GPS Messages From The Wilderness

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Have you ever wondered how those wilderness adventurers are able to relay gps messages to the outside world when we sometimes have trouble making calls from certain locations in our neighborhood?  I used to have a neighbor who had to literally step outside of his home, into his backyard, in order to get a clear enough signal to make a call on his cell phone.  Yet, a wilderness hiker in a remote region of the mountains of Sierra Leone can make contact with whomever he desires.  

Care to know more?  If you're thinking satellite telephones, think again.  Though satellite telephones have been available for use in remote areas, and they do in fact work, unfortunately the cost is still prohibitive.  Here is the more affordable solution.  We can now use GPS satellite capabilities through a Spot Connect device in conjunction with a Smartphone.  This will allow the explorer to send brief text messages when necessary.  This technology may not be suitable for keeping and posting a journal or log, but it will allow for pertinent and emergency messages to reach the right party and get you the help you need when you need it. 
Normally, when you're out hiking or climbing, the cell phone is unreliable if you're not in a narrow canyon or covered and surrounded by dense foliage.  Also, as my neighbor discovered, it is necessary to have a line of sight for good reception.  Though there are some limitations with this type of technology, it is well worth having as you venture out.  This new gps technology allows you to send brief, original text messages and even emails via satellite.  In order to send a message you must input the text into a GPS device, such as a Garmin or TomTom, or into a smart phone, which is linked to a transmitter.  The transmitter then sends the message to a satellite system and before you know it, your SOS is received.  No need to worry about blocked signals or dense conditions.  

Take the time to do some research on the ins and outs of using this particular set up because there is more to know about its use than what we're accustomed to with cell phones.  It will be well worth your time.

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