Author Topic: Advice for GPS tracking device so family can follow my cross-country ride?  (Read 8097 times)

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Offline 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
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 07:02:14 pm by Bclayden »

Offline John Nelson

This one is very commonly used by touring cyclists:

http://www.findmespot.com/

Offline jsieber

This one is very commonly used by touring cyclists:

http://www.findmespot.com/

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!

Offline 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.

Offline 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.

Offline Moni

I used spot, with the cheapest tracking service.. and turned it on when ever I was someplace really neat, and send a Just so you know where I am message, and I then turned it on when I had my tent up, with the I am in camp message.  Both messages were set up prior to my trip.

Lost the spot during the divorce... but don't need to check in daily anymore now either... thus, not a big loss.

Moni

Offline Bclayden

Thanks all for the great input. 

Sounds like SPOT Tracker will work for me.  Not sure I can get the tracking service without signing up for the more expensive messaging service too.  Thinking I won't need the messaging service.

I would like to count on a smart phone app but I use T-Mobile.  While good in urban areas T-Mobile coverage is spotty elsewhere.  To begin, my route to follow Western Express NV Route 50 and there is a 2-3 days stretch with little to no T-Mobile coverage in the first week.

Thanks again.

-Ben

Offline Blackbear

I used the SPOT on a trip from St. Louis to Greenssbosro, NC this Spring and found it useful to keep family and friends informed.

Offline Moni

I used the messages, as I don't feel comfortable being tracked.  I was sure, my (now ex) husband would post it on face book and other media. 

With just the message they only knew where I had been.

Moni

Offline pptouring

We used the SPOT once and it's cool, but it will drain those batteries if you leave it on for continuous tracking and those batteries are not cheap. It would be cool it they added a mini USB port and a rechargeable battery pack option.

Offline bianchigreen68

Has anyone used the SPOT on the GDMBR?  I am doing it this summer and would like to have my family track me as I travel along

Offline chrisch

If you have an iPhone or iPad then check out TrackMyTour (I'm the creator of this app).  It's not a real time tracker so battery drain isn't a concern.  It also lets you queue points offline when no network is available to submit later when you're back online.  Here's a sample map from my tour last summer: http://trackmytour.com/g68Px.

Offline bianchigreen68

If you have an iPhone or iPad then check out TrackMyTour (I'm the creator of this app).  It's not a real time tracker so battery drain isn't a concern.  It also lets you queue points offline when no network is available to submit later when you're back online.  Here's a sample map from my tour last summer: http://trackmytour.com/g68Px.

I will have my iPad with me and plan to keep a log each day. I will download your app and keep you updated.  Thanks

Offline chrisch

I will have my iPad with me and plan to keep a log each day. I will download your app and keep you updated.  Thanks

Great!  Your mileage may vary with the iPad depending if you have the model with 3G.  The 3G model has a proper GPS, while the model without 3G depends on local WiFi to determine your location.  Have a great tour!

Offline bosse

Re: Advice for GPS tracking device so family can follow my cross-country ride?
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2013, 12:01:25 pm »
A bit late, but you should consider the app LocaToWeb when doing cross country rides and you want your family to follow you in real time. It is made exactly for this puropse, and I have seen many MC riders use for their road trips.
It's available for iPhone, Android and WP8 at http://locatoweb.com