I’m no outdoorsman, but I know a guy. My guy says hydration is the key to outdoor survival. Not freezing to death is also a thing. After that, it’s all about getting someone to rescue you, or finding your own damn way to safety. A cell or sat phone works for the former. A watch with GPS location tracking for the latter. Great. But why do so many of these things have to be so ugly? Big and ugly . . .
The “bread crumb” GPS tracking survival watch above is the $762.88 Japanese-import Casio G-SHOCK RANGEMAN Solar-Assisted GPS Navigation GPR-B1000-1JR.
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb — an arboreal position my outdoors guy told me to avoid — when I suggest that the RANGEMAN is no shrinking violet. We’re talking a 58mm case diameter timepiece that’s 22mm tall.
OK, form follows function. You can’t kill the RANGEMAN with a stick (although I’d like to try). And I bet it would be the best-looking watch in the history of the world ever it it saves your life. Or makes you a cup of coffee in the middle of nowhere.
But while you’re here, I’d like to point out that outdoorsy types don’t have to wear Medusa on their wrist when they trek into the wilderness and, hopefully, back. Check out this bad boy:
That be the Casio Men’s “Pro Trek” Outdoor GPS Resin Sports Watch. Its case diameter is “only” 52mm and it’s a “mere” 15mm thick. More to the point, it’s a handsome jumbo-sized devil.
OK, sure the CPT doesn’t look like it meets MIL-STD-810G standards for environmental resistance (it does). And yes, it’s not solar-powered; limited battery life could limit yours. And it’s an Android droid — which makes it a golf course companion but not the Apple of many an eye.
Anyway, c’mon. I reckon the people likely to wear a gi-normous watch with GPS tracking are probably the same people who could survive in the wilderness without one. The people who actually need it are stupid ass one- or two-day amateur hikers. And for them, form trumps function. Right until it doesn’t.