Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Monday, September 2, 2013

Stay Safe With Your Spot Locator - Update

Since writing this post two years ago SPOT has continued to be a very popular backcountry tool for the hiker.  In those two years Global Star has come out with new models.  Further, the rumors of Global Star's demise (spread by the competitors) has been transparent to the user and may be false.

I have used mine while hunting, camping and hiking.  I have also been on the receiving end as a SAR team member while tracking a lost hiker.  SAR teams in my home state now use SPOT locators to track team members while they are in the field because the device provides near real time updates.

While backpacking with my sons, hundreds of miles from home in a remote area of Glacier National Park, I was able to send information to my wife every evening.  Those messages from my SPOT (which stands for “SPOT”) locator gave my wife peace-of-mind.

Locator beacons have been available to outdoorsmen for several years.  The basic idea is pretty straight forward: to help someone stay out of trouble in the backcountry by providing a method for them get help.

Spot units are communication devices that use satellite systems to link to control stations to forward messages.  SPOT, manufactured by Global Star Communications, has made locator beacons affordable and multifunctional.  Criticized initially for a lack of GPS sensitivity and other issues, SPOT responded with the SPOT II & III, an upgraded and improved, smaller and more reliable model.  An annual subscription fee is charged to use a SPOT unit.

SPOT units are a good choice for anyone who wants to stay connected to family, friends and emergency responders.  One of my friends gives his wife the SPOT when they go shopping in Portland, Or., at the malls!  Talk about urban survival skills!

To read the rest of the post go here.

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