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Old 03-03-2017, 09:45 PM   #41
dundee
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The guy you may be looking for goes by the moniker "Dundee".
Yeah, but I have good taste in women!
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:46 PM   #42
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Happened to a friend of mine. He put his number in and happened to be hiking with his wife and the wife of a mutual friend. He got a call from some guy they apparently passed on the trail who was wondering if "the taller girl" might want to (insert sexual euphemism here). My friend threatened the guy with bodily harm if he heard from him or saw him again, reported it to the cops and never put his phone number in a register from that moment on.
Everybody needs a hobby!
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:34 PM   #43
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The app idea isn't all that outrageous. Although you wouldn't be allowed to sign-in remotely but would need to tap the phone against the register (to confirm your physical presence). It would be along the lines of using a payment system (like Apple Pay or Android Pay).

The problem with the idea is, of course, a substantial amount of pricey technology is needed at each register (plus some means of powering it reliably) compared to the cheap, low-tech solution of pencil and paper.
To be honest, I don't think pricey equipment would be that necessary for this. All you would need is an NFC tag at each register, they cost about $1 each on Amazon. When you set up your account on the app you would have already entered in your name, address, and phone number. Maybe even an emergency contact.

Basically you would log into the app, tap the tag (which was pre-programmed), it registers what trailhead/register you're at, the time and date. You can enter in the number of people with you, days planned in the woods, destination etc. (same things as on the paper register) and off you go.

The only issue would be having a network connection at the trailheads/registers. I guess that's where pricey equipment would come into play. Or if not a network connection, some kind of storage device that would hold all the data locally. And everyone would have to carry a cell phone (which I know not everyone does, especially when hiking) so you would have to have some alternative too
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:36 PM   #44
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Very true, you practically paid by the mile.
Does anyone remember leaving a message that you have arrived safely someplace by calling (using a phone company operator) "person to person", and the "person being called" would not be there. That would be a free call (unless the person asked for was confirmed to be there)
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:34 AM   #45
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To be honest, I don't think pricey equipment would be that necessary for this. All you would need is an NFC tag at each register, they cost about $1 each on Amazon. When you set up your account on the app you would have already entered in your name, address, and phone number. Maybe even an emergency contact.

Basically you would log into the app, tap the tag (which was pre-programmed), it registers what trailhead/register you're at, the time and date. You can enter in the number of people with you, days planned in the woods, destination etc. (same things as on the paper register) and off you go.

The only issue would be having a network connection at the trailheads/registers. I guess that's where pricey equipment would come into play. Or if not a network connection, some kind of storage device that would hold all the data locally. And everyone would have to carry a cell phone (which I know not everyone does, especially when hiking) so you would have to have some alternative too
Given DEC's minimal budget I'm pretty happy with fresh pencils, usable logbooks and registration kiosks in decent shape at so many trailheads.

Technology and upgrades cost too much to install and maintain (even if some aspects are cheap) and also, as you alluded to, there are still so many people without a phone (let alone a smart phone) that it just wouldn't be feasible without also leaving the old 'paper and pen' standby in place. Then you end up with two redundant systems to monitor and maintain.

Plus, you will always have the segment of the population that is extremely weary about leaving an electronic trail and telling big brother everything they're up to.

For a myriad of reasons I believe you will end up a with more people skipping the entire process, probably even more so than currently, for all the effort and money if you have to use an app and if both systems are used you likely end up with redundancy, confusion and unnecessary costs.

Although it's a nice idea to think about I believe the hurdles of implementing and using such a system are just too high currently. Resources could and would be better allocated in many other areas including backcountry patrols and outdoor education initiatives IMO.


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Everybody needs a hobby!
Which one is the hobby? Being the lowlife cretin making completely inappropriate calls and comments or being the guy that puts said cretins in their place?

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Old 03-04-2017, 08:20 AM   #46
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...The only issue would be having a network connection at the trailheads/registers. I guess that's where pricey equipment would come into play. ...
Bingo!

Not all smartphones have NFC readers so maybe a QR code as well?

If the register doesn't log anything (just has an NFC tag or QR code) there is no shared record of the hiker's registration. It doesn't become available to the DEC until the hiker enters an area with solid cell reception. That might be during the hike (extra emphasis on "might") or many hours later, after the hike (making the registration unavailable in the event of a SAR incident).

Another consideration is non-US visitors. All areas with Verizon coverage are dead zones for GSM phones (the kind used by Canadians and the rest of the world).

As always, the devil is in the details!
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:52 AM   #47
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Which one is the hobby? Being the lowlife cretin making completely inappropriate calls and comments or being the guy that puts said cretins in their place?
The former. We all need a pastime!
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:10 AM   #48
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Given DEC's minimal budget I'm pretty happy with fresh pencils, usable logbooks and registration kiosks in decent shape at so many trailheads.

