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Lost Hong Kong hikers get GPS boost

by GPS4US 2013-10-11 13:45

 

Hikers lost in Hong Kong’s trails now have a GPS-based hope for rescue.

The smartphone app automatically sends the hiker’s location to the Communications Association of Hong Kong over mobile or Wi-Fi network. In emergencies, families or friends can report the hikers missing and the association emails their location.

The service runs through the Enjoy Hiking app, developed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The app is devoted to Hong Kong hiking maps.

With up to five deaths and 30 rescues per year, Hong Kong hikers do face dangers on the trails. So far, two people have died in 2013.

"We've been waiting some time for an app like this," said Phillip Forsyth, a Hong Kong Hiking meet-up organizer. "The app has all the major trails in Hong Kong, [but now] you can use the GPS to find your way. It uses very, very little data."

To use the app, hikers must manually open and activate the service. The service stays active for 24 hours while the unit is on. All data is encrypted and deleted after seven days.

Forsyth, however, was quick to point out common hiking safety measures.

"Don't hike alone,” she said. “Hike with a group or some friends that know the route. Make sure you have enough water and food. If you're going on a longer hike, make sure you have a torch. And make sure you tell your friends and family what time you're expected to be back home."

 

Safety is important when hiking, and having the right tools can make all the difference. The Garmin eTrex series can be your best friend when you’re out on the trails.

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