Thanks to the generosity of one of our sponsors, NW Neurological in Spokane, Washington, we were able to purchase a Garmin In Reach Explorer communicator. It has a GPS tracker, navigational tool, 2-way satellite messenger and SOS device. We can stay connected to cell phone numbers and email addresses even when we are definitely off the grid. The unit contains a digital compass, altimeter and accelerometer and is impact and water resistant.
We can send and receive texts but not photos and Ken has set up the device to show our location during the hike. You will be able to track our progress on the website at http://passtopass.org/track-the-hikers/
Last year our wrangler used a similar device to contact help for a medical departure from the trip for Dave, although we do not anticipate any similar emergency it is good to know that there is 2-way communication if needed. The group can also update with information for the daily blog.