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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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Death Valley Rescue: SPOT Was There When No One Else Was

Rescue Profile: Tom
Case #: 13665


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Tom Madlem had been riding motorcycles for 50 years. Death Valley was one trip he had never taken before though. He and a friend had planned to take 2 weeks off and make the ride. However, the first part of the trip was going to force Madlem to commit the “cardinal sin” - biking alone.

This meant he would be riding alone through the desert for two days before meeting up with his friend. After his wife and son begged him not to go by himself, he was then convinced to purchase his SPOT GEN3™ for the trip so his family would have peace of mind. He made it the first day just fine alone. Tuesday morning, he had not ridden 10 miles when he took a hard fall on his bike.

 

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