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April 30, 2013 Comments (0) Equipment/Reviews, Hiking

Spot 2 – Technology for the Peace of Mind Challenged

Have you ever hiked just a little bit further than your comfort level would allow? Or Perhaps you have taken your boat further out than your cell signal could reach in search of that once in a lifetime catch, but you really couldn’t enjoy the moment because you were beginning to get just a little bit nervous? All of us who love the outdoors, whether climbing a mountain, hiking in a forest or somewhere on a deep blue sea have at one time or another wanted to push on just a bit further. Unfortunately we were just a bit uneasy with our ability, the equipment or perhaps the weather. A healthy respect for your ability and the great outdoors is a good thing, but now you can take along a device that will, to a great extent, not only lessen your fears but those of family and friends as well. The Spot 2 Satellite GPS Messenger has given us a lot more peace of mind!

This light-weight device is very simple to use and I either clip it to my pack or wear it on my arm whenever I feel I need that little bit extra sense of security. Many people tell me that they see no point in it because their cell phone is their means of contact if a problem arises. It’s a lot of fun to see them scurrying about trying to get that elusive cell signal when in marginal areas, or really start getting nervous when we are fishing offshore and their smart phone becomes nothing more than an MP3 player. As long as I have a good view of the sky I am relatively certain that within a few minutes I’ll have acquired a satellite signal and can send my location and a preset message to family and friends or call in the Calvary should the situation become dire.

My most used function on the Spot 2 is the Check-in function that allows me to send the aforementioned preprogrammed message and current location to specific individuals. I also like the similar custom message function that is basically a secondary check-in feature. I used this function to let my brother know that I am OK and on schedule along with my GPS position. Although these two functions are similar, you can basically use them to send different messages to up to 10 different contacts. These messages can be sent to their email, as a text message to their phone or both along with your waypoint at that particular time.

To let a greater number of friends know where I am and what I am up to I can also link to Facebook and Twitter, reminding the masses that while they are sitting behind their keyboards and smart phones, “ I am out there!” This Spot Track Progress feature allows pretty much anyone I want to see my locations on a Google Map.

Sometimes, you get yourself into a non-life threatening situation that really doesn’t require calling out Search and Rescue but you definitely need a bit of assistance; clicking the help button will let specific land or water based service providers of your location and send help.

 the Spot 2

The Outdoors Guy playing it safe offshore with the Spot 2

If you are in a life-threatening situation pressing the SOS button will alert closest emergency responders worldwide through the GEOS Emergency Response Center. You can rest assured that if a situation arises where you need immediate help, it’s available.

A few people might suggest that they would not want to pay a service to utilize this product and that their cell phones are okay for their needs, but I feel that the abilities of the Spot 2 far outweigh the nominal yearly fee and the peace of mind I get by knowing it’s there makes my travels much more enjoyable. My family has always been a bit concerned by my extreme adventure lifestyle, and although I cannot completely make them feel at ease, the Spot 2 gives them a greater degree of peace of mind, knowing that they can pinpoint where I am and that I am always within a button click of help.

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