Builder's Spotlight The Paceline Forum Builder's Spotlight


Go Back   The Paceline Forum > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-20-2019, 10:38 AM
sparky33's Avatar
sparky33 sparky33 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Wellesley, MA
Posts: 2,540
SPOT satellite tracker/SOS device

Does anyone have experience with or recommendations for a satellite tracker/SOS device, such as a SPOT Gen3?

I am thinking of picking up a device for extra security for very rural adventures that often go beyond cell-coverage, mainly as an SOS for the worst case and as a tracker for my family's peace of mind. I feel comfortable and prepared (experience, tools, food, space blanket, first aid, etc) way out there, but stuff happens.

Is the this basic SPOT unit a good one? What else should I look for in a device/service?
https://www.rei.com/product/860469/s...-gps-messenger
__________________
Steve Park

Instagram
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-20-2019, 11:48 AM
JPS123 JPS123 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 33
Garmin Inreach user here.

It has made adventures I would otherwise never do possible. Solo backpacking, MTB off the grid, etc.

It allows custom emailing or SMS messaging, straight from the device. I pay the $24.95/month fee for 40 messages, they are $.10c after that. A simple check in with family and work is priceless for my peace of mind out there. That, and knowing I have the SOS button for a worst case scenario. After knowing what they are, I see them frequently on the trail with other users. You can even message device to device. These units have saved lives.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-20-2019, 12:04 PM
glepore glepore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Charlottesville Va
Posts: 683
I have an inreach for horseback use in emergencies. I would suggest that you look into buying a lightly used Delorme inreach-same device before the buyout by garmin, and much less money.
The spot device gets meh reviews. I don't have any personal experience.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-20-2019, 12:06 PM
merlinmurph merlinmurph is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hopkinton, MA
Posts: 1,352
FYI, here is some nice info on what happens when one of these devices is used.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-20-2019, 12:54 PM
mhespenheide mhespenheide is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Los Olivos, CA
Posts: 2,494
I use an InReach while backpacking, but that's mostly for my wife's peace of mind.

I did once use it to get a recommendation of how to work on a stalled Suburban deep in Death Valley, which saved me a $4000-$5000 tow truck call. So it's easily paid for itself in that regard.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-20-2019, 01:11 PM
Malinois Malinois is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 49
There’s not much better to illustrate the effectiveness of trackers than the story a few weeks ago of the guy who stranded his Jeep in Oregon and was rescued by an adventure cyclist with a Spot.

Big time cautionary tale with a happy ending thanks to a prepared rider with an SOS device.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-20-2019, 04:42 PM
dem dem is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 578
Depends what you want.. the gold standard is a NOAA PLB (I carry the ACR ResQlink) - but these are really for "I am going to die" situations.

I am personally not a fan of the Spot or the "hobby" trackers if there's a risk of death involved. Plus the PLBs last 6+ years with no recharging/service, so you know it is gonna be there when you really really need it.

The ideal combination would probably be carrying a PLB + InReach sat phone for non-life threatening scenarios.

Personally I just carry the PLB, and let my wife know to send help if I'm wildly off schedule.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-20-2019, 04:59 PM
gasman's Avatar
gasman gasman is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: eugene,oregon
Posts: 5,676
I’ve also been using a PLB for the last decade. However, since I started on our local search and rescue team last year I’ve changed my mind.
One SAR deputy has several stories of it taking up to 6 hours from activation until the local SAR teams get a message that someone needs help. Then, it’s obviously several more hours before a team is mobilized and can get to the subject.
The SPOT seems better, the in reach is even better and a satellite phone is even better but it’s heavy and expensive . I’m looking at what happens with the combined in reach/Garmin gps combo. I think it’s the gpsmap66 but it’s fairly large and hasn’t had all the bugs worked out.
Right now I use Gaia as my gps platform and don’t go out solo so I don’t worry about having an in-reach.
Our SAR team uses the garmin 64 for wayfinding but we do have a couple SPOTS as radio reception can be difficult in some areas.
So if you were going to get a unit today I’d try to find a used in-reach as someone suggested.
__________________
Life is short-enjoy every day.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-20-2019, 06:16 PM
glepore glepore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Charlottesville Va
Posts: 683
Quote:
Originally Posted by gasman View Post
I’ve also been using a PLB for the last decade. However, since I started on our local search and rescue team last year I’ve changed my mind.
One SAR deputy has several stories of it taking up to 6 hours from activation until the local SAR teams get a message that someone needs help. Then, it’s obviously several more hours before a team is mobilized and can get to the subject.
The SPOT seems better, the in reach is even better and a satellite phone is even better but it’s heavy and expensive . I’m looking at what happens with the combined in reach/Garmin gps combo. I think it’s the gpsmap66 but it’s fairly large and hasn’t had all the bugs worked out.
Right now I use Gaia as my gps platform and don’t go out solo so I don’t worry about having an in-reach.
Our SAR team uses the garmin 64 for wayfinding but we do have a couple SPOTS as radio reception can be difficult in some areas.
So if you were going to get a unit today I’d try to find a used in-reach as someone suggested.
Another advantage of the inreach is that it pairs with both android and apple ios. Can't call, but can text from phone or best yet it keeps gps etc working where there's no service.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-20-2019, 06:59 PM
Moorecw Moorecw is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Mt Pleasant, SC
Posts: 17
Just got my an inreach and so far it has been great. The ability to communicate with her through texts is what sold me on it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.