What are some main things to consider when designing a device to help stranded hikers?

Hello,

I'm a student doing some research on a project in which I must understand what goes through Hikers minds when setting out on a new adventure. The project involves developing a device that that helps to guide a user to safety when they become lost and unable to find their way when hiking in the wilderness. I feel like the need for this device becomes even more relevant when technology, such as GPS, fails and a compass is unavailable. I guess my questions are: What all is taken on these expeditions? What is usually forgot? How can I incorporate this device so that it does not impede the user? What are some important aspects to keep in mind? Who is needs this device the most? Mountain Climbers? Hikers? Children? Thank you for all the help!

2 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Go out and start hiking.

  • Andrew
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    There are three situations that spring to mind which can result in people can getting into difficulty:

    1) They simply get lost. Generally this means an unprepared hiker with no map, compass or GPS. A simple GPS linked to a cell modem to call for help would suffice for 90% of people in that situation. However since they are in that situation because they didn't take the equipment they needed expecting them to take a rescue device with them is unrealistic.

    2) They become injured and are unable to get out on their own. The rougher the ground the more likely this is to happen. If they are in a steep ravine or cave then GPS isn't going to be reliable and there is a good chance cell phones aren't going to work. Without any known position or reliable 2 way data link any rescue device is probably going to need to put out a radio beacon for others to home in on.

    3) They become trapped for some reason other than injury. Very similar to situation 2 however they may be in a slightly less hostile environment and simply be trapped due to weather (e.g. on a mountain in a blizzard). In that situation the cell modem and GPS in a weather proof housing may be an acceptable solution.

    Situation 1 is by far the most common but short of handing a tracking device to everyone for free when they set out on their walk (which would get very expensive) there isn't a lot you can do about it.

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