Gear item of the week

GPS tracker

THE SITUATION: If you’re a fan of real off-the-grid adventures, cellphone reception is going to be sketchy at best, which makes investing in a quality GPS tracking device good practice.

AN ANSWER: The SPOT Gen3 satellite personal tracker allows you to send for help to local emergency response teams, check in with friends family members and let them track you in near real-time to ensure you’re safe. The pocket-size device requires a subscription to operate, and plans vary from basic to unlimited tracking. The basic service plan includes S.O.S. notification to an emergency response center; a help button to request non-emergency help; a check-in button and automated message to let contacts know you’re safe; GPS tracking that you and your friends and family can access; and motion-activated tracking, which instructs the device to enable tracking only when you’re on the move. Depending on plan upgrades, you can customize tracking from 60 minutes to 2.5 minutes.

THE DETAILS: The device has a rugged design to hold up to the elements and is powered by four AAA batteries with a USB connection. It measures about 3.5-by-2.5-by-1 inches and weighs 4 ounces with lithium batteries. Operating temperature is -22 to 140 degrees; operating altitude is -328 feet to 21,320 feet.

PRICE: Starts at $149.95. Annual subscriptions start at $99.99.

AVAILABILITY: Go to findmespot.com.

Shelby Sheehan-Bernard, Tribune News Service