How GPS Search and Rescue Gadgets Save Lives

GPS and search and rescue gadgets are not just fun toys for adult amusement, but also useful tools. In fact, there have been several occasions when GPS has saved lives.

Lost and Found

It's common to hear about people who become lost while hiking or participating in other wilderness activities. It is easy to take a wrong turn, get caught in bad weather, or have other unforeseen circumstances occur. Until recently, finding these people was like finding a needle in a haystack.

However, many people in this situation are being found because of GPS and other technologies. For example, a father and son were recently lost while hiking in Oahu, Hawaii. They took the wrong trail. When they did not return in time, the wife and mother called authorities. These authorities were able to locate the lost pair by tracing the man's cell phone. If not for GPS on this phone, tragedy may have occurred.

An Outdoors Necessity?

Many people who enjoy outdoors sports and activities now consider a GPS or personal location device a necessity, much like matches or bottled water. A GPS can help prevent people from getting lost in the first place, by showing them their location and how it relates to other locations such as roads and landmarks. In addition, in the event that they are lost or injured, a GPS allows authorities to find people quickly.

A camper found this out when he found himself injured and alone on a camping trip. The man was boiling tea when a venomous snake came out of the grasses nearby and bit him. The man knew that moving would hasten the venom's movement through his body. He called for help and was able to give exact coordinates due to having a GPS device. Help arrived quickly and he received the medical treatment he needed to survive, which likely would not have happened without a phone and a GPS.

Why Are GPS and Similar Devices Becoming So Common?

The uses of GPS and search and rescue gadgets have been well-known for some time. However, an increasing number of people are getting these devices for a variety of reasons. These include:

• Mapping locations
• Being findable in the case of getting lost or injured
• Lower cost as the technology becomes established
• Tougher devices made to withstand hard use and exposure to the elements

While many people think of a GPS or other gadget as an 'extra', these items become a necessity when people find themselves in an all-too-common emergency far from civilization. A GPS or personal locating device can save lives by helping people to stay connected to authorities even when they are connecting to nature.