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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine give me one of this for my birthday and I activated it today. Will be testing it for the next couple of weeks and take it on my camping trip to Death Valley National Park at the end of the month. This is a cool device that has very basic functionalities like sending messages via Satellites to a list of your contacts via email or phone text stating if you are OK, if you need help or contacts 911 in case of an emergency. It automatically sends your GPS coordinates embedded on the email message or text message to a phone. This device works any where even where there is no cell phone coverage. It also has a tracking feature where it shows your locations and people can go to a website to see a map of where you are.

I plan on using it when camping, kayaking, car traveling. I just wanted to find out if any one here is using it and what is your experience with it. I got it for my birthday back in August with a 1yr service subscription and just activated it and did a quick test on it.
 

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Be aware: search & rescue people hate these things. As a result of the false security they give amateur trekkers, the untrained/inexperienced are venturing into difficult conditions totally unprepared, just because they are under the impression that if they get in trouble, the cavalry is available at the push of a button.

Paraphrasing one S&R interviewee I recently heard, "Just because we know where you are doesn't mean we can get to you in time to save your foolish butt."

Then there's the other issue, where the self-important are activating the emergency call feature because they're going to miss their expected return schedule. So, no problems anywhere, just late. All while emergency resources are being consumed, put at risk, and made unavailable to legit incidences.

So... great idea, more power to you... but remember to use responsibly, and encourage everyone you meet with one to be similarly responsible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MikeQBF,

Very well said MikeQBF, this tool and any other's do not replace common sense, and by all means you got to be prepare for anything that may come your way and not rely 100% on something like this to get you out of trouble. I see it as an extra precaution.
 

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(see an older thread here)

I'm considering getting one and signing up for the tracking feature where it sends a location update to a webpage every ten minutes (or when it can get a signal out) for a big road trip next year. Seems like it'd be fun for my family to see where I am, and without me having to manually push the data.

There is a newer Spot out now, smaller, and different buttons, but basically the same (I think).

I'll keep an eye out for updates to see how you like it!
 

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GPS Trackers

If you are interested in keeping family and friends updated during your next big adventures, check out the LiveViewGPS Live Trac PT10 => http://www.liveviewgps.com/live+trac+pt-10+.html. I followed a fellow bike tourist's progress during his transamerica tour this summer and this is what he used. I think you only pay for the service when you use it, which means you don't pay for the service between trips.
 

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The PT 10 looks interesting, but the cost is $200 plus $40/mo when you want it and it will only last on battery for up to 8 hours. They have a PT10 Pro that last 60 hours on a single charge if you are in motion for 1 hour/day... if 8 hour motion/day then it will last 7.5 days. The Pro model costs $600! but then the monthly fee is waived. It would make more sense for a group of people to pool their money and share a PT10 Pro, it would save you money so long as everyone doesn't want to use it at the same time. lol



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The PT 10 looks interesting, but the cost is $200 plus $40/mo when you want it and it will only last on battery for up to 8 hours.
I only find $399 for the PT10 ... where's the $200 price tag? $200 + $40/mo might still be cheaper than the Spot + Tracking service for my purposes.
 

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Spot

I've used on eof the these for my solo motorcycle off road trips for almost 12 months. Works great as long as you know it's limits. The new units are smaller and get satalite access much faster.
Josh:cool:
 

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I use the spot for two of my hobbies (XC paragliding and general aviation). It has worked great for me both for the tracking, OK and Help buttons.

I've never used the 911 button (and hopefully never will), but I have used the the OK button so my paragliding friends would know I was down fine, would be camping (very outback) overnight then hiking out the next day. If I had pressed the Help button they would know I was medically fine, but would like someone to get as close to my GPS coords as they could as soon as they reasonably could.
 

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I would get the new version. SPOT states the new version is much better and more reliable. For the right price I might consider it.

The SPOT 1 is not very good for activities that have cover. It was not very good while hiking. If you have a clear view of the sky then it is ok. I have used mine for hiking in Florida, Georgia, NC, Washington, Colorado and Oregon. If there was cover then no go. I have also it kayaking in Florida and it was ok. I got it mainly for the tracking and emergency purposes and was not impressed. I got a PLB for safety and would use the SPOT for fun. It is basically added weight. I do not carry it any more.
 

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I use mine quite a bit. I took it with us to Italy for a 2 week trip when I wanted my family and friends to know where I was but didn't want to pay the extra fee on my cell phone. I also use it camping to check in with my wife so she knows that I am okay. The tracking feature is really fun too. I haven't really had any problems with getting a signal out. It is best if you send your signal when you are sitting still for a few minutes like during a rest stop on a big hike.

The new one looks pretty sweet with the extra message button. I have been looking into the spot assist program for vehicle recovery but so far it doesn't look like it is as full coverage as I would like.
 

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It's Midnight do you know where your spouse is?

My wife was reading over my shoulder.
She wondered if a suspicious wife could put one in her hubby's car?

(not me....I taught her how to shoot when we first married....and she's good!)

Plus I don't want anything to do with a woman with such bad taste as to be interested in me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Last weekend I got a chance to do a test the tracking feature and it work very well. I just put the SPOT on the dashboard and drove to LA. I setup a few emails/phone numbers of a few friends to let them know I was OK and shared the tracking page with family memembers. This way, everyone knew at what time I left the Central Valley, where was I on my trip to LA and I sent a message that I got there OK.

converted the tracking page to a jpeg, so hope it shows up ok.
 

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