How to organize your expedition #6
Smartphone, satellite phone, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or VHF radio, are different way to communicate and that can be useful while doing an expedition to communicate to your relations or the rescue services, and to find your way.
Different tools, different places
Once more, those different ways of communication will be efficient only if you chose them depending on your expedition place. Smartphones would work if you are in satellite coverage zones. Out of them, you will need a VHF radio or a satellite phone (you can hire satellite phones, even if Ross Hewitt recommends to buy it if your expedition lasts more than 30 days.)
Distress and communication
PLB are tiny emitter. When you trigger it in case of distress, they produce a radio signal that indicates you geographic position to the rescue services that can find you more easily and quickly.
To give some news to your relations or sponsors, you can, as Yannick Graziani, use your smartphones or satellite phone (if you are in remote locations) than permit you to send text messages, wherever you are.
All the ways are good
To find your bearings in your expedition, take the most tools as possible: maps with different zoom levels, GPS, altimeters, compass, satellite cartography (like the famous Goggle Earth). You must be able to handle all of them. Just because in case of technologic problem, all the basic ways will easily help you too.
Even if a team member is chosen to handle the navigation, it’s recommended that all the members stay aware about the direction choices. In this way, you won’t have any problem to be autonomous is the team has to split up in the middle of the trip.