety pins
  • Lightweight Space Blanket
  • Bug repellent in the summer
  • Wind & Waterproof Matches
  • Fire starting pellets
  • Candles
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Signaling devices: Flares
  • A couple of energy bars
  • An axe or saw for cutting wood
  • A UHF and VHF Portable two way Radio

GPS NAVIGATION
A GPS is useful for all outdoor activities. For example:

Offroading: If you get in trouble, you can use a GPS unit to communicate your exact position to repair and rescue teams.

Sailing: GPS allows you to navigate safely, even when caught in a heavy fog. It's easy to get turned around on the open seas, but no matter what the visibility with a GPS receiver you where you are and which way you are headed.

With GPS you can easily avoiding known hazards while staying steady on course. In case of a ‘man overboard’ situation a GPS unit can mark the exact place where the event occurred greatly assisting rescue crews

Snowmobiling: GPS is useful too because it allows you to safely and easily navigate your way back even if you get caught in a blizzard and visibility is compromised.

Leave a Trip Plan
Just as pilots log flight plans, you may wish to let someone know where you are going and when you should be expected to get there. Your GPS mapping software can print out a trip plan maps with your expected route of travel, waypoints, and notes. If you don't show up, someone can send out a rescue team and the trip plan you leave will assist greatly.

Call for Help
If you get in trouble, you can use you GPS and two way radio to communicate your exact position to repair and rescue teams

OTHER USEFUL ITEMS

Weather instruments
Other safety tools to consider in addition to a good GPS receiver are two-way radios and the Kestrel Weather Instruments. This can tell you different things such as wind velocity, wind chill, temperature, etc.

PDAs
In most cases, medical assistance can be obtained with a cell phone call to 911 or through using a two-way radio like the Motorola TalkAbout. But what happens when you're outside cell phone coverage or if you don’t have time to wait for additional help to arrive? Of course you should probably learn CPR and always hike with a first aid kit but you might also want to consider carrying medical reference software in your PDA.

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