Filing a trip planIt is strongly recommended that visitors file a trip plan with a friend or relative. This plan should include:
- Your route, and backup route.
- When you expect to return from the backcountry.
- Communication equipment you will be carrying.
It is a good idea for each party venturing onto the monument to carry some type of emergency signaling device. As one of the most remote areas in the contiguous 48 states, some emergency signaling devices do not work on the monument and may delay reaching emergency services. Each member of the party should know how to use the device in the event of an emergency and it is often a good idea to carry more than one device. Good planning, self-reliance and commonsense will help minimize the need for emergency services. Regardless of the communication device you carry, self rescue is the first line of defense in the event of an emergency.
Types of communication devices and their usefulness in Parashant National
Because of the remoteness of the monument, technological communication devices are often not the most effective means of communication.
Signaling Mirrors are the least technologically advanced and been the most useful over the years. Used with ground markings (rocks, tarps, clothing, etc. spelling HELP or SOS), they will most likely be seen by pilots flying through the area.
- Flares are not always visible to pilots flying overhead during hours of sunlight or in heavy overcast skies.
- Cell phones do not have service in the monument and will not work in an emergency situation.
- Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are dependent on satellites. When deployed they activate a search response and should only be used in legitimate EMERGENCIES. One disadvantage of PLBs is that they provide no means of communicating what the exact emergency is (broken leg, hypothermia, etc.)
- Satellite Phones/Messengers work in some areas of the monument. Sometimes they require hiking up to a higher elevation and/or multiple tries before a satellite is in range.