Thursday, February 24, 2011

Essential Gear: The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

If you are someone who likes to leave the beaten path or spend time off the grid then the SPOT Messenger may be just the new piece of essential gear for you. Or maybe this is the perfect gift to give a loved one that you worry about when they head out on their next trek or epic backcountry adventure. Coincidently we learned about the SPOT a week before 8 adventurers needed backcountry rescues here in Vermont.

The SPOT uses Satellite GPS technology to provides users with five essential functions:
• SOS Messages: Spot can notify the GEOS International Emergency Response Center of your exact coordinates should you face a life threatening or critical emergency. In North America, 9-1-1 responders would be notified of your distress signal.
• HELP Messages: Activate your SPOT to send your contacts an SMS text message including coordinates, or an email with a link to Google Maps™ showing your location.
• CHECK IN/OK Messages: SPOT can let your friends and family know that all is OK with a pre-programmed message along with your GPS location.
• CUSTOM Messages: SPOT gives you access to your waypoints in your SPOT account so you can review your trek or thru hike at a later date. Or link your SPOT account to SPOT Adventures and save a map of your adventures using your SPOT waypoints, and enhance the story with photos and a blog.
• TRACK PROGRESS Messages: SPOT allows you to send and save your location, while contacts can track your progress in near real time using Google Maps. With your SPOT account you have the ability to set up a SPOT Shared Page which allows you to show your SPOT GPS locations to others on a Google Map.

For a short video and more info check out our SPOT Information Page. I’ll bet you’ll agree that the cost is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing help is a button away. It’s certainly cheaper than footing the bill for a night rescue guided by the infrared sensors of a National Guard helicopter!

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