Spot tracking devices ?

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by Bert, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Bert

    Bert Banned

    Mar 4, 2007
  2. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    I thought he lost his dog.  ::)

    Ok, after the smartarse comment, I looked at your link. looks like it could make someone at home feel better 'bout you being in the woods, but I'm betting that someone with one of these new fancy phones could get an app that would do that for less than a Bennie.
    If it would track you as you made your way thru the woods, and replayed it for you that could be good. It would answer the two questions "how do I get out of here?" and "how do I get back to this spot?".

  3. Bert

    Bert Banned

    Mar 4, 2007
    This, I already have in my phone for well over 5 years now, a HTC Tilt with Garmin GPS Software. I have about 70 hunting stands of mine, The Old Man's, and his OF friends plugged in.

    Getting in, getting out, or going back is not as much a problem,

    But notification and location of person in duress is a problem..

    About 50% of the North Cumberland WMA (150K acres, just one example) is not covered by cell phone at all, and then usually is very spotty in the rest, except along I-75 which passes through. due to the terrain, GMRS & FRS radio is useless beyond ~1/2 mile.

    So..That leaves satelite coverage, which still is not 100%, more like 80% there.

    To transmit duress, one has to have system access (GPS units are receive only). Satelite phone is way too costly.

    So the Spot device seems to fill a niche for a remote area "help me, I've fallen down" device to attach to an 78 year old coot that will never stop roaming in the woods.
  4. goodbrewing

    goodbrewing Active Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    I have a small hand held GPS that is about useless in the woods. Where I hunt there is tree cover and the signal is lost more than it is found. These may be stronger but but you may want to try one before getting too many. They also make two way radios with the locator but I believe you have to be within radio range to work. Might be worth looking at.
  5. Cynical

    Cynical New Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    A couple buddies and I have Garmin Rino 120 handheld gps. It has the built in radio plus you can send your location to the other handhelds. Plus you could waypoint all of your stands and no satellite subscription is needed. Downside is that your upfront cost is considerably more than the spot since you would need 2 devices. Mine is about 4 years old and the price for a new one has not changed since then.
  6. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    While I've never used one of these I would get one in a heart beat.  All it takes is one accident in the woods and you could be trapped for a very long time.  You already know this though.  Many climbers, bikers, kayakers, and backpackers already use this technology so why would a hunter be any different?

    ETA: For years we hunters have planned on being stuck in the woods over night or having to survive because of some accident. That was before we had way out.
  7. coulter6

    coulter6 Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    If you hike along way from civilization, this is a good idea. There is a monthly fee though.
    It's a satellite based device so cell phone service is not necessary.
  8. Bert

    Bert Banned

    Mar 4, 2007
    I already live in *not* civilization, so as soon as I walk outside, I need a Spot ;)

  9. C111

    C111 New Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    I got my SPOT 2 weeks ago and it has worked very well. I took it to our cabin in WV and was able to send ok messages from inside the car while enroute. There is no cell service at the cabin so it was nice to be able to send my wife a personalized message when we arrived. I take it with me everytime I go hunting now and can see it becoming an essential piece of equipment when out riding the KLR650 in the mtns with no cell coverage.( near fatal bike wreck last year with no cell coverage. My buddy had to ride out with gps coordinates for my location) The price is about $150 a year for my plan, but I pay more than that a month for the cell plan for my family.
  10. kaor2

    kaor2 Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    I have one. Use it all of the time. My wife loves that she can see where I am when I am out riding the ATV. I like that I can track my travel and review it when I get home. The piece of mind of knowing that if can get help if I break down, or God forbid have an accident is worth every penny.

    There are two modes of assistance. You can press one button and have a friend or family member notified of where you are and that you need assistance. You can press 911 to have search and rescue dispatched. I would pay the extra insurance that covers all of the costs of being rescued if you travel deep into the back woods.

    One of my riding buddies has used is spot twice to be "rescued" when he as broke his quad on the trail. Both times he was facing a 20+mile walk out of the woods.

    If you live in a part of the country where help is a long ways a way and cell phone coverage is only a dream, I would recommend one. I know that the forest services is talking about requiring similar devices for mountain climbers. I know they are chasing after lost climbers around here all the time, especially Mt Hood, and people could be rescued quickly if they had this type of device.

    For the cost it is cheap back woods life insurance. Why risk your life. Not to mention all of the search and rescue people that risk their lives tracking down the lost idiots.

    Like a GPS, just make sure that you take time to really learn how to use it. Make sure that you have fresh batteries every time you go out. Always have a backup plan!
  11. Bert

    Bert Banned

    Mar 4, 2007
    Is your rescue insurance throught ths SPOT service ?

  12. kaor2

    kaor2 Member

    Nov 24, 2010

    when you are registering the device on the www site to activate your service you can sign up for the service then.
  13. Rad-I-Cal

    Rad-I-Cal New Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    It's all about letting others know where you will be hunting.

    I have a 2003/2004 edition of a Magellan GPS that tracks the entire route of movement as well as programmable waypoints if you take the time to stop and put them into memory. When I scout my area, I program in the waypoints and record the route. On hunting days I leave it at the shack/house with loved ones so that if I'm not back and they cannot get in touch with me, they can immediately find out where I am likely to be. I use my Garmin to track my on-the-move activity....sort of wish I had a Rhino for both ends of the deal.