SPOT – the Satellite Personal Tracker
By Gary Lewis
When you hunt the backcountry, it's a good idea to tell someone where you're going so they can send help if you don't return home on time. At least they'll know where to start looking. With SPOT, the Satellite Personal Tracker, you can send GPS coordinates over commercial satellites to tell the folks back home your exact location and status.
The unit measures four inches by two-and-a-half inches by one inch. Turn it on, give it a good view of the sky and send messages to friends, family or emergency responders based upon the level of need.
On my wilderness black bear hunt in Idaho, I used SPOT to check in with my wife and friends to signal that I was all right. Had I needed help, I would have hit the HELP button that would have signaled for someone to find their way to my position with GPS coordinates. In an emergency situation, I would have punched the 911 button to mobilize a search.
My use of SPOT was best-case scenario allowing my friends to track my progress with Google Maps. According to my pre-arranged signal, I keyed two ‘Check-In' signals to let my wife know that she could expect me to bring home fresh bear meat.
MSRP $169. 1-year basic satellite service subscription retails for $99.99. Call (866) 651-7768.