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SPOT Tracker? Anyone Have one? How do you like it?

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So I am thinking of getting a SPOT tracker for when I ride and am in the great outdoors. I only have a couple of friends that ride and its hard to always have someone with me. So I have given up and will now ride solo. Looking for some input on who has used the SPOT trackers. My Dad had one for his small plane and it seemed really nice. I could track him when he would fly to our place (a 1200 mile trip) My cousin also used one for rock crawling and would send updates to his FB.

 

Wondering if anyone has actually had to use the 911 feature and how it worked? Also where do you carry it while riding? Any input, advice or anything would be awesome.

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I've never used it on the bike, but I always carry one on the boat. It's one of those things that you hope you never need, but would give $1000 to have one if you did. If you are riding wide open spaces alone, I think it could be a good idea. I would carry it in the backpack, or strap it to the fender

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I have one it helps my wife mostly  LOL

i have it set up to track more often at an up charge  

I do not like the pre set messages  I would like  send my own  but thats a whole different device and way more money so it is good for what it is

 

I drop it in my daughters car on track mode to check up on here every now and then ( new driver)

I have not needed 911 and i figure if I do it's because I roll up on someone else in distress

 

i take it on my PWC/boat/bike and use it to keep dibs on my truck and family vehicles  so far it is good at that 

 

they suggest not leaving it on the bike incase bad things happen and you can't get to the bike  but i can't see having it on myself so I have it in the tank bag

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I got my mom one for her birthday, and then I carry it when I go out into the nowheres.  She loves it.

I think it's a Spot 2, so I can send four different messages from it.  I just set it up online as "Message 1" "Message 2" etc and then write down what they mean for any given trip:

Message 1 means "here I am, out riding, everything's going well enough"  Probably send that out 3 to 6 times per day

2 means "Here I am camping, promise I won't do anything dangerous the rest of the day."  Send that as the last message of the day

3 can vary, but generally means "Here I am, bike's broken, bring a trailer."  I figure if the truck's broken, I can ride the bike to cell signal.

4 goes straight to 911.  Haven't had to use that one, and they tell you not to test it, because if the other signals can go through then there's no reason the 911 signal wouldn't.

5th button is the footsteps feature that sends a signal every 10 minutes for 24 hours, but it's an extra $50 or so per year and I haven't gone for that.

 

I've had it for two years, so I think I'll change the batteries this week, whether it needs them or not.

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What about using it as an anti-theft device? Well, I guess it won't prevent theft but it might help to track the douche bags and recover the bike.

I have been looking into the Spot tracker as well and am curious to hear responses. I also thought about having my daughter wear one when she's at the park or riding her bike. So many sicko's out there. I would hope I would never need it, but might be a life saver.

Can thieves scan for them? I guess the common criminal wouldn't be that advanced...lol.

Edited by Fattonz

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there are cheaper trackers  but the spot I have GEN3  can be used as one when you are not using it on adventures

set it to trac and it will not shut off but will sleep if it doesn't move for a while  then update if it moves and you can track 

 

the trac intervals change with the plan  i don't think you could follow a stolen vehicle in traffic  but you could find it once stopped

you can also power it via a usb IIRC

Edited by Zimman
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Do you need the features/fluff of the SPOT?

 

I need to buy a PLB... it's the emergency beacons used in aviation, marine, and military applications.  Doesn't have as many features the SPOT does; for example you can't use a PLB to update your facebook status or track your progress online.  A PLB is a straight-up, emergency, shit-hit-the-fan, live/lives are in danger beacon. 

A little less maintenance than the SPOT, since PLB's have an internal battery that's good for 5 years, after which the unit will need to be sent back to the factory for a replacement (about $100 for that service). 

 

For the $300 PLB, and $100 every 5 years, with something that's a little more proven than a SPOT... that's what I'm going to go with.

 

If you need/want the ability to send "Okay" messages or tracking updates, the SPOT is a fine tool for that.

 

Just know the pros and cons of each device before you commit one way or the other.

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I carry an older spot simply for the "911" feature. Only cost a c note when I bought it and yearly subscription. Mostly, it allows me to go out on my own occasionally without the wife being too terribly distraught. G

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good advice

 

i went with the spot because i could be in a"" shit hit the fan""  situation that with the spot  I could downgrade and  have help on the way that is not a  pay for rescue team

unless you consider Me buying my son dinner payment LOL

 

one of my spot button  options is to transmit a message to send help that will email/ text   my family My  GPS coordinates  and the message to send me same help

 

then they know to bring help  but it's not a 911 emergency  ( that can be reserved for someone in real need)

 

now if I didn't have the ability to request help itcould  be a 911 situation  for example bike issues / fuel/hurt but not to the point of immediate medical attention but can't ride and it's getting dark

 

if i hit the emergency button on the spot  or any device  I fully expect a hefty  rescue invoice  

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Yeah, I think there's insurance for that. Depending on where you live, and who responds, you could be covered. For instance, here in CO, as long as you carry an OHV sticker or hunting/ fishing license, you are contributing to the search and rescue fund, so at least you won't billed for that part of the rescue. Good reason to have either one, even if yer just hiking......

