We’ve heard rescue experiences from SPOT users, but have you ever wondered what it’s like from the other end of the SPOT SOS spectrum?
It turns out a few search and rescue team members across North America are SPOT users just like you! They’ve sent us rescue stories and tips on enduring a rescue situation if you ever have to press the SOS button.
A SPOT user and member of a Colorado mountain rescue team shared with us some of his recommendations on what fellow SPOT users can do to help SAR find you if you ever have to activate SOS.
Be as detailed as you can with your SPOT profile
Under the SOS section under Additional Information, include a physical description of yourself; age, ability and what gear you typically have. If you’re doing a big trip, create a trip specific SPOT profile with your trip plan and anything else a rescue team will need to help you. All this info is pertinent to the rescue operations.
Provide even more info about your trip to your Emergency Contact(s)
Give your emergency contact a detailed trip plan, schedule, info on everyone in your group including gear, training, medical issues, etc. We recommend sending your emergency contact an all-inclusive email about your trip – something you can easily forward to a SAR team and has anything and everything possibly needed to rescue you.
Be patient & plan ahead
Once you press SOS, it could be several hours or the next day before you’re rescued (depending on the circumstances such as weather conditions). Be prepared to spend the night out in whatever environment and climate you’re in.
Have a two-way radio of some type with you (FRS, CB, VHF, etc.) and document this in your SPOT Profile with a specific channel or frequency. If you use the SOS on your SPOT, turn your radio on to the channel or frequency documented in your profile so SAR might have a chance to contact you as they get close. They may not be able to get to you immediately, but establishing communication with you via ground teams or aircraft will drastically help.
Take the most important piece of equipment you possibly can: your brain! Be smart & safe while having fun out there!
These are some great recommendations!
Are you a member of SAR and own a SPOT? Share with us your experience of how SPOT has helped you locate someone during a rescue. We would love to hear them!
Dale, a retired community college administrator and instructor, is an avid hiker, backpacker and cyclist. At the age of 67, he now spends most of his free time hiking through the backcountry of Oregon and California alone and with fellow backpackers.
Like many hikers, Dale often worried about connectivity during his travels. This is why SPOT peaked his interest when reading one of his favorite magazines. Soon after, Dale visited REI to purchase his first SPOT device. In celebration of Memorial Day, Dale and 7 other hikers ranging from ages 51 to 74 decided to take a five day trip to Mattole Beach Campground near Petrolia, California. This time, he made sure to add his new SPOT Gen 3™ as a "must bring" item.