Hey everyone! As your may have guessed I take a lot of trips by myself and most of the time I'm in the woods out of cell phone coverage trying to get that shot that no ones else has. I have people ask aren't you scared what if you get hurt or how does your wife feel while your out and about. And the truth is that my wife did worry and I was very nervous when going out and about by myself. In a world where we're connected to the internet 24 hours a day and everyone has a phone everywhere they go its very odd not to be connected to the internet. Now I'm from a age when we were not connected but I do feel strange without my smart phone by my side. Well I've done some research and found a device (yes yet another device) that can ease our minds. That's where the "Spot" a Satellite tracking device comes in. You can wear on your pack or your person. It can track you and you can send pre-programed messages to your loved ones. You can also send a SOS to help you if you get hurt or stranded where you can't help yourself. Here's how the system works.
The Device is a small device that you can either put on your pack if your hiking or on a bike ,motor cycle or even your car. It uses 4 AAA batteries that they say will last a week. When you turn it on it starts sending signals. You need to have it pointing up for best reception. It sends signals to satellites every 10 min or more often if you prefer. With a App that you put on your phone or through a computer you can track the pings and people will know where your at. With a push of a button you can send a pre-programed message via text or email to your loved ones saying "I made it" or "I'm Safe". It also has a feature if you get in trouble but its not an emergency like if you had a flat tire you can send a message to people to come and help. Then it has a button only to be used in case of an emergency say a" Broken Leg" and the service will send rescuers to come and save you. The device cost about 100 dollars and you do still need to pay for the service. You can get different levels of service ranging anywhere from about 10 dollars a month to 20 dollars a month. I have about a mid range with insurance to cover the rescue bill if they have to send a helicopter to come and get me. I pay 14 dollars a month. I take ( or try to take) a trip either backpacking or hiking once a month and the 14 dollars for my wife's piece of mind is well worth it. There are many satellite messenger devices and they can be rather expensive from more fancier ones to satellite phones which are very expensive. This one is on the inexpensive side so you get what you pay for. But for me it works just fine. I haven't had any problems although you do have to have this pointed to the sky (line of sight to the satellites).
The messaging works like this you select the people and give the service their phone numbers or email address you want to text or send a email to and when you push the message button a message that you create will be sent to all of the addresses or text numbers that you have given them. Along with the message is a link to the App or a map that will show location. The service saves your track that you have made of your trip for 30 days I believe so you can go back and save the track for future purposes if you need to. I'm planning a backpacking trip this weekend and the Spot will be with me. Hopefully I'll get some great photo's. So get out and about and keep shooting!
Spot Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boX2KVIX1d8