Edited by 2012 450 xc-w
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Do you need the features/fluff of the SPOT?

 

I need to buy a PLB...

 

^ no PLB, no spot, good to know you're going with the PLB :rolleyes:

 

 

i have a spot2, OK message works great, always in the back40, no cell coverage, no emergency experience.

 

buddy, spot1, used the emergency in washingtion state, no cell coverage, great service.

wasn't offroad, crashed his street bike, Ambulence pickup, hospital etc. his wife always renews his service. :thumbsup:

 

he carried his strapped to the bike. on his offroad bike, it fell off a couple of times,

we now carry them in backpack outside pocket, try for the facing up, his tracking still works.

 

imo, cheap insurance, since we're all wimps compared to the "old days".

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spot has a fee based upgrade for the rescue insurance  but it was just too much to justify

 

hopefully i will never need to use EMS SAR  but if i do I hope it's covered on my bike  insurance / medical  ETC

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Do emergency personnel take the 911 signal seriously?  I would think they likely wouldn't, figuring that it was most likely triggered on accident.

 

Although I have no clue what this 'spot tracker' thing is.

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Buy a SPOT tracker.

 

REASONS:

1.  Look at my user name and guess what I do/did.  I have worked with lost people/hurt people/dead people in OHV/ATV/Snow?boat use as well as SAR in Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon mostly. 

 

 The agency I work for buys me and the other peeps ours and pays the subscription.  It works were there is no radio or cell phone.  We have ours set up with the 4 messages.  I have used them in my new gig in undercover operations.  Haven't experienced a failure yet.

 

2.  If you are going to a new area (say out of state snowmobiling, or different county), you have motivation to prep more and call the Emergency Services dispatch and get there number or email.  That way if you don't have pink mist spurting from an artery and just want to use the "help I have fallen and can't get up" option, they won't send Guard helicopters.....ok, we don't send those anyway....but you get my drift.

 

3.  Want to track your wife, kid, girlfriend?  Use this:  https://www.landairsea.com/gps-tracker/gps-tracking-key

 

4.  For the record, most people get charged for not being prepared.  It is one thing to send out snowmobiles with rescuers on it at night, in a blizzard to get an injuried person, it is another to rescue someone that ran out of gas hillclimbing and made bad choices.  That is generally up to the Sheriff's Office, they are responsible for SAR.  Most places I have worked with don't send bills.

 

5. It takes quite a bit of effort to hit the 911 button.  We always take those seriously.  Better to be mistaken than have to deliver a death notification and respond to a civil lawsuit.

Edited by treecop

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^ no PLB, no spot, good to know you're going with the PLB :rolleyes:

I've always carried a big scary two-way radio with all sorts of emcomm, amateur, business, weather, etc freqs programmed in.  I've got better coverage on that than I do with a cellphone in the mountains.

I carry my phone too, just in case. 

 

Do emergency personnel take the 911 signal seriously?

With PLB's, absolutely. 

While anyone can buy them, their initial purchase cost is higher than SPOT/InReach units, so it generally keeps the riffraff out.  Since they lack a lot of the other "features", they're viewed as inferior to the consumer-level products that add a bunch of fluff.

http://www.cospas-sarsat.int/en/

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Here is a question. What if you come up on someone that needs help and you hit your spot to get help for them. Who gets charged you or the person you are helping? As pointed out I don't feel like paying for search and rescue with all the fees I get hit for to fish, hunt, ride, boat, camp, etc.

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If I came upon someone who truly needed emergency help, the last thing on my mind would be "who's gonna get charged for this"! What would you do, just ride away and say "sorry dude"?

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Wouldn't even have crossed my mind. The ability to help someone is priceless

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If I came upon someone who truly needed emergency help, the last thing on my mind would be "who's gonna get charged for this"! What would you do, just ride away and say "sorry dude"?

I believe the question he is asking now is a good question.

Even sociopaths have empathy to a certain point. How do I know?

I was diagnosed by a doctor. Now I think that it's a lame excuse but I will tell you.

To help someone no I don't wanna pay the bill. But would I?

For sure. I would give the clothes off my back for someone.

But you piss me off and I'll leave you high and dry in the middle of no where.

So his question is logical although the obvious answer is the same as a 911 call.

The respondent reply to the responded and the person taking care is formally responsible for it.

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I've got a SPOT. Don't use the tracking feature; use up too much batteries.

In canada SAR is free, so don't bother with the rescue insurance.

I use the OK button to check in while I'm at my claim, and the 'assistance' button with a preset message when I wanna be picked up.

They have been used successfully for rescue around here and the SAR helicopter seems to be about 1/2 hour flight away.

Edited by squamishhunter
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