[pct-l] SPOT Connect in N Cascades (Rebecca Wilcox)

Ed Jarrett edjarrett at msn.com
Wed Aug 13 11:05:59 CDT 2014

Globalstar has a series of equatorial satellites in low earth orbit.  Iridium satellites are also in low earth orbit but are global, providing better coverage toward the poles.  SPOT is a subsidy of Globalstar, so you can imagine what satellite system it uses.  InReach uses the Iridium satellites, meaning that it is going to have a better chance of satellite coverage the further away from the equator one gets.  In addition, InReach can receive text messages in addition to sending them, while SPOT cannot, and according to the SPOT rep I talked to last week, they have no plans on offering that capability.  Because Inreach can receive messages, it is able to receive a confirmation that a message has actually made it out to the satellites, unlike SPOT where you never know if it made it out until you get home.
SPOT works well so long as you recognize its limitations and do not expect to be able to send out a message from Washington when you are in a canyon with a wall to the south of you; it just won't happen.  I have used SPOT from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, and while the results are better further south, I have been satisfied with it throughout.  That being said, I will likely change to InReach for next year just so I can receive messages and have some assurance that things are OK at home, as well as have the ability to recharge in the field.

Ed Jarrett (Eeyore)A Clay Jar: http://aclayjar.blogspot.com/  Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdJarrett53 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ed.jarrett.71 

> Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:16:44 -0700
> From: lucecruz13 at gmail.com
> To: pct-l at backcountry.net
> Subject: Re: [pct-l] SPOT Connect in N Cascades (Rebecca Wilcox)
> All of the stories about whether a SPOT works anywhere in the US are purely
> anecdotal. People doing all kinds of things in many different areas have
> used a SPOT device for tracking, basic message sending, and summoning
> emergency help, and many try to use the device under less than optimal
> conditions in less than optimal ways and then decide that because it didn't
> work for them, in a certain area, it doesn't work for anyone there.
> What was the name of the fellow that used a SPOT to summon help for his
> badly injured ankle a not far from the Canadian border on the PCT a couple
> years ago? Chef something? Something Chef? Rescuers walked in, assessed his
> injuries, assisted him, and then helped him get airlifted out to a
> hospital. Worked for him, so by the same process folks use to poo-poo it,
> it clearly works well in WA. It does for me for taking and message
> triggering.
> I would say by whatever brand or service you want, or buy a real PLB
> emergency beacon for around $300-500 and not pay any monthly service fees
> for a higher possibility that if you run into trouble, you will more
> reliably summon help, as the devices run on a different system that is more
> robust.
> Roll the dice, take your chances.
> Luce Cruz
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