Don't Over-Rely on Signalling Technology

It’s not often… but once in a while, we get a student in one of our Wilderness First Aid courses that just doesn’t get the importance of self-reliance. No matter how we emphasize the importance of preparing for the worst - whether injury, illness, or an unexpected night in the backcountry - it gets brushed off, usually with casual references to Spot and InReach signalling devices, helicopters, and geared-up SAR teams, just waiting for their call. (I cannot overemphasize how aggravating this is for more experienced / less clueless students in the class.)

For those people, and for anyone who thinks that emergency GPS locators absolve us of the need to prepare to rely on ourselves, I refer you to the recent experiences of one Wyatt Bronson, posted on his blog at

Make a trip plan. Get trained (including a gnarly Wilderness First Aid). Prepare for the worst.