Letter of the Day (Oct. 1): GPS for hikers

  • Updated: September 30, 2013 - 7:17 PM
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Missing hiker, Amy Linkert a minnesota was found dead by searcher but her friend, Jodean Elliot Blakeslee, she was hiking with is still missing. They were reported missing after embarking on a day hike at Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, Idaho.

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Reading about the tragic death of Amelia Linkert, and of the search for her still-missing friend, Jodean Elliot-Blakeslee, was heartbreaking (Retired Minn. teacher dies hiking,” Sept. 29).

I also spend a good deal of time hiking or exploring in the wilds. But, following a heart incident a few years ago that left me unconscious for an hour, I bought a satellite GPS messenger and religiously have it on me when I’m out alone.

These are not expensive (around $150, plus $99 for a year’s contract). Check at any large sporting goods store. Turn it on when you start a hike, and the unit is in constant contact with the orbiting GPS satellites.

If you need help, simply flip up a protective tab, press a red button, and your location is transmitted to a central office that will notify local police or rescue units. These rescue folks know within a few meters just where you’re located.

Like air bags and seat belts in cars, you may never need this. But had this couple carried one of these satellite GPS messenger units, the outcome to their plight might have been a speedy rescue rather than a days-long search for two bodies.

My heart goes out to the families of these two wonderful women.

DEAN C. HANSEN, Stillwater

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