The discussion about being lost in the dailies got me thinking. I've been considering getting something like the SPOT tracker. Anyone here have one? What do you think of it? I think it may be worth the investment, especially for solo unsupported adventures.
Trail and Ultra Running User Group
I've never used one, but it looks like the device used for emergency departures on Out of the Wild Venezuela. And if you haven't seen that series, you should look for it. Very cool. They drop a group of people out in the middle of Venezuela & they have to live off the land & find their way back to civilization. It's not all fake & dramatic like some of those shows can be. Some of the participants get very close to death, & they use a little GPS signal like the one you mentioned to summon a helicopter to take them home.
running under the BigSky
I know several folks that have them and they are all happy w/ it. If I didn't have a sat phone at my disposal, I'd very likely being ponying up the $ for one.
Here's a pretty thorough review on it:
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.”
Delorme has an alternative to the SPOT tracker: http://www.inreachdelorme.com/product-info/inreach-smartphone.php .
Main difference is the two-way messaging, though I think SPOT has a newer model that can do two-way messaging. Also the Delorme is not a stand-alone product, you have to integrate it with your smart-phone or their GPS.
I have a high school buddy that has a SPOT tracker. During the summer, he is usually peak-bagging in CO. He has his SPOT set up to post his check-ins on Facebook. It is neat because you can click on the link and see where he is at.
They work. My father has one that checks in when we are in remote places. need to use it more so it is second nature.
I don't want my FB friends to know where my Elk spot is though...
Ive been using one for several years. It's worked damn near flawlessly so far. Not so much on my runs but on my solo fastpacking adventures and long distance backpacking trips.