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I have read the description of the Wilderness Protocol. I have attempted to use it (only after the 4 min emergency window) on multiple occasions at multiple wilderness locations and never received a response.

Is this the best way to call for help in the wilderness when out of cell phone coverage? What can I do to improve my chances of this working if I were to need help?

The givens are that I can only carry an HT, but I would be willing to use a web page to determine a procedure ahead of time.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree, I think my question is redundant. I'm new to the stack message board community. What is the proper way to retract or close out the question? $\endgroup$ – pyHazard Nov 11 '13 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ Generally speaking, duplicate questions are often useful even though they are duplicates, as they can serve as "sign posts" guiding users to wherever on the site an answer can be found; since you failed to find the answer at first, someone else might, too. Hence, they shouldn't normally be deleted outright. Generally, if you realize after the fact that you posted a question that doesn't quite fit for any reason, you can flag for moderator attention (use the "flag" link below the question) and we'll take a look at it and take appropriate action. Welcome to Stack Exchange and Ham.SE! $\endgroup$ – user Nov 11 '13 at 8:25
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Probably because the Wilderness Protocol is not widely known and requires someone listening. While this might happen near some popular National Parks, in general you'd be better off checking the frequencies of the local repeaters in that area before heading off into the woods. There are several large, multi-state linked repeater networks that are actively monitored. Of course, their coverage may or may not work for you depending on terrain.

If you want fail resistant emergency help anywhere, buy a SPOT GPS Messenger. A unit costs about US$120

with a year of service is around US$100. These use GPS to fix your location and sends a message with your location to a service using commercial satellites. For obvious reasons, the coverage area is most of the planet. If your into the wild for more than a couple days, add a solar panel and you'd be set.

If you want to stick purely to ham radio, learn CW. A small QRP rig would run on a 9V battery for many hours. That, plus enough wire for a 40m end fed would still weight less than your typical HT. And cost far less.

If you have more weight budget, carry an FT-817. With the W4RT battery, I get 4-6 hours of operating time on SSB. And besides, you actually intent to operate while your out in the woods and have some fun.

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