Outdoor Gadgets Put Visitors, Rangers and Others in Danger
A French teen suffered serious injuries when he fell 75 feet from the rim of the Grand Canyon while backing up to frame a photograph. Another woman was gored by a buffalo while she was attempting to record a video on her cell phone. More worrisome, though, are those who abuse or are overly reliant on gadgets, like inexperienced hikers who wander out with nothing but their GPS-equipped phone -- not even water. Others dial 911 or use the panic buttons on their SPOT GPS messenger devices for minor issues, like the group of Grand Canyon visitors who called in rangers via helicopter three times because their water "tasted salty."
Jackie Skaggs, a spokesperson for Grand Teton National Park, told the Times that, "because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued." Adding to the problem is the popularity of shows like 'Man Vs. Wild' and 'Survivor Man,' which have romanticized the art of wilderness survival, and have inspired many unprepared fans to venture into the great outdoors. Common sense, it appears, is not a requisite for high-tech gadget ownership.