GPS technology gets one hiker to safety

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Rapid City, SD The rapid growth of technology can make our lives easier in more ways than one.

GPS technology helped one man to safety.

Fall colors and cool weather are just ahead – which is good news for many hikers.

Kristy Lintz, the Program Specialist with the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department, said "Right now, with the fall colors – you'll see a lot more people venturing out."

But that led to trouble for one man who fell sick on his trek up Harney Peak.

Fortunately, his GPS device gave exact coordinates for Search and Rescue to help him to safety.

It's part of a growing trend now hitting the hiking world.

Pennington County Search and Rescue Team Leader Tammy Stadel said "If we have people from out of town who maybe got on the wrong trail, it's just an extra confirmation for us to know that we aren't going to spend a bunch of time trying to find where that person is."

His device was similar to this one – costing up to several hundred dollars.

But, another alternative is your cell phone, with many of them now including location services.

And don't forget the basics...

Black Hills FOX reporter Robert Grant said "So clearly I'm not dressed for hiking, but when you do hit the trails there's some important things to keep with you – and you can put it all in a light weight backpack. The first: make sure you have some water in case you get thirsty. Second: make sure you have enough food in case you get hungry. And finally, bring some tissues – just in case you get hurt."

Lintz said "Just some minor things that you can put in your backpack that are light weight that will help you in certain situations."

You should also do your research:
–Check the weather forecast.
–bring a trail map.
–and if you're hiking alone, let someone know you'll be gone, and what time you should be back.

Lintz said "Making sure that you do your due diligence to know where you're venturing out to."

But if trouble does strike, call 9–1–1 and stay where you are - it can take rescuers up to 45 minutes just to get up to the Black Hills.

Stadel said "You know we want people to go out in the hills, but be responsible about it. It gets really cold up here at night and the weather can change pretty quick."

Officials usually respond to trips and falls, medical emergencies, and sometimes rattlesnake bites.