Getaway Gear: Leave Your Own Digital Trail with the Lightweight Breadcrumb

An added element of vacation safety is as simple as downloading an app.

breadcrumb trackable
The Breadcrumb personal safety beacon allows a solo adventurer to be tracked via app on someone else’s phone.Breadcrumb

With a lot of solo journeys on my plate, I think about personal safety a lot. After all, most of my getaways have an adventurous theme to them, from diving and snorkeling to off-roading in UTVs and hiking or biking to hard-to-reach secluded spots. My recent golf partners would also add that I spend a lot of time in the brush and trees looking for my golf balls (and occasionally a club that I wasn’t too pleased with). Regardless of the activity, there’s always a little voice inside my head telling me to be careful, because even a Caribbean paradise can present the occasional unpleasant surprise.

For extra peace of mind, I recently added Breadcrumb to my weekender bag and used this small, lightweight Bluetooth device to track my every move on a trip to Turks and Caicos. This trip was packed with activities—including a sunset yacht voyage, snorkeling at a popular spot and yoga at a hillside retreat that I would have never found without a guide—and so it presented a bevy of opportunities to put Breadcrumb's trackable technology to the test.

How Does It Work?

Breadcrumb is as simple as installing batteries and downloading an app. This safety beacon, which retails for $39.99 and requires no cell service, reminds me of the reflector on the back of my bicycle. A little more than two square inches in size, this device slides right into your pocket or onto your belt or backpack strap, and you'll barely know it's there.

Once it is paired with the app on your phone, there is little else to do. Activate Breadcrumb with the touch of a button and a map shows exactly where you are, right down to the latitude and longitude. The app tells you the device’s battery life, and two buttons also operate the lights and sound, just in case you lose track of the device among your gear.

How Well Does It Work?

The thing about Breadcrumb is that how it works with your phone is only half the battle. What really matters is how it works on someone else’s phone, because if the worst goes down, the Breadcrumb app needs to be in someone else’s hands. So, whether it’s a best friend, significant other, or concerned parent, you will need to choose someone to download the app and keep track of you while you’re on your adventure.

In a worst-case scenario, the app’s map will show your counterpart exactly where you are (or were, in case the battery expires) and if you’re stuck somewhere and unable to move, you can activate the light and beacon so people will be able to find you. Fortunately, I never had to go to those lengths in testing the Breadcrumb, but I can attest that the noise signal is loud and annoying—in the best, most helpful way. And wherever I went in Providenciales, my Breadcrumb left a trail for my office cohorts to know where I was at all times.

Another Cool Use

One thing I didn’t even think about when bringing my Breadcrumb with me is using it as a digital landmark. This aspect comes in very handy for solo campers and hikers who set up a base camp away from the comfort of a resort. Simply leave the Breadcrumb in your tent or tied to a tree, and that will serve as your point of origin in case you get lost on mountain trails or in a jungle. The digital map will guide you right back to where you started, and you’ll never have to worry about losing reception.

Just be sure to bring an extra battery charger with you. Of course, that applies to every vacation situation.