Locator Beacon ??

Does anybody have any experience with the SPOT locator beacon (http://findmespot.com/explorespot/spotmessenger.aspx)?

I have seen Jen Kleck’s blog where she used one to send her locations while she was in the UK doing her Level 5 assessment and I’ve been thinking of asking my wife to get me one this holiday season.

Having the ability to not only call for help when needed, but also the ability to track my progress and send “I’m OK” messages seems like a good idea.


PLB “lite”…
Here’s a link to a review about the SPOT; http://www.equipped.com/SPOT_ORSummer2007.htm .

I really like the tracking features but prefer a more robust PLB (personal locator beacon) like a ACR ResQFix or a McMurdo Fastfind since my life may well depend on it someday. Hopefully time will prove the SPOT to be a reliable alternative. I have the ACR and rent a Sat Phone on expeditions (allows voice and text messages). The article above points out that the SPOT requires a subscription. After 5 years the cost is the same as a current-generation PLB.

Greg Stamer

Does any of the PLB you mentioned allow “check in” - a non-emergency use?

A traditional PLB is used only for dire emergencies, when life, limb or vision is at stake. That’s why they are made to be so bombproof (and waterproof) and why they are not cheap. That said, even a PLB is not as bombroof as an EPIRB but a PLB is much more compact.

The SPOT is more versatile, in that it allows you to send “hello” messages, but you will need to decide for yourself if it is robust enough. Time will tell. It really depends on what kind of trips that you envision taking, how remote, etc.

If you want to blog your “expedition” then I’d prefer to be able to send customized text messages, which the SPOT does not allow. The SPOT’s tracking is pretty cool, however.

Greg Stamer

Thanks for the input
Thanks for the input about the SPOT Greg,it’s appreciated.

Now all I have to do is keep mulling over in my mind whether or not I need the ruggedness of the full scale PLB.

Like you, the tracking feature really interests me, and 99% of my paddling, is not in remote areas.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.