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James Brazelton | Travel Safety |
The Vital Role of Satellite Trackers in Multi-Day Hikes
WYSE News | May 23, 2024

Adventure tourism is increasingly becoming a core element of many young people’s travel experiences, but with this rise comes an increase in health and safety incidents for those who are under prepared.

This increase has caused states like Hawaii to consider legislation targeting “reckless hikers” who have caused a significant financial burden to the rescue teams that fly out hikers who embark on multi-day hikes on closed trails.

To see more on this topic, read here.

But whether you are an experienced trekker or embarking on your first overnight hike, there is one tool that many see as a new standard for their packs: a reliable satellite tracker.

Importance of Satellite Trackers in Wilderness Safety

While they have been around for some time, technological improvements in satellite trackers like the Garmin inReach and the Zoleo Satellite Communicator have allowed for smaller devices, more reliable connections, and (relatively) cheaper prices.

Satellite trackers like the InReach provide a lifeline for hikers by enabling two-way communication even in areas lacking cellular coverage. This capability proves invaluable in emergencies, allowing hikers to summon assistance or communicate their location to rescue teams swiftly. With features like GPS tracking and predefined messages, adventurers can share their progress with loved ones and maintain peace of mind throughout their journey.

These devices are essential for anyone embarking on multi-day adventures in the wilderness, especially if travelling solo.

On the Wilderness Backpacking subreddit, user sheetbender described how he witnessed such a device save lives:

“I was on a 9 day hike last year (in B.C In an area with no cell reception) and ended up being involved in a rescue of a different hiker. Someone else had an inReach. It was invaluable – a rescue that could have taken days took a few hours.”

In addition to making rescues easier, these trackers enhance accountability by enabling hikers to adhere to their planned routes and schedules. Real-time tracking capabilities not only assist hikers in staying on course but also provide a means for loved ones to monitor their progress remotely.

This level of transparency fosters a sense of security for both hikers and their support networks.

In conclusion, while the allure of adventure beckons, venturing into the wilderness demands a healthy dose of respect for its potential dangers. Satellite trackers, with their two-way communication, GPS tracking, and real-time location sharing, have become an indispensable safety tool for multi-day hikes. These devices empower hikers, both seasoned and novice, to navigate emergencies effectively, keep loved ones informed, and foster a culture of responsible exploration.

By prioritising safety with a simple addition to your backpack, you can ensure your wilderness adventure becomes a memory to cherish, not a cautionary tale.

James Brazelton | WYSE Travel Confederation | Travel Safety |

James Brazelton

Managing Director
GeoVisions (Alliance Strategies)

Travel Safety Panel

Insurance companies and organisations operating in risk management, safeguarding, travel safety and child protection are represented by the Travel Safety Sector Panel. Nevertheless, safety concerns all aspects of the youth travel sector. For this reason, the Travel Safety Panel works closely with the Accommodation, Cultural Exchange and Study Abroad Sector Panels to improve sector-specific safety and security policies.
WYSE Travel Confederation Travel Safety Sector Panels