Do you ever stop and wonder what you actually NEED to be safe in the great outdoors? Not just the latest and greatest gimiks, but the items that keep you warm, dry, fed, and at the end day ensure you know where home is and can actually get there.
The Global Positioning System, more commonly referred to as GPS, is here to stay. It is the number one thing Wage War Outdoors recommends as a “must have” for any back country enthusiast, especially the ones who like to play alone.
With prices stabilized in the handheld market, and units priced for every buyer, there really isn’t any reason not to carry such an amazing insurance policy with you. The GPS receivers today are amazingly accurate and hold signal in deep dark forests and canyons much better than their predecessors a decade or so ago. Even the paper map luddite out there can appreciate the ease of use in modern GPS units. In their simplest function, they allow for a starting point on the screen which can very easily be tracked back to the original location or any point in between without needing to switch modes or understand all the other features available. Check out these reviews for the modestly priced Garmin Etrex series, talk about amazing value! None of this is to say you shouldn’t possess the capability to read and decipher your position using a map and compass, we recommend this one, but in our opinion that should be a complimentary skill set.
Now if retracing your steps were your only concern, there would be no need for awesome tech like the Garmin InReach (formerly made by DeLorme), or the SPOT. These two devices will keep you in touch with your loved ones ANYWHERE ON EARTH!
While devices like these with monthly subscription costs may not be necessary for a vast majority of weekend warriors, they serve a niche market for extreme enthusiasts and folks who like to play in areas with no cell phone coverage. The SPOT can send for help via an SOS feature or send preset messages to predetermined destinations……..a fantastic feature for letting friends and family know you are OK. If you feel like the places you go may be better suited for 2-way communication, the Garmin InReach is truly a great solution. With SOS, SMS text messaging, email and social media posting functionality from anywhere in the world, it is a remarkable piece of kit that proves we live in amazing times!