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This articles launches a new series at BPL that will address satellite communications technologies and systems suitable for the solo traveler who desires or needs reliable two-way data communications beyond simple text messaging (e.g., email), or the ability to publish long form text (and perhaps, photos), to a blog or other platform.

The idea for this series grew out of my own experience putting together a satellite-based data communications system for managing ongoing business while in a remote (not necessarily wilderness) location, and for publishing blog posts and photographs from expeditions that were being monitored in real-time by my family, friends, colleagues, and the occasional journalist.

Part 1 describes the use of a refined, and reliable system (including some of its iterations with respect to data communications and power supply) with a traditional satellite phone as its central communications unit (combined with external data router and data entry / read devices). Part 2, to be published later this fall, will address so-called "BYOD" (bring your own device) systems that include a satellite-connected data router combined with a smartphone, the latter of which handles all voice and data exchange with the router.

”Our snacks and water ran out on Monday as we reached the summit of Salt Mountain and cliffs that provided an impasse. We descended into the headwaters of the aptly named Cliff Creek, where we found water in a tiny snowmelt brook, and cooked dinner. We had a few hours of daylight remaining so after a lengthy debate of “Should we camp here?” we saddled up and starting trekking back up the hill. A few hours later we found ourselves in a tiny meadow just big enough for our shelters, and with feet starting to blister and legs getting tired, we’d call it home for the night. Another tiny snowmelt creek flowed adjacent to camp, which had expansive views of the massive Sphinx Mountain to our south. During the waning light of dusk, Andrew was pointing uphill and saying “bear…bear…bear…” It took a second to register but I grabbed my bear spray as I caught a glimpse of a large black mass happily jogging into camp. We came together to watch a large healthy black bear stand up, size us up, and then proceed to run off in a panic. Nobody went pee alone that night.”


  • Introduction
  • System Application
  • Basic System Components
    • Satellite Phone
    • Data Router & Router Power
  • Computer & Software
  • External Power
  • System Comparisons: Bob Marshall Wilderness vs. High Uintas Wilderness
  • Philosophy
  • Part 2

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