WHAT: GPS unit, and more
WHY: It is not a good idea to completely unplug in the wild
On the slopes or backcountry trails, the DeLorme inReach Explorer ($380) is much more than just a GPS tool. If you get lost, stuck in a storm, or injured, it can send and receive texts to friends and family, or even send an SOS signal to the GEOS search-and-rescue center. The inReach Explorer taps into the Iridium network of satellites to give users GPS accuracy to about 16 feet and access to MapShare, which will note your location for other users with an inReach Explorer to find you. It marks waypoints for up to four hours so others can follow your trail—handy not only in emergency situations, but also if you blaze ahead and set up camp for the rest of your party. The unit’s Bluetooth compatibility allows inReach Explorer to connect to a smartphone or tablet for sharing your wild expeditions on social media. Charge the unit’s 100-hour lithium-polymer battery via solar or USB power sources. An upgraded Extreme Communication Kit is available for $480. In addition to the Explorer, the kit comes with a Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel with USB port, a Goal Zero Flip 10 recharger with USB ports, and an orange inReach protective and flotation case. Using inReach requires an active satellite subscription. The company offers 12-month or 30-day plans.