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Expert Backpacker Review

Backpacker Andrew Skurka, named 2007 “Adventurer of the Year” by National Geographic Adventurer, reviews SPOT.

“My mother is not a backpacker or a hiker, and "outdoorsy" is definitely not among the Top 10 adjectives I would use to describe her. But, as a mom, she gets gravely worried and concerned when her hyper-outdoorsy son goes into the backcountry, usually alone, regardless of the season, and almost always with the intention of pushing his limits.

So it was slightly surprising, but not really, that I first heard about the SPOT Messenger from her. She had seen an ad in a magazine and, for the first time in my backpacking career, she made a gear recommendation to me. If I carried one, she thought, she might actually be able to sleep okay at night when I'm out on a trip.”

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SPOT Messenger Rescues Cyclist

Rescue Profile: Bill and Andreas
Case #: 12629


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Bill Peschka, a Tour Divide Veteran, was cycling in Wyoming as part of an ultra-distance mountain bike race following the Continental Divide from Banff Canada to the Mexican border at Antelope Wells, NM.

One June afternoon, Peschka was cycling in Sweetwater County where he stumbled upon Andreas Fassbender, a German cyclist heading north to Canada. Fassbender had been catapulted off his bike after hitting a patch of deep sand with the front wheel. Fassbender had been lying on the ground waiting for 2 hours as he was unable to connect to local authorities due to lack of cellular coverage. Luckily for Fassbender, Peschka had his SPOT handy.


The SOS was pushed and within 30 minutes, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office had arrived on the scene and was looking for SPOT Owner, Peschka by name. Two ambulances had been dispatched because they were unsure of the road conditions and wanted to get quickly to Fassbender’s aide. They loaded Fassbender into the ambulance and off they went.

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