On Equipment: I use the Spot satellite communicator paired with Delorme’s PN-60w GPS device. The Spot allows you to plot and track your positions during your expedition. The Delorme allows us to send short messages to our website, Twitter or Facebook accounts, or individual email.
On Preplanning: We create a blog that is going to be the information hub on the project, and then I setup and embed a Google map at the top of it. Any time someone wants to check up on an expedition, they just go to the blog and front and center, there’s a map. It’s great for family and friends and people wanting to follow along. They can see at a glance where you are or wherever you checked in last.
On Getting the Most of These Devices: One trick is to make sure you let as many people know ahead of time what you’re up to, where you’re going, and what you’re doing. That way, they know basically what to look for. Once you’ve started to attract followers on Twitter, Facebook, or your website, using the technology with social media is pretty straight forward. Turn on the Spot, put it in your pack, and go, using the Delorme to post messages anywhere you like.
On Troubleshooting: Check to make sure there’s coverage where you’re going. Some locations, like central Africa, or down near the poles, aren't as reliable, as the Americas or Europe. One great thing about the devices’ functionality is a 911 feature. We were Kayaking in Canada on one trip when one of our paddlers got injured. This technology helped us initiate a rescue.