When you are hiking or camping in remote locations the first and most important rule is to let someone know where you will be and when you’ll be back. It’s a good idea to have some sort of distress beacon to send out your GPS coordinates in case the unthinkable happens, but if you are on a budget, those GPS distress signals can take a mighty chunk out of your wallet. So, why not just use your cell phone as a beacon?
The web-based application HikerAlert is designed to do just that. Before you leave for your trip, you can give it some of your information along with your intended travel route and return time. If you don’t check in with HikerAlert after your scheduled return time and date, it will automatically send an email and text message to your listed emergency contacts with all the information they would need to relay to emergency response personnel including GPS location, route and equipment information, etc.
HikerAlert is a HTML5 Web App, not a native phone app so it doesn’t require updates and is compatible with all phones. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can upload all of the relevant trail information before you leave, and then simply use any text message compatible phone to reply to the safety check messages.