Leveraging GPS Trackers For Spring Hikes

Nearly 59 million people in the United States took part in hiking activities at least once in 2021 — up from around 33 million in 2011. Spring is the best time to hike for many people because, in most regions, warmer weather and longer days mean this part of the year is perfect for exploring the great outdoors.

The next time you hike, consider packing a GPS tracker in your backpack alongside your snacks and sunscreen. These technologies keep you safe when exploring new landscapes and help you navigate your journey — especially when your smartphone’s data connection cuts out! Learn more about how to use GPS for your hikes and how LandAirSea (LAS) can help.

How to Use GPS for Your Hikes

There are various ways you can use GPS for an upcoming spring hike:

Stay Safe

According to the National Park Service, 120 to 150 people die every year in the United States after going on a hike, often because they get lost and can’t find their way back to their starting location. While many hikers have cell phones on them during an emergency situation, mountainous and unpopulated areas might not have any mobile connectivity, making it difficult to call for help.

GPS trackers are small devices that fit inside your backpack and sync with a mobile app. By telling a friend you’re heading to the trails, they can track your route in real-time on their desktop computer or smartphone and quickly identify your location. If the worst-case scenario happens and you don’t return from the hike, they can share your GPS coordinates with the relevant authorities who can come and find you. GPS trackers don’t require 5G, WI-FI, or other mobile technologies to work. That’s thanks to the Global Positioning System, a series of satellites that circle the planet and send data to receivers in GPS trackers.

Even if a hiking route has mobile connectivity, your smartphone might cut out or lose battery on a long hike, leaving you no way to communicate during an emergency. GPS trackers have batteries that can last for weeks or even months, making them far more useful for locating individuals.

Record Your Hiking Progress

By placing a GPS tracker in your backpack, you can record your progress as you go on different hikes this spring and learn how long it takes to get to a particular destination. The best GPS trackers collect historical data from all your adventures, allowing you to look back at your previous hiking routes and see how far you’ve traveled. This can be useful if you’re hiking to lose weight and want to track calories burned.

You can also track your hiking routes in real time on an app that connects to your GPS tracker. This sync lets you plan your journey during your hike and change your direction if needed. Again, trackers don’t require WI-FI or 5G, so you can use a GPS app and track your expedition even if your route has no cell service. For example, LAS devices send information to the Silvercloud app, which also works offline.

Find Your Belongings

If you keep expensive equipment in your hiking backpack, such as a cooking stove or spare pair of boots, you can find these belongings with GPS trackers. Say you leave your backpack somewhere on your route but don’t realize it’s missing until later. If you placed a tracker inside the bag, you can check its location on your smartphone and go back to retrieve it. If someone stole the item, you can also find the location of your backpack and try to recover it. Alternatively, you can share location information with law enforcement who can attempt to retrieve your belongings for you.

Apple AirTags are useful for tracking belongings, but if your items are taken into an area far from your phone’s Bluetooth connection, you won’t be able to find your belongings. And if your stolen items travel into a remote, sparsely populated area where the nearest iPhone — with Bluetooth turned on — is outside the AirTag’s range, you might never retrieve your belongings.

GPS trackers also prove useful if you drive your car to a remote hiking spot and leave it in that location for several hours while you hike. You can create a geofence around your vehicle — a virtual perimeter based on a real-world location, such as a parking lot — and receive notifications on your phone if your car leaves that area, suggesting theft. Again, you can then share location information with local authorities.

Evidence to Support Insurance Claims

If items go missing or get stolen on your hike, use location intelligence from your GPS tracker as evidence for an insurance claim. Say someone steals your backpack during your route. You can send historical location data about the stolen item to your insurer, speed up your claim, and get the funds you need quickly. LAS devices with ShareSpot capabilities allow you to share location information with insurance companies, law enforcement, friends, and others via your smartphone with a few swipes of a finger.

Track Location Information on Any Hike

While smartphones can track your location via GPS, these devices and their internal technology isn’t made for the extreme conditions you could encounter while without shelter, such as high humidity, thundering downpours, and hailstorms. For instance, if you encountered hail while out scouting the trails using your smartphone’s map for guidance, just one hailstone the size of a mothball could shatter your screen, leaving you with no way to track your location. GPS trackers, on the other hand, are manufactured to withstand the toughest of climate conditions and walking terrains. The best products on the market, like those manufactured by LAS, are waterproof, dust-proof, and even have a dark mode.

How to Use GPS for Your Hikes With LAS

LAS has several GPS trackers that you can use to track belongings, improve safety, and share location information with whomever you like.

LandAirSea 54

Learning how to use GPS for your hikes with the LandAirSea 54 is simple. This dustproof and waterproof GPS tracker is easy to set up and small enough to fit inside your pocket or hiking backpack. You can also attach it to your vehicle or expensive equipment inside your backpack with the provided magnets.

After setting up the LandAirSea 54, you can track your location during hikes, share your real-time route with other people, and safeguard your belongings. Features of this GPS tracker include battery alerts, geofence alerts, speed alerts, InstaFence, and a dark mode.

LandAirSea Sync

This GPS tracker is perfect when driving to different hiking areas and leaving your car unattended. The LandAirSea Sync connects to the OBD II port in your car, allowing you to track your vehicle during your hike and receive notifications if it leaves its original location. Because this tracker attaches to your OBD II port, it doesn’t require any batteries, saving you money. Other features include speed alerts, geofence alerts, and arrival/departure notifications.

LandAirSea Overdrive

The LandAirSea Overdrive comes with a battery that lasts up to four times as long as the LandAirSea 54, making it a great choice if you frequently go on long hikes. Learning to use GPS for hikes is also simple with this device, with the LandAirSea Overdrive attaching to vehicles and equipment with its provided industrial-strength magnet. Other features include a dark mode, speed alerts, fence alerts, and battery alerts.

Not sure which product to use? Contact LAS to discover more about these products and learn how to use GPS for your hikes correctly.

Why Choose LAS?

LAS has specialized in surveillance tracking technology since the early ’90s, making it one of the most reputable companies in the GPS industry. The company has worked with organizations across multiple industry sectors, such as law enforcement, border control, local government, and the military. We’ve helped organizations of all sizes improve asset management, location tracking, and employee performance.

Here are some of the reasons why organizations choose LAS:

  1. Outstanding customer service
  2. Simple installation and activation of GPS devices
  3. Online tutorials and resources for setting up and troubleshooting your device
  4. Pay-as-you-go pricing model for some products on some trackers
  5. No hidden fees
  6. LAS devices are up to 80% cheaper than GPS products

Final Word About How to Use GPS for Your Hikes

With spring in full bloom, it’s never been a better time to hike! When planning your next outdoor adventure, consider investing in a GPS tracker that can help you keep safe on your trip, notify loved ones and law enforcement of your whereabouts, and protect your valuable belongings.

You can also use GPS devices to track your hiking progress and support an insurance claim for stolen equipment.

LAS devices provide the location intelligence needed for your hiking expeditions. Order a GPS tracker today, or email ian.conley@landairsea.com for more information. Alternatively, check out LAS’ resources about how to use GPS for your hikes.