From logging your path, to requesting roadside assistance, or even calling in the cavalry (search and rescue) in an emergency – personal locator beacons can serve a valuable purpose when camping!
I’ve owned the Spot device for several years. While acquired for backcountry hiking and camping, I now take it with the popup camper on trips venturing outside of cell service.$99 to purchase the hardware and about the same each year gives me piece of mind. It’s also nice to have the Spot handy for going on hikes away from the camper.
I pay a little extra for the “GEOS Member Rescue Benefit,” essentially an insurance policy against having to pay for a potentially costly rescue mission to come assist me. I also sign up for the tracking service, logging my GPS coordinates as traveled, helping re-create the steps to visiting that perfect boondocking spot again! And finally, there’s even a roadside assistance button and service you can sign up for – making this device not just for emergencies, but for all unexpected situations.
There are of course other devices out there that perform similar functions. One thing to keep in mind: trees, canyons, and other natural objects could potentially block satellite communication – so don’t consider these devices fail-safe.
I recommend always carrying an extra set of batteries.