UTV navigation and safety GPS tracking

My friend Bill and I were looking for a good companion to our UTV trips in the Arizona desert. Arizona has an awesome amount of UTV trails into the backcountry (several hundred miles of trails). That said it is quite easy to get on a trail more difficult than we expected. Cell service get's sketchy quickly when heading into the mountains, so I started looking for a better companion than the trail maps in the parking areas.

this is my first attempt at looking what was out there. I'll update as we get more information and try out a few solutions.

Android App

Try (Pro version and one map ~$25)


BackCountry Navigator TOPO GPS - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.crittermap.backcountrynavigator.license&hl=en

Positives:

  1. ATV maps extra purchase (http://backcountrynavigator.com/android-gps-atv-maps/) - Needs pro version
  2. Real time navigation for ATV trails? - Needs pro version
  3. 4.5 rating on android store
  4. Preview maps - http://www.mobiletopomaps.com/
  5. Ability to purchase US ATV trail maps for $15.99 or MVUM for US Forest Service fro $15.99 or AccuTerra Map Source - $19.99 per year
  6. Article on choosing the proper map source - http://support.crittermap.com/hc/en-us/articles/215563583-Choosing-a-Topo-Map-in-the-US
  • Forest Service Maps - has trail numbers
  • AccuTerra Topo Map
  • More Map Sources - Hybrid maps - Hybrid: USTopo with AccuTerra

Negatives:

  1. Pro version is $11.99

Maybe

GPS Waypoints Navigator - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.discipleskies.android.gpswaypointsnavigator&hl=en

Positives:

  • 4.4 Google Play rating
  • Mentions offroad navigation as second usage behind hiking
  • $9.99

Locus Pro - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=menion.android.locus.pro&hl=en

Positives:

  • Recommended on Jeep Wrangler site (along with Back Country Navigator)
  • 4.8 rating on Android store

Negatives:

  • european developer
  • seems better suited to hiking

Polaris GPS Navigation - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.discipleskies.android.polarisnavigation

Positives:

  • Developed in New Mexico (close to Arizona)
  • 4.3 Google Play rating

Negative:

  • Free version with GPS Waypoints being it's $10 big brother

No

Polaris Ride Command - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.weathernation.mobile.orvtrails&hl=en

Negatives:

  • 3.5 stars - Pretty bad ratings
  • Reliability issues

ORV Trail Maps - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.JEB.trailmaps&hl=en

Negatives:

  • Michigan only

Satellite information

Probably most reliable service is something satellite based. No reliance on cellular network, but satellite communication is slower and expensive.

Spot 3
The SPOT 3 seems to be a good compromise between reliable communication and cost. Probably overkill for UTV travel. Seems to be targeted at backcountry hikers and word travels on boats.  Cost is ~$100 a year plus ~$100 dedicated satellite hardware.

Hardware: http://www.cabelas.com/product/SPOT-LLC-SPOT-GEN-ORANGE/1661065.uts ($149 with $75 rebate)

Amazon: SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

Service plan: https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=103 ~$175 a year

Personal 

Our friend who is a pilot carries one of the and they are available for a one time price of ~250. You just need to register them every 2 years and there are no service fees (not sure how much a rescue costs). The devices are only for when you need to be rescued.

Acrartex website - https://www.acrartex.com/ResQLink

 Amazon - ResQlink Personal location beacon

2 way satellite communication and emergency beacon

This device from Delorme (now Garmin) allows two way text communication, but it may not be as reliable for a personal beacon. This allows you to create text messages in reall time, if the emergency was a minor one.

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/DeLorme-inReach-SE-Satellite-Tracker/ ~$290
Subscription plans - https://www.orbitalsatcom.com/delorme-inreach-subscription-plans ~$250 annually

Good backcountry writeups comparing:
2 way messenger write up - http://www.backcountrychronicles.com/delorme-satellite-gps-messenger/
Comparison of all 4 - http://www.backcountrychronicles.com/satellite-messengers/

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