Jul 1, 2011

Playing it safe...Find me SPOT

A couple years ago I bought a SPOT satellite locator because they were on clearance. Shannon was looking at me the same way she does whenever we're at REI, Cabela's or any hardware store, holding a potential new toy...

"What do you need that for?" she asked.  I spent about 30 minutes explaining to her (and convincing myself) that we needed it...SPOT's satellite products are made for people who like to go outdoors, far away from any cell phone tower. SPOT's service has several functions, but to sum it up you can use it to signal for 911/rescue/med-evac, check-in with your family and tell them you're ok, or roadside assistance when you have no cellphone reception.

The device cost me $27, the basic service plan costs $99/year.

At the time, I'm sure Shannon figured I was paranoid and wasting my money on some silly gadget (after she saw the movie 127 hours she realized I wasn't paranoid). This device will help us check in with family and keep their minds at ease when they haven't heard from us in a while.  We've used it on several trips so far...backpacking along Carbon Glacier on Mount Rainier, a weeklong river trip canoeing Big Bend's Santa Elena Canyon. I feel like this product has already paid for itself.

For the first year of the trip we've paid for the following SPOT additional services:
GEOS rescue benefit reimburses up to $100,000 for rescue services
Product Replacement program (covers theft)

SPOT Adventures provides a place where you can share your adventures and show your GPS locations on a map...

UPDATE: unfortunately friends of ours have not had good experiences with their SPOT devices and product support.  Ours is still ticking and it works most of the time when we want to check-in.  Let's just hope we never need to use it in an emergency.