"Even if you like to get away from it all, no one wants to actually get lost in the wild. The good news is with GPS technology out there, outdoor experiences have gotten a lot more manageable. A handheld GPS is probably your best bet for staying safe in the wilderness. One of the more affordable and reliable options includes the Garmin eTrex Venture HC. Or check out the SPOT Connect Satellite Communicator. When out of cellular range, it links your smartphone to a global satellite network to send messages and track your location.
If you’re looking to keep track of where you’re going and where you’ve been, North Face now has a free app that helps find hiking, biking and skiing trails. You can see your progress on an interactive map, and share advice with other users.
But never rely entirely on your electronic devices when heading into the great outdoors.
Always keep extra copies of maps and contact information, and always alert a friend and/or ranger to where you’re headed." (PeterGreenberg.com)
Did You Know?:
GPS stands for "Global Positioning System." As a lot of cool gadgets, it was originally developed by the military. It is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS (don't let anybody tell you otherwise :) )
- The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978.
- A full constellation of 24 satellites was achieved in 1994.
- Each satellite is built to last about 10 years. Replacements are constantly being built and launched into orbit.
- A GPS satellite weighs approximately 2,000 pounds and is about 17 feet across with the solar panels extended.
- Transmitter power is only 50 watts or less.