The Wilderness Medical Society published an article concerning Wilderness Communications authored by Gordon H. Worley. The article explains the technology behind wilderness communications, emergency communication, radio communications, satellite communications, casualty evacuation and helicopter evacuations.
Anyone venturing past reliable cell phone range would do well to read the article and gain some understanding of current technology and its proper application. Satellite phones, personal locator beacons, and other devices are inexpensive to rent
and relatively easy to use but they are only backups to standard preparations and practices:
Wilderness travelers today have a wide range of communications technology options available to them. These devices must be used responsibly when requesting assistance. Even though one possesses the ability to communicate, there is no guarantee of establishing direct communication, or of immediate rescue. A belief that one can readily call for help and be rescued should not lead to taking imprudent risks that would be considered unacceptable if the ability to call for help were not present. Anything that is dependent on technology or batteries can fail. Terrain, weather conditions, and distance can all delay or prevent rescuers from reaching an individual or party in distress. When traveling to the wilderness or to other remote locations, each individual must accept responsibility for themselves and for all the possible outcomes of their adventures.