View Full Version : GPS tracker recommendations for SAR

Six Steps
10-22-2015, 19:39
Looking for recommendations for a GPS unit for someone that does search and rescue in Colorado. Needs to be able to mark start point and show return route. $200 range if realistic. Less even better.

10-22-2015, 20:24
A smart phone, with an app like backcountry navigator, would do the trick. The GPS in the smart phones are as good as most personal use ones esp in the price range you quoted. This is assuming your friend has a smart phone...

This article was written in 2012 but was updated recently. He's hike now and then....


10-23-2015, 18:46
Probably the best recommendations would come from others in CO doing SAR work, they may even have a source that sells higher end GPS devices at or near the budget.

11-28-2015, 08:30
How can we know when one GPS configuration (antenna+circuitry+configuration) is better than or as good as another?
Is there a specification that is stated and then can be compared?
For instance the GPS (with GAIA) in my Galaxy Note _seems_ as good as my Garmin GPSmap 62ST (though I won't depend on it on-trail!). I've done a side by side on my neighborhood walks and hiking away from cell or wifi coverage. And they agree "well enough", but what is "well enough"?

12-02-2015, 16:46
Are you still looking for suggestions? Can you share what team the individual is on, so we can have a little better idea what conditions & terrain they field? You are welcome to PM me.

03-01-2016, 17:42
Spot Messenger www.findmespot.com

I've used it very successfully on long distance blue water sailboat deliveries. Using only satellites, it will obtain lat & long and email that info to whomever you setup along with a preset message. It maintains history of your positions and even will display a map of those positions to those who access the Web site. There is a "send help" function and a SOS function.

Admittedly, I have not tried it on a hike, but I hope to do so this year.

03-02-2016, 08:32
Stay away from the smart phone apps and stick with a "real" handheld GPS if you want any type of battery life - especially important in SAR. As an example, on a good day my newish iPhone will last about 4 hours with a typical GPS app running. My Garmin handheld is closer to 20 hours and has field replaceable batteries so no waiting to recharge. If you're doing professional work, especially involving life safety, use professional tools. Luckily, any of the Garmin hiking handhelds in your price range will do what you need and give you workable battery life.

I'm also a big fan of the SPOT, but its more of a device to use if you are in trouble - a device used by the (hopefully) rescued, not the rescuer.

03-02-2016, 09:39
If you get a handheld GPS (I have 2 Garmins, this is not a tout for them though) be sure to choose one with a GLONASS antenna. The more satellites the GPS can see the more reliable your post on reading should be (he said, positionaly).

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk