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5 Best GPS Tracker of 2019 for Hiker & Backpacker

A GPS tracking device is a valuable outdoor tool for hiker and backpacker that can provide some vital information and keep you safe. Check out our list of 5 best GPS tracker of 2019 for hiker & backpacker before heading out.

By Lane | @Lane

Updated on Aug 14, 2019


If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you must know getting lost in the wilderness is dangerous and terrifying. A GPS tracking device is a valuable outdoor tool for hiker and backpacker that can give you some vital information about where you are, and where you should go even you are in the most inhospitable or wild environments. So, if you go hiking and backpacking, make sure you have one of the best GPS trackers for hiker and backpacker because they will even help save your life. That is the reason why you should check out our list of 5 best GPS tracker of 2019 for hiker & backpacker before heading out.

1: goTenna Mesh Text and Location Communicator – Best Portable GPS Tracker

goTenna Mesh is one of the best hiking trackers because it works without cell or Wi-Fi service. This GPS device is great for outdoor adventure where the cell reception is unreliable or unavailable like hiking, skiing, backpacking and more. It is small and light enough that you can put it into the pocket. It pairs to your smart phone via app using Bluetooth. Within the app, you can send texts, view maps and share GPS location with other goTenna devices on your trail up to 4 miles. Certain types of "through-hiking" teams could benefit from the Mesh-networking technology which means you can create a pop-up network anywhere, and privately and securely hop messages along up to 6 devices to extend range.

GPS tracking device 

Main features

• Reference price: $179/2

• goTenna Mesh is off-grid, mobile, long-range(4 mile), consumer-ready mesh network. 

• The device pairs with smartphones to enable communication among users without any reliance on cell towers, Wi-Fi routers, or satellites.

• goTenna app provides high-definition offline maps for any region in the world. 

• No central data-store, so your private chats are end-to-end encrypted. 

• Other functions: create a contact, download a map, delete a downloaded map, find your location, create a Pin, share your location, record trip statistics, and topographic maps. 

• Compatible with iOS or Android.

Pros
  • No monthly fee, no SIM card, and no network or Wi-Fi required.
  • Lightweight and minimalist design. 
  • Send message from your phone without service. 
  • Intelligent mesh network. 
  • Sending and receiving messages is super easy.
Cons
  • It requires cell service for the initial configuration.
  • The firmware updates take 40 minutes.
  • No SOS button

2: GoFindMe GPS Tracker - Editor’s Choice

GoFindMe is one of the best outdoor gps tracking devices which is perfect for hiking, backpacking, camping, any other outdoor activity and family use. It gives you a complete solution of tracking, locating and off-grid communicating. Due to the long-range radio technology, all GoFindMe GPS tracking device users can communicate with text and voice message within the app on the smartphone in a private and secure network. In addition to providing the real-time location, the Geo-Fence feature is also useful. You can set the Geo-Fence easily on maps in the app, then you will get alerts and notifications immediately once your kids, elderly, pets or teammates with GoFindMe devices get beyond the boundary. There is a SOS button and you can press it to get help from other members in the group even your phone is powered off. Whether you are going hiking, backpacking, camping or skiing, get GoFindMe GPS Tracker to make sure that it’s a safe outdoor activity.

GPS tracking device without monthly fee 

Main features

• Reference price: crowdfunding

• GoFindMe GPS Tracker has built-in GPS and other powerful modules, which has ability to provide real-time location. You can see up to 32 teammates’ real-time distance and location on maps in the App.

• If you encounter any emergency or get lost, you can just press the SOS button. All members in the group within up to 8km range will receive SOS alerts, notifications and real-time location information, and find you very quickly. SOS feature still works even your phone is powered off.

• People in a group can off-grid communicate with text and voice messages within the App. 

• GoFindMe GPS Tracker offers 3 high-definition offline maps: Google Map, Google Satellite and Google Terrain.

• The Geo - Fence feature makes it easier to monitor your elderly parents, kids, pets and teammates.

• It is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, so it is great for outdoor activities.

Pros
  • Share locations and send messages with each other easily.
  • No required Wi-Fi or cell services, no monthly fee totally.
  • The SOS button is easy to use.
  • The 3 offline maps meet different needs of users.
  • Setting safe zone with Geofence makes it easier to track pets, kids or elderly parents.
Cons
  • None

>>Are you looking for How to Keep Track of Your Kids by Using Geofences?

3: BEARTOOTH – Smartest Walkie Talkie GPS Tracker

BEARTOOTH can be used with your smartphone at any time you are in a place that has no cellular service, like hiking or backpacking, or when the networks are too congested, like at a music festival. Beartooth is another GPS tracking device that creates its own network, allowing users to communicate with others wherever they are. BEARTOOTH can facilitate not only text messages but also voice communication. The device can be used to recharge your smartphone because its battery capacity is 3000mAh. Its app includes accurate topographical maps that can show the location of everyone within your group.

GPS tracker for hiker 

Main features

• Reference price: $249/2

• Working with your smartphone to talk, text, and track your friends without Wi-Fi or cellular.

• Voice message is limited to a range of about 5 miles and texts can be sent up to 10 miles.

• Beartooth pairs with both iOS and Android smartphones via Bluetooth easily.

• Easily find your friends using Beartooth’s offline maps.

Pros
  • It is easy to install the GPS tracker on smartphones and simple to operate.
  • Voice quality was great and maps are easy to use.
Cons
  • There's also no way to fasten it to the exterior of your clothing or backpack, almost forcing you to put it in the backpack or a pocket, further reducing the range. 
  • It is impossible to maintain stable Bluetooth pairing with iPhones. 

4: goTele - Smallest GPS Tracking Device

goTele GPS tracker is another hiking trackers with no monthly fee. It is suitable for outdoor activities, like hiking, hunting, boating, fishing or camping. It also works without a SIM card or cell service and supports real-time tracking for up to 30 members, which makes it an effective solution to keep in touch with your group and keep you safe wherever you are. Within the app on your phone, you can set a Geo-Fence on your map, and you will be alerted immediately when any other goTele device crosses it. This feature is perfect for kids or pets to keep them being monitored. If your phone runs out of power, you can still be tracked and send a message or SOS to your team via your goTele device. Just simply press the SOS button, and your team members will receive an alert via the goTele app. Besides, goTele GPS device supports a variety of off-line maps including Google satellite, Google City, OpenCycle, OpenStreet and Contour. It is waterproof, shockproof, anti-fall and dust-proof.

GPS Tracker of 2019 for Hiker & Backpacker 

Main features

• Reference price: $199.99/2

• You can send messages, emojis, and real-time locations to your teammates when your smartphone is out of service. 

• Real-time tracking allows you to track up to 30 members of your team in real time. 

• You can send SOS signal with the button of goTele in emergency, and every one of your team will receive an alert from you.

• Set a Geo-Fence on your map, then you can be notified when other members leave the safe zone. The Geo-Fence function lets you monitor and protect your loved ones by simply setting a safety distance in the app (100, 200, 300, 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 meters). 

• Everyone can check all (at most 30) group members' real-time positions and trajectories in one map, and communicate with each other by sending SMS texts.

• Free using and downloading top 5 common high-definition off-line maps. 

• You can send a SOS notification to your group members even if your smartphone is powered off.


Pros
  • Accuracy and signal strength are impressive. 
  • Lightweight, portability and durable. 
  • It's easy to install. Download the app, it will search by itself and connect. 
  • Supports a variety of off-line maps.
Cons
  • It takes quite long to determine tracker location for android system. 
  • No mesh network.

5: Radacat Team Messenger C1 - Best Affordable GPS Tracker

Radacat Team Messenger C1 is the best affordable GPS tracker with no monthly fee. It is great for outdoor adventure, international travel, and emergency preparedness. This is a really useful gadget you should bring when you go out for hiking and backpacking, especially to the places where no cellular signal is available. It is a radio communication device that pairs with your smartphones to enable you to text, voice and share real-time location with other users without Wi-Fi or SIM card. You can easily setup a group and create your own private 1 to 1 network for texting and GPS tracking. It also allows you to use offline maps. So never worry about cellular coverage and feel free to take this best GPS tracker for hiking, camping, and skiing.

 Best GPS Tracker of 2019 for Hiker & Backpacker 

Main Features

• Reference price: $79/1

• Radacat is a radio communication device that pairs with you smartphone over Bluetooth. 

• Radacat allows you to use offline GPS, send text and voice messages, real-time locations to other Radacat users when cellular service is unavailable.

• The radio transmission range depends on the environment. In an open-air environment, the range can be expected to be up to 6km.

• Self-generated mesh network can support you to create your own network and extend transmission range by relay mode. 

• The Shake to Talk function allows you to send voice messages by shaking your phone, even when your phone screen is locked.

• The messages are encrypted using proprietary protocols. 

Pros
  • It's fairly easy to install and to use.
  • Pretty good battery life and we could monitor the battery level through the app. 
Cons
  • No SOS button.
  • No Geo-Fence function.
  • Radacat C1 has no GPS clip, and it uses the location services of your smart phone. 

A Comparison Chart for the 5 Best GPS tracker of 2019 for hiker & backpacker

As you can see, even the 5 best GPS tracker of 2019 for hiker & backpacker has its pros and cons. Here is a comparison chart with the specifications for the 5 GPS trackers to help you compare and select the one fits you best.


goTenna Mesh GOFINDME BEARTOOTH goTele
Radacat Team Messenger C1
Reference price $179/2 Crowdfunding $249/2 $199.99/2 $79/1
Dimensions 4.2 ˝ x 1.3 ˝ x 0.9 ˝ 5.12" x 1.42" x 0.67" 2.4 ˝ x 0.5 ˝ x 4 ˝ 5 ˝ x 3.5 ˝ x 1.7 ˝ 4.3 ˝ x 1.5 ˝ x 0.6 ˝
Weight 9 ounces 3 ounces 4.5 ounces 8 ounces 1.92 ounces
Color Black & Gray Black & Blue Black & Gray Black & Yellow Orange, Black, Yellow
Battery life 24 hours 72 hours 96 hours 48+ hours Up to 36 hours
Monthly Fee No No No No No
Text message
Voice message -
SOS button - - -
Range Up to 4 miles Up to 8 km Up to 5 miles in the wild, up to 1 mile in the city 1.8-3.1 miles in the wild, 0.6-1.8 miles in the city 0.3 to 1.9 miles in the city, 0.6 to 3.7 miles in the wild
Offline map
Geofence - - -
Mesh network - -
Built-in GPS -
Compatible with iOS or Android
Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year

Summary 

After reading through the 5 best GPS tracker of 2019 for hiker & backpacker in this article, you may find the GPS tracking device that fits you best easily. In our opinion, GOFINDME GPS tracker is a good choice for hiking and backpacking, because it is portable and multifunctional enough to help you keep in touch with others.

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