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Posted: 6/16/2021 9:13:07 AM EDT
verizon coverage map

Going to be in La Plata county soon in some remote areas.  Even there, the wireless coverage map seems to indicate only a few dead spots in the river bottoms.
Was considering getting a Garmin mini for "just in case" but would only use once every few years.
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/592606

Foolish to assume I could just get to an area where I get a signal on the phone and call the La Plata cnty Sherrif who handle search/rescue?
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 9:43:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2021 8:33:41 PM EDT by nightdh]
Verizon seems to be the best in remote areas of Colorado but if safety is a concern definitely have a back up.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 2:23:57 PM EDT
At my house I get 2 Gig fiber to the home internet from Comcast. I have zero cell coverage from Att, TMobile, Verizon, etc. The coverage map for Verizon is dark red at my house and entire AO. YMMV. I'd take a backup if you're concerned about safety and emergency communications. Radio waves don't travel into canyons very well.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 8:34:52 PM EDT
Sorry, was in a hurry. I should have stated it’s the best but far from reliable.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 11:25:36 PM EDT
High points in the hills around Durango/Mancos/Bayfield will probably have signal, but no way will you get service away from the highway and especially down low.  There's a campground review site that gives you cell signal ratings, so maybe you could look that up and see if a campground in your area will have service based on others' reviews.  

Link Posted: 6/17/2021 8:03:56 AM EDT
Ya, I expected to get cell reception at the campgrounds after looking things over a bit, but I picked up a Garmin mini for the times Ill be in the sticks.
Link Posted: 7/17/2021 6:06:01 PM EDT
Outside of urban/suburban areas, coverage will still be spotty or non-existent.  
Those RF coverage maps are done by software, using elevation models and lots of math of RF propagation.
While it's a good general representation of coverage areas, there's a lot of variables that go into actually getting coverage/service.  Localized features may not show up in the elevation model.  I've spent many hours on a tower trying to get a link up to another site, only to find that the ridge i was shooting over and the trees on it were in the path.  

VZW has always been "pretty good" for mountain coverage.  The other carriers have caught up in the last decade or so.  ATT with Firstnet deployments, and TMo with their rural internet/data services.

So yeah, "two is one, one is none" whatever.  
Phone's great.  In an emergency, calling 911 does things on both the handset and site/network to increase the odds of that call going through.  As PSAPs are upgraded, text-to-911 is a feature that gets added, and in low-signal areas often a text will go through where a call will not.
In an emergency, phones are my #1 go-to.  
Communicator or PLB is another option.  I carry a ResQLink PLB, more of a professional rescue tool vs. the communicators.  They work where phones do not.
Radios are another option.  Amateur networks are okay, but you have to remember they're nonprofits run by old guys.  Might work great, might not work at all.  Commercial or public safety systems have budget and knowledgable techs running those, so they're more reliable but not everyone has access to those.
Manage the risk, stack the odds in your favor.  

I'm going riding tomorrow, looking like a ~350 mile trip on the big bike.  I'll have my phone, PLB, two radios, spare batteries for phone/radios.  And a power amplifier for a radio on the top of a mountain.
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 6:07:42 AM EDT
Just spent a weekend near cripple creek that the Verizon map says has coverage.  There was none even when I turned roaming on. ymmv
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