Bicycle Travel > GPS Discussion

Advice for GPS tracking device so family can follow my cross-country ride?

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Bclayden:
Hello,
I searched the site and came up empty so sorry if this has been discussed already.
I am planning a cross country ride and would like to bring along a GPS tracking device so family and friends can see where I am via internet.  I see a small unit called Zoombak, $100 + service fee,  that looks promising but from what I can tell it's meant for lost pets and kids and might not be the right fit.
I'm really after something that anyone, at anytime, can access via a website link to see my position.
Much of my route is out of cell phone service area.
Anyone have any experience with this or any other device they can share?
Thanks.
-Ben

John Nelson:
This one is very commonly used by touring cyclists:

http://www.findmespot.com/

jsieber:

--- Quote from: John Nelson on January 06, 2012, 05:16:51 pm ---This one is very commonly used by touring cyclists:

http://www.findmespot.com/


--- End quote ---
I second the spot tracker. The Great Divide racers have been using these for a couple of years and it seems to be proven and work well. Have a great trip!

mdxix:
SPOT is a great choice: full coverage, long battery life, and emergency support. It costs $100–150 for the unit + required $100 per year to send messages + optional $50 for continuous tracking.

Unless you are looking for continuous coverage at all times, the phone may still be a good option. I understand your concern about signal availability. For traveling on roads in the US (where coverage is expected more often than not, depending on your carrier), and at no additional cost (if you already have a smart phone), the solution with a phone works great for me.

My budget is limited so I use the iPhone in two ways:

- For family members with an Apple mobile device, they track me on 'Find My Friends' app

- For others, I use Google Latitude and they can track me on smart phones and web sites

These apps are always on, and they do not add too much drain to battery life.

mdxix:
Note also the new Garmin device GTU-10:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=209&pID=67686

It does rely on mobile phone signal and costs $200. Like a mobile phone, it does not need direct contact to a satellite, so it can be stuffed in your bags. The software has nice features for sending alerts for various conditions. First year of coverage is included.

It uses AT&T service with good coverage across the continental US:

http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=data

It still seems a high price for a passive device.

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