A hand-held device that uses GPS technology to provide communication in the most remote areas of the county, such as the Eagle Cap Wilderness or Hells Canyon, is proving to be a hot seller for the holidays at the Sports Corral in Joseph.
Larry Snook, owner of the Wallowa County sporting goods store, ordered several more of the SPOT Satellite Messengers after he sold out. The device allows hunters, hikers, rafters or anyone else who travels to remote areas to keep in touch with friends and family, or call for help if there is an emergency.
The device is similar to a radio position indicating beacon used by commercial fishing boats and charter boats. It uses GPS satellites to relay a position to other people or authorities in case of an emergency. While a user can't actually talk via the device, pre-set messages, such as "Send Help" or "Checking In" can be sent. The device also relays precise longitude and latitude positions.
"It works where cell phones don't," Larry Snook said. "It works anywhere you can see the sky."
The device also has a tracking feature, where people can track the user on Google Maps.
The device became popular with outdoorsmen after mountain climbers began carrying them and were able to send distress calls from places such as Mount Hood and Mount Rainier.