Having just completed my third Primal Quest Adventure Race as the designated Pack Mule for our team, I was especially impressed with SPOT, which we were required to carry with us through the 500-mile race that took place in Montana this year.
Unlike the four-pound shoebox-sized unit I lugged around like a boat anchor in the previous two PQ’s, SPOT is slightly larger than a couple decks of cards and weighs in a paltry 7 ounces. As an expedition adventure racer, I am constantly looking for ways to shed grams from their backpack and optimize space for food, mandatory gear and other necessities. By essentially eliminating the burden of the emergency locator, I could now consider bringing another half-day’s worth of food and those additional fleece layers, gloves and hat that I would otherwise been forced to leave behind.
There were several other not-so-subtle advantages that the SPOT emergency locator brought with it that were equally, if not more important to PQ race officials. First of all, SPOT’s rugged, self-contained package required none of the external wires and antennas of the sort that the unit from previous PQ’s required. No more worrying about routing fragile wires from the bottom of the pack to the shoulder strap. And, because SPOT is completely submergible, there was no longer a need to stow the unit in a separate dry-bag to prevent leakage. The SPOT unit runs on two AA batteries, which provide an amazing 7 days of continuous use in tracking mode. This is enough battery life for most expedition format adventure races, including a good portion of the teams at PQ08 Montana. This greatly reduced the amount of maintenance required from PQ staff during the course of the race.
Sunday, 30 November 2008 03:41
I am a 63 year old grandmother with two artificial knees, fused neck (after bad horse wreck) and a fused lower back. But I have been hiking all my life and am not about to give it up. Besides, my 7 dogs need their daily walks. We live in desert country, with lots of canyons and steep hills. Thanks to SPOT, I can hike off-trail and my husband can keep track at home. It's nice to know I can call for emergency help! Lots of rattlesnakes and mountain lions here...no people around. But I love the solitude and thanks to SPOT, I do not have to give it up! I also like to go on long trail rides by myself and SPOT is always there!
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 06:38
On a recent motorcycle trip from the Virginia area to Hyder, Alaska and back snaking all around the country, I used the OK feature on SPOT about every hour to send to my parents. It was easy to send a message without stopping to phone in and not knowing if there was even any cell phone coverage. They had a great time over that 2 weeks tracking where we went, what we were seeing and where we stopped. They had fun and I felt safer out there in the middle of nowhere. Great unit
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 06:19
Every summer I fly my single engine Piper Cherokee from California to Michigan and back. It's always an adventure. This year, friends and family followed my progress with SPOT Tracking. I enjoyed the added safety of an accurate position report for SAR should anything go wrong along the way.
With the traditional 121.5 aircraft emergency monitor going away early next year, all small planes should have SPOT on board.
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 06:05
I'm a professional photographer making numerous trips a year to less than favorable places and conditions. I'm alone most of the time whether in the mountains or desert. SPOT gives my wife a sense of security knowing that I'm covered if an emergency arises. I've spoken with a lot of the rangers in our national parks and they wished more people would consider carrying a device like SPOT. Thanks for the peace of mind and keep up the great work.
Monday, 20 October 2008 13:01
This summer I traveled to 14 countries; Italy, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, France, Monaco and Spain with just my backpack, camera and SPOT. As a “single woman traveler” and an American too, I felt safe knowing I had security at my fingertips. This also kept my family and loved ones at ease as well. They could track my movement and see what I saw by the satellite images from the point the Spot “OK” button was pressed. You could say it was like a virtual vacation for them.
Thank you Spot for giving my family, loved ones and me the ease of traveling in today’s world. It was an unforgettable adventure.
Thank you, - Anna Caton Greensboro, North Carolina