Technology and upgrades cost too much to install and maintain (even if some aspects are cheap) and also, as you alluded to, there are still so many people without a phone (let alone a smart phone) that it just wouldn't be feasible without also leaving the old 'paper and pen' standby in place. Then you end up with two redundant systems to monitor and maintain.

Although it's a nice idea to think about I believe the hurdles of implementing and using such a system are just too high currently. Resources could and would be better allocated in many other areas including backcountry patrols and outdoor education initiatives IMO.
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Bingo!

Not all smartphones have NFC readers so maybe a QR code as well?

Another consideration is non-US visitors. All areas with Verizon coverage are dead zones for GSM phones (the kind used by Canadians and the rest of the world).
I totally agree that it's not something that they should even look into implementing at his point in time, too many variables. But maybe it's something to look into in the future when we're all required to have chips implanted in us and we'll just have to wave a hand over the register and be on our way
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:24 AM   #49
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... But maybe it's something to look into in the future when we're all required to have chips implanted in us and we'll just have to wave a hand over the register and be on our way
Or an eyeball scan like in the movie "Minority Report"... https://youtu.be/zhpCu-ZJiu4
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:34 AM   #50
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Here you go...Install these with locked gates at certain high-use trailheads where you need to pre-register your trip before you can enter...
https://youtu.be/Fn_ksFBDIVQ
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:24 PM   #51
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Ahh, the lovely finger prints, retina scans, dna samples and dental x-rays (might come in handy for 'recovery')...

All it takes is DEC requiring an "interior access pass" ID (just like fishing or hunting license)...
You sing in by filling in the DEC ID# (if your ID# is 'hacked', request a new number for a nominal fee), DEC already has all of your contact info. Those found on the trails without an access card are fined, the fees from the pass are held in dedicated fund for trail work, rescue, and additional patrols...

If only things worked like that.
The funds would get raided, fines would come with all sorts of surcharges and fees, and many persons fined would never pay (access fee or fines)...
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:05 PM   #52
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Passive monitoring using an RFID tag. It would be issued along with the hiker's license. Walk past a trail register and you're automatically logged. It could even be deployed at key junctions and other locations so your passage is automatically recorded.

FWIW, I'm in no hurry to live in this kind of future!
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:10 PM   #53
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I always include my forum name when signing trail registers, though I don't sign nearly as many registers as I used to in my former days of exclusively terrestrial peregrinations.
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:11 PM   #54
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Kind of like something I was reading about even further back with telegraph/telegram where the charge was by the word after a certain point (like 10 words with the initial fee), no matter what words those 10 were.

In that book they gave a 10 word transmission that really translated into 19 words by using larger words to replace a couple (like bruises to replace Bruce is).
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:20 PM   #55
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Passive monitoring using an RFID tag. It would be issued along with the hiker's license. Walk past a trail register and you're automatically logged. It could even be deployed at key junctions and other locations so your passage is automatically recorded.

FWIW, I'm in no hurry to live in this kind of future!
So a drone could home in on your RFID tag for extraction or the other word that starts with ex... and ends with n
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:38 PM   #56
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lI don' t even sign up for store discount cards with my personal information. The ones I have were all given to me by the store without filling in personal information on a data card. Otherwise most stores will use a "store card" for me. I don't care to be tracked with what I buy from them, or to be targeted with mailings and phone calls from marketeers who have been given (sold) people's information from the store.

That said, I believe the original purpose of leaving a phone number at the trail register was to check that you have in fact left the area and gone home without bothering to sign out. Although it may also help if a lost hiker even has a cell phone with them - (I likely will not).
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:14 PM   #57
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Passive monitoring using an RFID tag. It would be issued along with the hiker's license. Walk past a trail register and you're automatically logged. It could even be deployed at key junctions and other locations so your passage is automatically recorded.

FWIW, I'm in no hurry to live in this kind of future!
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:35 AM   #58
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Trail Boss - Sorry, I haven't been on-line since last Friday but to answer your question, the incident in question regarding the unwanted attention paid to one of our students happened a while ago but ever since then I've been fine with not giving out phone numbers. Again, we can contact the ranger if we need to. I don't think it's a big deal not to leave your phone number out of the information left when you sign in. We say who we are, where we're going, how many are in the group and check out when we're done. That should be sufficient. If not, I know enough Rangers so I'm sure someone would have said something to me by now.

As for signing the trail register with your forum name; my forum name IS my name. When I first started getting involved with on-line forums it never occurred to me to not just sign in as myself. So, as Popeye would say, "I y'am who's I y'am."

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 03-07-2017, 06:22 AM   #59
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The guy you may be looking for goes by the moniker "Dundee". (I'm very much kidding here ... I've never even met him.)


But seriously, where do y'all hike? Central Park?
Practically. This happened to be on Marcy.
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:32 AM   #60
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Practically. This happened to be on Marcy.
Haha! Good one!

The popular peaks attract a broader swath of humanity so, yes, you get to meet "all kinds".
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