-- Last Updated: Mar-13-09 9:42 PM EST --

Just purchased an Old Town Dirigo 140 today.

Part of the package is a free Spot, if I sign up for a year prepaid service at $150.

I don't think it includes the GEOS service.

So far most of my trips have been in local rivers. I really haven't traveled out into open water yet.

Has anyone used this device? Is it worth the yearly fee for an occasioal kayaker? Does it work as good as the web site makes it sound?

I have a friend who is using one
right now on a ww kayaking trip through the Grand Canyon. I believe $150 gets you the device and a one year subscription. May be great for wilderness trips where you don’t have cell phone covereage, but you probably aren’t going to use/need it for what you describe.

Here’s one of his transmissions:

having fun, everything is OK




Nearest Location:not known

Distance:not known

Time:03/13/2009 12:09:01 (US/Eastern),-112.521&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Ask your wife
or loved one. That is really who the device is for, to give them peace of mind that you are okay when you are out alone or in remote areas.

If you are always with a group, or if access to the places you are paddling is easy, there’s really no need – just tell someone where you’re paddling and when you should be off the water.

Most of the areas I paddle (not all) have cell coverage, so a cheap cell phone is generally as good as the SPOT. If you paddle more remote locales, it may be worth keeping a subscription.


used one last year, will use it again
I took one on a trip last year - I was solo for about 65 miles of it. It helped my wife know where I was and that I was fine. She worries much much more about me than I worry about me.

Several of us will do a kayak trip on the Rio Negro in July - a mothership kind of trip. We’ll be 75-100 miles from Manaus and I’ll take along the SPOT.

Just today, I was gathering everyone’s wives and girlfriends’ contact info and emails. I’ll generate a few test messages to insure that everyone receives the messages and let everyone figure out how the webpage works.

It’s worth it if you’re out of cellphone range - at least I see the value in it for my wife’s sake.

Mine was a gift from my wife.
I paddle almost always on the Pacific Ocean and take it with me every time I go out.

I just renewed my subscription last December. I’m sold on the unit.