I am intending to bushwalk a remote unmarked trail near Brisbane alone. I will carry map, etrex30, compass, iphone4 and am likely to have phone reception. I will advise another person of my gpx route and when I finish the bushwalk. However, I would like to send a track or position every hour or so to this person, so that if an accident or injury or I get lost, etc then I can be located.
I will probably purchase a personal locator beacon if I do this more often, but this is a one-off and likely to very seldom happen so I would like to do with-out this time. I normally have others to hike with but others aren’t available this week.
I don’t want to run my phone battery down unnecessarily by running a gps tracking program. As the iphone has a gps chip that does not require an internet connection, I can run such apps offline but they still consume power and so far they seem very reluctant to a bit of track to an email address as and when I want to. There are apps you can subscribe to that can send a live track to a web site but they are not free and I don’t want to pay…and they run the battery down.
I would prefer to maintain as much spare power capacity in the phone in case something did go wrong.
I think the best solution for me would be to jot down the current location from the etrex and send off a position each hour by email.
I was wondering what others do?
Have you used the app View Ranger which has a buddy system? I haven’t used the buddy system myself but the friend who told me about it has. If you’re worried about battery usage your can take power packs to keep your phone charged. I did this when hiking on Mt Barney and using View Ranger to keep us on track. After 11 hours my phone was still at 80%.
The Glasshouse Bushwalkers Club Inc. uses a Garmin GPS60x for tracking and planning walks. I personally walk with my iPhone 6s with MapMyHike installed. Before I set out, I open MapMyHike check for coverage and let the app get the map of the area. Then when I am walking, I put the phone into airplane mode, as mobile reception can drop in and out even around Brisbane. When ever I stop, I take the phone out of airplane mode check for reception messages etc. and download any mapping if needed. Recently I walked the Great Ocean Walk and the phone lasted for the entire 8 hours on the track, with about 30% at the end of the day. MapMyHike can be set up to interface with Facebook/Twitter to send location updates.
Thanks for your thoughts
I will check out the powerpacks during the week. The apps along with many others will not work on my iphone4 with ios7.1. I will email/sms positions occasionally during the walk and look into buying a personal locator beacon soon. The free GPSies.com that does work on my iphone uses the free openstreetmaps has free live tracking but that feature only works with a couple of Android apps. That would suit me perfectly for these odd occasions.
Have you considered a SPOT GPS Messenger as it can (sending updates via satellite) track your hike with coordinates published on a map, supports SOS functions like a PLB etc. They can be rented.
It isn’t a navigation tool, but an awareness and alerting tool
I decided to get a KTI SA2G plb http://kti.com.au/safety-alert-plb/ as it is Australian made and the cost was $270 with a 10yr guarantee, that works out to be $27/yr for a solid emergency rescue option.
You register 3 emergency contacts with AMSA and can lodge your plans online with them before departure so I think that is that is a good outcome for me as I will lodge plans with the emergency contact/s too.
I was also considering the SPOT Gen3 GPS Satellite Messenger with the advantage of sending messages to others but at $200 for initial outlay and annual subscription fees on top is was bit too steep for me. http://au.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=103
My family is happy with the decision too and will get a call from AMSA if the plb is ever activated and that’s what counts most to me.
We use a SPOT for our Scouts on hikes as they can be remotely monitored by Leaders as depending on what they are doing probably have no direct adult supervision, That requirement is a little more unique than most.
Found this article which provides a great review of PLB options, looks like a good choice was made in the KTI option