Within the boundary of Death Valley National Park pets must remain within 100 feet of a road, picnic area or campground, and they must remain on a leash at all times. I've written on this subject before. But outside Park boundaries, on lands regulated by the Bureau of Land Management, pets are allowed as long as they remain under your control.
Therefore, bringing the family dog along on desert camping trips and adventures is popular. Especially during upland game bird season it is actually common to come across parties in the backcountry with their dogs. Our dog seems to enjoy camping and exploring in the desert as much as we do. But it is possible to loose track of your pup, particularly the younger dogs, or the more scent oriented breeds. Nobody wants to loose their dog in the backcountry.
Another thing we love here at DeathValley.com are gadgets. At least I do. Well, we've come across two electronic pet tracking systems that might help you in keeping Rover from roving away from camp. I have not used either of these products and don't know how well they actually work, but I have wished for their existance for years!
One is called RoamEO, a GPS pet location system. The two-piece RoamEO includes a dog collar with an attached GPS receiver/radio transmitter, and a handheld receiver with a 320x240 pixel color display. The RoamEO devices use the MURS band and claimed to work within a range of one mile. You can purchase up to two additional RoamEO collars and track up to three dogs on the same screen of the receiver.
RoamEO has a feature that allows you to set up a GPS Fence. When your dog wonders beyond the boundary an alarm will sound on the receiver. Imagine how helpful this would be for monitoring up to three dogs at an open backcountry campsite.
The GPS portion of the device is subject to the limitations of any GPS, such as loss of effectiveness in tunnels, narrow ravines, thick tree coverage. And the radio transmitter and receiver is also subject to the limitations of the MURS band.
The batteries in both the collar and receiver are rechargable and are claimed to last 8 to 10 hours. Also, there is no service fee or initialization required. You can find more information about RoamEO at their website, www.roameoforpets.com. RoamEO is available online through a variety of outlets including Cabelas.
A second dog tracking product is the Zoombak, a small A-GPS device that attaches to your dog's collar. Although the Zoombak has lots of features and is not limited to just a 1 mile range, it is limited to the T-Mobile service area. Although most effective in metro areas, coverage along the desert's major highways is good, and these are areas popular for camping and staging backcountry activities, such as along Hwy 14, 15, 40, 395 and 95.
Also unlike the RoamEO, there is a subscription fee of between $12 and $15 for tracking services similar to that offered by the Spot satalite locator for people. Using an online interface you can establish zones and set the system to sent text messages and email notifications when your dog crosses in and out. You can also track your dog's location via an online map.
For more information about Zoombak, which also makes lines of vehicle and personal locators, see their website, www.zoombak.com .