Winter Snow Sport Gear
Backcountry Gadgets
Search Amazon for Electronics, Optics, Cameras:
Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#135016 - 06/11/10 02:29 PM SPOT Tracker - here it goes
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
I know we've all seen the ads in our magizines and online...and i've reah hundreds literally hundreds of reveiws

background- satelittle linked(not cellular) device that sends out messages(pre made) to a list of family members with location...aslo has a 911 button...

as other advancded features to track your progess - every 10 minutes it logs a location and uploads to a public "adventure map" where friends and family can see where you are "live" via google maps....


my issues - My Mom is tired of never knowing where i am, and worries all the time as i hike primarily solo post college - so shes willing to purchase the device and pay for the service!!!

however, based on the reviews it seems about 60% have great luck and 40% don't. It seems the 40% may not be following insturctions correctly...etc etc....

so does anyone have and use one? Anyone return one? anything else?

I know its not a PLB replacement but seemed nifty and would put my mother at ease...but i don't wanna buy crap...

_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#135021 - 06/11/10 03:08 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I understand from my reasearch that the SPOT II, now that it has gotten through a round of recalls, is far superior to the SPOT I, which per many reviews was pretty unreliable. PLBs have dropped in price and weight so that some are actually cheaper than the SPOT II plus the mandatory yearly subscription rate, and close to the same weight. I personally would rather use a PLB, which uses the DOD satellite network, rather than the private satellite network of a corporation that is having troubles. Plus I really don't want anyone tracking me when I'm out backpacking.

However, for the purpose you want it, the SPOT would definitely be better--especially with your mother willing to pay for it! Just make sure she gets the SPOT II, not the old SPOT!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#135043 - 06/11/10 10:47 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

I believe one of our moderator's uses one.

Hey Phat...wanna chime in here?
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

Top
#135080 - 06/13/10 01:43 AM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: Tango61]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Last I heard, phat was still using a PLB.

I'm wondering if he is already on the West Coast Trail?
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#135081 - 06/13/10 02:21 AM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
jps1021 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Vegas
The SPOTs are used a lot for endurance/adventure races. Seems like they track fine. Main complaint I've seen is that folks just aren't sure if or when a message goes thru. Not much to go on with the display of the SPOT unit itself. There are some limitations with the service that only allow so many messages to be sent within a time frame and they are only sent every so often. So, the things people question are: can messages just disappear from the queue, or if they do go, how long does it take until it transmits?

You may want to wait about a month and check out one of the DeLorme PN-60w units. They'll be a set, a PN unit and a SPOT unit, linked wirelessly. You use the PN unit to enter your messages. I would hope that with the interface on the PN that it would show you what has been sent, is waiting, etc...

Here's a link:

http://www.delorme.com//about/pressreleases/TevaMountainGames.htm


Top
#135115 - 06/14/10 10:31 AM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: jps1021]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
that looks pretty slick, but the i'm not concerned about messages themselves, i just want my location to go through...

also i'm kind of a purist i don't bring gps devices with me, i like my paper maps...plus the added weight and batteries for long term trips is not appealing to me....

i'll be curious to see what Phat has to say about them?

anyone else use one?
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#135121 - 06/14/10 12:30 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
Ambersdad Offline
member

Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 27
Loc: Norman OK
I use a Spot1( got it on eBay for a very reasonable price) so my wife and daughter know where I am. Around here many places I like to hike in don't have cell towers, so phones are not that useful. I can send a I'm ok every few hours on the spot so they don't fret over me.

They are very reliable if you have an unobstructed view of the sky. In deep canyons or under a heavy canopy of trees they are not reliable and very spotty at best. Pun intended.


Top
#135824 - 07/04/10 06:21 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
tpdwr Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 45
Loc: So. California - Murrieta
I've used my SPOT 1 for over two years. Same set of batteries. It's supposed to signal when there's only about 48 hours of life left. It's been very reliable for me and I use it often. Care must be used in tree cover and deep canyons.

Don

Top
#135974 - 07/08/10 03:39 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: tpdwr]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
i'd imagine its safe to order a Spot 2...at this point the recall must be over?
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#136545 - 07/19/10 02:35 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
i've decided to pick one up it seems if you follow the directions and arn't in a cave you should be able to get the message out.

i'm sure your all excited for me...but the reason i'm letting you know is they are offering free real time tracking with the purchase of device replacement program...so a 50 a year service for free - well for 18 bucks a year instead ...so for 18 bucks you get replacements and repairs and tracking...wheres 68 dollars otherwirse...
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#136600 - 07/20/10 08:58 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: OregonMouse]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
Last I heard, phat was still using a PLB.

I'm wondering if he is already on the West Coast Trail?


I was, and I do, but our OP pm'ed me and did get my advice, so I'll reiterate what I told him.

Yes, I use a PLB, not a SPOT - for me this is probably the best option - I don't have a real need for family to track my every move, and would prefer the "works anywhere" for the real PLB.

