Every hiking trip that is going to last overnight or longer should have at least one of the following on the trip for each person or group that heads into the wilderness. A GPS with maps of the area or a basic satellite phone, compass, and map.
At least one should be on the trip so that you can always find your way out if you get lost or disoriented. This is the number one cause of search and rescue teams to be deployed. The best of the best of top survivalists will state without hesitation that even they are not exempt from getting lost in the wild.
This should be a strong hint that the average person should also take heed of the inherent dangers of trekking off into the wild without some sensible safety precautions in place. A GPS or a satellite phone can save your life if you are lost. What we have to do is figure out which is the best one for our situation.
Let’s start with a comparison of each one’s abilities and how they are used. The GPS is a global positioning system that can pinpoint your current location by receiving a signal from satellites and triangulating your position within a few meters.
Modern technology has now come up with services that can send messages that you are OK, give your position, and even send an emergency location and call for help. The problem with this product is it is a one task unit and does not give you maps and way points so you can navigate while you are in the wild.
A hand held GPS only gives you maps and way points so that you can navigate out in the wild. So, it is also a one hit wonder, also.
The satellite phone gives you a way to communicate from any location you might end up in, but they are costly. You can also get your coordinates to use with a map or your GPS, but you could buy a hand held GPS and a GPS beacon for a fraction of the cost of a satellite phone.
Either way, if you are on a long hike, you will still need a good solar charger for hiking to charge any configuration that you choose, so don’t forget to calculate that cost in your setup.
To most avid hikers, a hand held GPS and a GPS beacon is the best match for hikers who are taking overnight or longer trips into the great outdoors.
This ensures you can press one button and signal for help with the beacon and have the standard GPS for your personal navigation to prevent you from getting lost while enjoying the great outdoors.