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Old 07-19-2014, 02:47 PM   #1

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Spot Devices - Amazingly Cool!!!

A member of our local Jeep club posted up on a "I am Wheeling Alone" thread the club keeps and monitors. You post up where you are going, and an ETA back to pavement. The club watches the thread. If you dont post back by your ETA, folks will come out looking for you!

This member has a Spot. I am not sure which one yet. But it let him post a link to it and a password - we can log on online with the password and see exactly where he is with coordinates and a map! Amazingly cool. That is now on my need list!

I know Spots can also be programmed to transmit short messages - ie "send help" or "I am ok just running late" and stuff.

Anyone here run with one? What brand/features does yours have? Has it ever saved you?
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:31 PM   #2
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I have looked into these devices.

There are basically two categories:

1.)Stay in touch, messaging, I'm ok, follow my path, I need help/SOS

2.) PLB - Personal Locator Beacons

The Spot and the InReach (supposedly better than Spot) are from type 1. More fun messaging, with potential to help you if in trouble. The issue with these types are that you need to pay a monthly/yearly subscription to use any of the features. Most importantly though is that they are not nearly as reliable at getting signals/messages out. If safety is the main purpose for someone then that is huge. Otherwise they are a fun gadget I think for sure.

The second type PLB's (several brands), are for I'm screwed, need help now situations. That's it. They are way more reliable at getting the distress signal out. They also have two frequencies. The first is the sat signal that gives rescuers your general area, then they have a homing beacon that rescuers can use when they are near the area to get pretty much right to you. Also no subscription for these devices.

So it really depends what you want it for. I know someone who used one of the InReach messaging devices and likes it, but personally I don't need to send "hi guys" messages when I'm camping or backcountry, etc. I'd want a PLB so I know I have a chance at getting rescued if something goes wrong.

Hope that helps!

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Old 07-19-2014, 05:24 PM   #3
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My friend uses a "spot" as he travels all over the world and when he leaves gives me the log in to watch and see where he has been. Really cool to watch him when he's in Europe. He bought it more for motorcycling though when he travels North America by himself. Neat device!
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:59 PM   #4
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I've run a SPOT for many years. I do solo motorcycle, driving, and backpacking trips often, so is Peace of Mind. Plus when my son was younger, it was good for his mother being able to see and know we were doing well. I like Spotwalla for viewing and letting others keep track.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:55 AM   #5
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My group of off-road geocachers and kayakers primarily use one of the SPOT units with one using the DeLorme inReach. I was just reading a review article, Personal Locator Beacons and Satellite Messengers | Expedition Portal, which covers SPOT, DeLorme and others. While published on 10/1/2014, it is still useful in understanding each type of locator.

SPOT has recently cut the price of its Gen3 locator to 50% so that likely precedes the release of a new unit.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:08 AM   #6
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Been running a Spot for yr. Came programmed with the an "OK" message which gets used frequently along any trail we run alone, especially after a turn or when we get out of the vehicle to explore something. Our unit also comes with an option to program a message which we currently have loaded as "Off the Trail". The people on the list know that this will be the last transmission from us and all is well at this time. I sometimes go without the bridal unit and this lets her know my current status. We just use the text version, no emails.

Never leave home without it. Stays in the Jeep.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:53 AM   #7
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I travel extensively for work, mostly within the US but I got a satellite phone a year or so ago in the event of an emergency since cell networks will likely be overloaded should something bad happen. I also bring it along on my personal trips. Only place I've had the Jeep so far was a ORV park so I wasn't really out of civilization on that one but if I ever get up north it'll be with me.

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