This is one of the coolest techie toys to catch my eye this season. Whether you’re out camping, sailing, trail running, walking the dog, or heading off to Timbuktu, this bright-orange handheld lets you track a digital trail, send for help or check-in okay at home. Rugged enough to work in extreme temps and altitudes or even underwater, the spot-on GPS unit offers an affordable safety net for remote ramblings.  Service plans from $99.00;


Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".