Talk to Family and Friends
Goal: Tell your family and friends where you are, where you’re going, whether or not you’re okay, and to coordinate travel home.
All the parts in this series:
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: Navigation
- Part 3: Communication (You are here)
- Part 4: Medical
- Part 5: Survival
- Part 6: Utility
- Part 7: Lights
- Part 8: Defense
- Part 9: The Bag
- Part 10: Organization
- Part 11: Checklists
- Part 12: Conclusion
Detailing your PACE Plan before embarking originated in the military, specifically regarding communications, although the concept has proven useful in other areas, as seen in the previous section. (Not to say that contingency planning didn’t exist before, but the genesis of the handy acronym is generally accepted to be the U.S. Army.)
For a military operation, communication is critical, whether within your team, between teams or with remote resources. (We’ll use “comms” from here on out because it’s quicker to type and say. And it’s cooler.) We’re talking everything from personal radios to satellite phones.
But as we keep emphasizing, we must first start with the goal. Our goal of getting home from less than 75 miles away requires minimal comms capability. Essentially just letting people know we’re safe and coordinating travel if we need to. Therefore, our comms recommendations are pretty minimal.
Please, if you’re going after bin Laden’s grandsons or overlanding off grid for three weeks, spend more time creating your comms PACE Plan.
Your Primary method of communication is your phone.
SURPRISE! When disaster strikes, you may still be able to make a call since a lot of cell towers have onsite generators. And often, when you can’t make a call, you can still send a text. Try to call home, leave a voicemail if you can, send a text to your spouse, send a text to your neighbor and then get moving.
Everyone at Ready Rated is an avid outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman), whether that means hiking, overlanding, adventure motorcycling or sailing. We’re frequently off grid and the only way to communicate is via satellite.
Sat phones are awesome but expensive and bulky. Garmin’s inReach devices are a valuable triple threat: you can text message via satellite, hit the SOS button to summon emergency medical or rescue help, and even navigate with them. Oh, and they use Iridium’s satellite network so you can do all that from anywhere on the planet. Anywhere.
You can see where we’re going with this. What’s handy while backpacking is critical in an emergency. You buy an inReach and pay 12 bucks a month to be able to communicate, even if the electrical grid goes down. (Sure, the recipient needs to have power and connection to receive your text UNLESS they also have an inReach. Satellites for the win.)
There are other satellite messengers, but between the Iridium network and the maturity of the platform, Garmin inReach gets the Ready Rated stamp for backup comms.
Now that you can communicate and coordinate with your friends and family, you have to ensure you can make it home. You need to ensure you have the medical gear you need. On to Part 4!
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