One of the places that gadgets are becoming increasingly popular is in the great outdoors. It used to be that people flocked to the wilderness in an effort to escape man made things and a lot of the luxuries and nuisances associated with more advanced technology. Now though many technological gadgets have become so light weight and useful that many hikers, boaters, mountain bikers, backpackers, skiers, snow shoers, and mountaineers see no reason not to bring a lot of compact luxuries along into the back country.
Some types of technologies lend themselves especially well to being used in the woods because of their light weight and their ability to function without the support of other types of technologies. For example, many people do not go into the wilderness without a mobile phone for safety reasons. In this case, the fact that mobile phones are so light weight that they make sense to carry even though they do not needlessly work in places where tall, steep mountains would get in the way of finding a tower signal. Fortunately most people do not go very deep into the wilderness, so a mobile phone still makes sense to carry.
For people whose adventures take them farther afield, satellite technology offers a good way to stay connected. For instance, if one wants to have a way of contacting the outside world in case of emergency, a satellite phone is a much better choice than a mobile phone because a satellite phone will still work in places where there are too many mountains or mountains in the way of getting a tower signal.
Perhaps even more popular than satellite phones is GPS technology. GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System allows users to determine where they are, often within a dozen feet or so, instantly without having to use a compass and make complicated calculations. This system is based on signals that come from satellites in geosynchronous orbit around the Earth, so the signals are available just about anywhere.
Now there are GPS devices that combine navigation features with other information available from satellite signals. A great new example of a device that bundles satellite technology features together is the Bushnell Weather Tracker ONIX 400. This device not only has the navigation capabilities of a typical GPS (the ability to determine position, speed, number of miles transported, etc.) , but it also comes with access to XM satellite radio channels and satellite based weather information. This unit is so advanced that it will even layer weather data over the map that's displayed on the screen of the device so that you can see where a new weather system is coming from. In many ways, the advanced warning that the Weather Tracker ONIX 400 can provide for outdoor people is a much better safety device than any mobile phone because it allows them to avoid trouble to begin with- which is preferable to having to contact someone for rescue after getting into trouble.
For times when an excursion does not involve emergencies, the XM satellite radio feature will provide an ever varying soundtrack for adventure. This GPS / satellite radio / weather forecasting device is a good example of how different features can be combined into a truly superior and useful gadget.