Cell coverage up in the backcountry- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Cell coverage up in the backcountry

    Just posted this question to Idaho Outdoors and want to get everyone's take.....

    I know this is a controversial topic among outdoor recreationists....you are in one of three camps: 1) For, 2) Against, and 3) Somewhere in the middle. I use to be #2, but now I'm like either a #1 or #3.

    Yeah...this relates to my crash.

    Obviously cell phone coverage in the Treasure Valley is pretty damn good with maybe portions of the Owyhees getting weak signals.

    I'm a Cingular customer and can get a strong signal in the following areas:
    Stanley
    McCall
    Ketchum/Sun Valley and pretty much most of Highway 75 and 20

    I got a weak signal at Stanley Lake, but in the surrounding mountains I got zilch. I get an OK signal at Redfish. My signal is spotty at Brundage and definately spotty at Tamarack. I got a signal on the ride down, but nada on the chairlift and nothing at the base. The nurse and Tam patroller said that Verizon (??) works OK down there.

    Now I'm not going to be an idiot and text and call from my cell during the middle of a ride, but I just want the peace of mind knowing that if I'm on a solo ride next summer and something bad happens to me, that I can dial for help.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks

    Nick

  2. #2
    Barneys Unite!
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    I used to have Cingular and had poor coverage, even in the foothills. I have Verizon now, and the coverage in the foothills is better, but I haven't tried out of town yet. I'd imagine that part of it would have to do with how good a phone you have.

    TF

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: flipnidaho's Avatar
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    Get analog instead of digital for better coverage.

  4. #4
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    I rode for years, often solo, in remote areas. No cell phone. Everyone thought I was crazy. Then I got a phone. Take it with me all the time. Unfortunately it's Cingular.

    I can't get coverage between Emmett and Eagle Knoll Winery. Or in parts of the town of Eagle, most of Star and it's crappy in my house (in certain rooms). Unbelievable. All my Cingular friends hate their service. Alas, we are stuck in long-term contracts.

    But I take it with me anyway. At the very least it contains info the rescuers can use to ID me.

  5. #5
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
    Reputation: TwistedCrank's Avatar
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    I don't know what's wrong with this country but I for one blame cell phones and text messaging.

    When I was your age we had to communicate long distance by beating drums we made out of tree stumps. And when we got hurt or had a mechanical on a solo epic we'd set the forest on fire so the rangers could find us.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  6. #6
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    i think its called natural selection. Fall break head die in woods. Now you can't go on to make more head breakers.

  7. #7
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    You used to be able to get service on top of peaks with analog signals. Now, even though you get bars, I haven't been able to connect. My recommendation is to ride with people. It is more fun that way.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  8. #8
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    Hey, I thought about it a little more. I used to do some solo backpacking when I was single. A friend in Search and Rescue didn't complain too much about me going solo but insisted that she or someone know what quads I would be on. As long as they knew where to start looking, it isn't usually too bad to find you. It will however be the next day or two probably. You should carry a deck of cards to occupy until help arrives
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  9. #9

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    It looks like I'm gonna go with Verizon since it seems to work better than Cingular in the spots I mentioned before. Now I just have to figure out how to easily cancel my Cingular service .

    I too was a solo backpacker up until several years ago (that's when the MTB Passion bug bit me on the ass again)...I was pretty good at letting several folks know where I was going to be going and gave them numbers to ranger stations and local authorities and a window of time they were expecting to hear back from me. With MTB'ing being my main priority the past couple of years...same thing still holds true especially when going out by myself when I ain't in the Foothills. This past Monday did freak me out. Sure woulda been nice to have a riding buddy or two with me, but sometimes you just can't rustle anyone up no matter what you do. And just cuz I don't have anyone to ride with me ain't gonna stop me from heading out.

  10. #10

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    Verizon does not cover Stanley, per my experience.

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