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Best GPS Tracker for Your Emergency Survival Kit

In a time when we all have access to smartphones that have built-in GPS trackers, some people don’t think that they’re as valuable. However, a GPS device has more accuracy, battery life, and functions for navigation purposes than a phone could ever have. When you’re trying to survive or pull through an emergency situation, navigation is everything. So, what is the best GPS tracker for a survival and emergency kit?

The Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS Device is at the top of the charts. It has interior mapping that updates constantly, a comfortable strap to wear every day of the week, and high-tech construction for durability and longevity.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following:

  • More details about the best GPS device
  • What to keep an eye out for when you’re buying a new GPS device
  • Whether or not you need one for your kit
Looking at the Back of a Lost Man in the Woods

The Best GPS Device for Survival and Emergency Kits

Garmin is one of the leading brands in the industry, so it’s no surprise that my recommended GPS device is the #1 for most customers. It’s not too expensive, but it still provides the same high-quality performance and lifespan of devices twice its price. You’ll also get the customer support for the company as well.

Diving right into the details, this GPS device is so crucial for survival kits because it has a built-in compass. Rather than being lost or relying on cell reception, you’ll always be able to navigate your way out of a bad situation. It even includes coordinates to help you find your home, a hospital, or emergency services.

Another reason that you should consider this device is that it has a long-lasting battery life that works for up to 17 hours while using GPS mode. Save power by turning the GPS tracker off when it’s not in use. You can still access the compass, view the time, and enjoy plenty of other features without running down the battery.

The comfortable band that wraps around your wrist is padded and designed to sit snugly while you move around. It won’t ride up and down your arm as other GPS devices and watches do since it fits your exact arm size. Loosen or tighten it in seconds and secure it with the Velcro patch on the side.

Additional features on this GPS device include elevation, routes, distance, waypoints, and more. You’ll always be good to go when you need it the most. All that this high-tech device takes to run is two AAA batteries. There’s also a USB charging cable, a helpful guide to assist you through the learning process, and an extended wrist strap for comfort.

All in all, this GPS device is perfect for your emergency kit. You don’t need to worry about maintenance all the time, and it lasts for plenty of years. Charge it up, use the GPS mode wisely, and enjoy the simplicity of this new-age GPS tracker.


  • Comes with an adjustable wrist strap
  • Includes extra features such as elevation, routes, a compass, and more
  • Long-lasting 17-hour battery life during GPS mode
  • Uses standard AAA battery and a provided USB cable for charging

Related Do Flip Phones Have GPS? (For Tracking and Navigation).

What to Look For

When you’re about to buy a GPS device, all of them start to look the same. How are you supposed to know which one to invest your money in for survival purposes? After all, you should settle for nothing less than the best when it comes to keeping you and your family safe from harm.

Here are the five things to consider when you’re purchasing a GPS tracker for survival kits:

  1. What are the additional features? All GPS devices come with navigation and coordinates, but you should look for extra options. For example, the Garmin device mentioned above has a compass and other features that you read throughout the review. These options are what separate good GPS trackers from the best.
  2. How long is the battery life? The battery life of most GPS devices lasts longer than smartphones while they’re active simply because they don’t have as many applications running all at once. That being said, the life of a GPS device can range from 5 hours to 24 hours, so check the stats before you spend your money.
  3. What brand should you choose? Garmin is one of the original producers of GPS trackers. They even have their systems included in some phones, cars, and more. Getting a device straight from the company is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the best brand available.
  4. How long does the GPS device last? According to Concox, the average GPS device lasts up to 3 years. This is a typical estimation that assumes you’re using it on a daily basis and maintaining it properly. If you store it away for a survival kit, then there’s no reason that they could exceed 5 to 7 years, especially the products from Garmin.
  5. What is the strap made out of? Some of them are leather, canvas, or nylon, while others are made with metal chain links and other materials. None of them are better than others; It’s based solely on personal preference. If you’ll be swimming and in the heat, nylon and canvas are better than almost anything else, though.

Do You Need a GPS Tracker for a Prepper Setup?

Whether you’re preparing for the end of the world or you simply want to have a kit ready to go for natural disasters, everyone has their own list of must-have’s. You probably have food, water, backpacks, and other obvious choices, but do you really need a GPS device to survive through an emergency?

Yes! Being able to track your own location is crucial. Imagine being stuck in the middle of nowhere without any sense of direction. Not only that, but most GPS devices can be tracked by other systems, meaning your rescuers can find you much quicker. There’s no doubting the effectiveness of a GPS watch in such instances.

Another reason that you should consider getting a GPS device for a bugout bag or a prepper kit is that it will allow you to check the elevation. It might not seem too important, but it matters for three reasons:

  1. Water boils quicker at higher elevations.
  2. Some people suffer from elevation sickness, so you’ll know to not exceed a certain level.
  3. Knowing the elevation will allow you to know how far you are from sea level.

The more features you have one a GPS device, the more reasons you’ll have to carry one. Knowing that you can have access to life-saving knowledge right from your wrist is more than enough for most people to get one.

Many years ago, GPS devices were incredibly expensive. However, the prices have taken a dive, which means that now is a better time than ever to get your hands on one of these budget-friendly navigation wristbands.


The best GPS tracker on the market is undoubtedly the Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS Device (Amazon Link). It’s comfortable, versatile, and very affordable compared to other tracking devices of its caliber. Coming from such a reputable brand, it’s quite surprising to see a good deal for an excellent product.

Here’s a quick rundown of the post:

  • Always check for additional features on modern-day GPS devices.
  • Knowing your coordinates, elevation, and direction is very important for survival.
  • Remember that having a comfortable GPS device will allow you to wear it throughout the day.

For more, check out 10 Best Places to Practice Bushcraft and Survival Skills.