If I had a worrisome better half, I'd consider the SPOT instead - the ability to send "i'm ok" being much more important than "I'm in deep doo doo.."

What I told the Mark was "What would get you out more" - and I think considering that he chose the SPOT - right choice for him.

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#136617 - 07/21/10 01:42 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: phat]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
yes i did choose the spot...thanks for all the advice
reasons SPOT works for ME emphasis on me

PLB are heavier
I have people back at home grinding teeth and wearing out carpet....despite over a decade of crazy adventures and antics my mom is still worried that i will fall of a waterfall or have a bear eat my face

PLB has to be activated and the point that was presented to me...was well what if you fall and hit your head and fall into a coma...that PLB will be a nice weight to hold down your body...whereas the spot tracker will at least let people know i've stopped moving...combined with an iteniary its a safe bet

This weekend i'll be doing the high peaks of the adirondacks and will post my shared adventure page for those of you curious in whats its like tracking a spot user...

also i will state they currently have a sweet deal for free tracking service (50$) when you purchase the unit replacement program...so for 18 bucks i get replacements and repairs and free tracking not bad if i dont say so myself

also i read the directions followed them clearly and so far all of tests have worked as intended. I even used it to track my commute home yesterday and it was SPOT on...pun intended
_________________________
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

Top
#138530 - 09/08/10 09:09 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Just wanted to say I got a Spot II for my last trip. Thing worked fine except in moderate to dense forest (in the Serria Nevada). You got to get out of the trees to send signals. Batteries lasted for eight days sending check-in and sPeCiaL messages along with a couple of days of Tracker mode. Wife was very happy...da thing is called the wives pacifier down here...yeutch! But it worked great.

Top
#138632 - 09/11/10 02:27 AM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
dla Offline
member

Registered: 09/06/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
I have experience with both the 1st and 2nd generation (see link for writeup). Both work well, but the 2nd generation (Spot II) is much better. I have compared the 1st and 2nd side by side over a 14 mile hike - SPOT II is the clear winner.

I like SPOT - there's really nothing like it. Just tonight I was checking in on my son's Elk hunting trip - he has his SPOT II in track mode.

Top
#138887 - 09/16/10 03:06 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
Redfacery Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 82
Loc: NY
Very similar story to your OP, my mom bought me one for a month long trip in AK this summer. I couldn't get the thing to work ever while still at home here in NY before I left, so we were pretty worried we'd gotten a dud.

As soon as I got it away from all the interference and towers near NYC, it worked great for the whole trip in Alaska. We checked in every day so our loved ones knew we were ok. It's not hard to know it's successfully sent, the light stops blinking, and if it's having trouble finding the satellite, it blinks out of sync. Not a tough system, but if I hadn't read and re-read the instructions when I couldn't get it to work while testing it, I wouldn't know.

For us, we brought two extra sets of (lithium obviously, as they stipulate it must be lithium batteries) batteries, and never needed them. Wasted weight, but better than the alternative - getting yelled at because "our faces got eaten by a bear"

Top
#139587 - 09/30/10 09:50 AM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: MarkNM]
sbonder Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 13
been backpacking with one for a year. not for tracking, but emergencies since i backpack with my 5 and 7 year old. we do test it now and again while in the field and all the folks we have it set to send messages to get them, but at different times in the same day. not sure why that it, but it could be based on their own email servers. i hope/assume the emeregnecy call button gets a quicker message through to the authorities.

not perfect, but a bit of added safety

Top
#139627 - 09/30/10 04:26 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: sbonder]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
FWIW the Delorme PN-60w-SPOT system is finally available. It's a bundle of money but the SPOT unit is quite small and light, and the system allows for some basic texting.

PN-60w

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#139642 - 09/30/10 05:57 PM Re: SPOT Tracker - here it goes [Re: Rick_D]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
im verry interested in this combo though i feal ill give em a year or two to get all the bugs out and maybe save a little green.
id really like to see a single unit that does both maybe by garmin or something though i do like the p60


Edited by Samoset (09/30/10 05:59 PM)
_________________________
Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Knife, Fire Starter, Ignition Source
by Jim M
Yesterday at 07:34 PM
Bivvy bag with wired peak
by Petro1234
12/10/17 01:06 PM
How cheap can you go?
by EMT Dave
12/05/17 07:07 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Greetings - and a question
by valongi
Yesterday at 11:35 AM
Just found out about UCO candles
by toddfw2003
11/30/17 08:41 AM
Hitting the eagle rock loop, Ark in 3 days
by toddfw2003
11/19/17 11:31 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Plant based insulation...
by billstephenson
11/18/17 02:58 PM
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
10/22/17 06:13 PM
avalibility of thin ti rod
by the-gr8t-waldo
01/26/17 04:45 PM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 24 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
valongi, Atkinson J, Dcarpenter, Woodland, ultralight
12469 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com