didn't need it anyway


Mar 28, 2012
I just got appendicitis that came on really fast, started to feel a little bad after lunch on Friday and had the appendix out by Saturday afternoon, and the doctor said it was within hours of rupturing. Of course I was thinking what this would mean if it had happened on various trips! My guess is that I'd have made it safely out of most or all car camping trips. However, I felt bad enough rapidly enough that I'd probably not have been able to self-rescue from most backpacking trips before it burst. Scary stuff!
Wow - truly scary. For sure one should carry a PLB or Spot or something. I guess it would depend on where you were whether you could get rescued fast enough or not. Hope you're recovering well. LOL on the thread title.

ETA: What were the symptoms?
+1 on the messaging, I currently carry a PLB but since turning 50 should probably upgrade to a sat phone dongle, I was hiking with @Titans and Rick a few weeks ago and their setup is pretty sweet, I think it's the mini inReach
Wow! So glad you are okay. Scary how quickly it hit.

I have had an InReach for 8 years now and am very happy with it. Never needed to rescue myself but have used it twice when came across people who needed to be rescued. Well worth the minimal cost.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I upgraded to the inreach mini and (my wife) loves it. I caught a special at REI and got it for around $249. Best insurance I ever bought.
Why its important to let people know your trip plans and alternates....... dont hike alone.
Wow @regehr ! That‘s scary, hope you feel much better now. Like @zionsky last year, you might know what you’re getting for Christmas. A mini!

We carry the InReach Mini, signed up for a plan and bought the SARS insurance too. Usually it’s also nice to practice sending messages before a trip.
Having said that, I had to “activate“ the device again (!) this year, which I realized two weeks into hiking (because I didn’t test the device before leaving this year and I ignored the device message “test device before leaving“). Also pair device with the phone, something we did on top of Cedar Mesa two weeks into hiking. So after owning the device for several years, we got too sloppy with testing it before leaving. Just fessing up.
My mom went from having appendicitis symptoms to having it removed within less than 8 hours, and the surgeon said it had already burst when he got in there. I'm glad you weren't out in the backcountry either way, but yeah, backpacking would have put a whole different spin on the situation.

dont hike alone.
Hiking alone is awesome, I'd recommend it almost everyone. I started my hiking "career" alone and only later found some partners, and all those miles hiking solo were great for me.

@regehr I have an InReach Mini, if you're passing through and wanna borrow it you're always welcome to. Even just to try it out, we can change some settings and you can send all the preset messages you want. I hear what you're saying, approaching 50 myself "I" (same as @zionsky, "my wife") decided I probably shouldn't be out there alone with no way to communicate.
Scary to think about that happening in a remote location, and after reading a bit more, thinking that one may well pass it off as something else initially. InReach owner here for several years. Never used in a emergency but I do make a point of testing it once in awhile, both for the battery status and operation of the unit itself, and for texting using the smartphone pairing.
So glad you're ok!

We got an InReach earlier this year and are glad to have it. We're getting one as a holiday gift for our son who does long, solo day-hikes. BUT, similar to @SteveR, I wonder if we would decide the symptoms were severe enough to be appendicitis and therefore reason to interrupt a backpacking trip? I have a lot of friends who haven't backpacked and would say this kind of risk is a reason not to go into the backcountry. But that would make me sad. So I guess the moral of the story is better safe than sorry and be willing to exit early and hit that SOS button if necessary...
My mother was a nurse, she worked her 12 hour shift steadily going downhill and then took the elevator to the ER. She was in surgery in less than an hour, evidently very close to a busted appendix.

Honestly, I don't think an InReach or friends will do much because appendicitis comes on so quickly. By the time you realize there is a serious problem it is likely too late if you are in the woods.

Glad you are ok, @regehr
I had to have my appendix removed 16 years ago. I Was feeling a bit rough, sore right side of my abdomen. Went to the hospital and within an hour I was in the operating room having my appendix removed. Thankful every day that I went to the hospital instead of trying rest to see if that helped.
FYI...my dad, who is in his eighties, had an appendicitis a few years ago and they could not operate due to his battling stomach cancer. They treated him with medicines. He did recover but it took forever. The doctor told me it was becoming a more common approach.
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