Sorting through the fads and fashion of the outdoor equipment industry to identify and promote the very best wilderness gear for high end recreational users, backcountry professionals and government agencies. Hardcore Outdoor is dedicated to those who can’t or won’t turn back.
This is the final screen shot of their trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles. 33 messages plotting their locations on Google Maps. They turned SPOT on and activated the Track Progress function when they left the house and turned the unit off when they arrived at their destination. Not once during the 6 hour trip did SPOT fail to send a successful message. I don’t care who you are, that is impressive.
I am putting this post in the Navigation category because even though the SPOT Satellite Messenger is first and foremost a communications device, I am using it today for navigation.
Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I am a fan of the SPOT device. It has filled an important niche for me and has given my family, primarily my wife and brother, piece of mind because they know where I am when I am in the field. It has been 100% perfect for me so far. However, today, the shoe is on the other foot and the favor is being returned. Now I am the one wanting a little piece of mind and SPOT is giving it to me. Let me explain.
My daughter plays club volleyball with a traveling team. She is pretty good and our philosophy is that the busier we keep her the more peaceful all our lives will be. You know teenagers. They have a tournament in California this weekend but there was a screw up in the team travel arrangements. The result, no plane ticket for my little girl. So my wife, a former SoCal beach girl, loaded up the mommy mobile and hit the road. Not so fast there girly girls, I am the anal, retentive, obsessive, compulsive type remember. First thing this morning the truck got an oil change, lube, new belts, fluids checked and topped off, the tires were balanced and rotated, and it also got a wash. They have their cellular phones, AAA road service cards, On-Star, a med kit, an extra fire extinguisher, plenty of water, jumper cables, a basic survival kit and other incidental items that make me feel better.
As I said I am a big fan of SPOT but I have always thought of it strictly as a wilderness tool. I knew there were other applications for it but I never really gave them much thought. That is until today. I got the brilliant idea to use it for their trip to California. I gave them a quick run down on how it works, put in a fresh set of Lithium batteries and Velcro’d it up on the dashboard as close to the windshield as possible so it could get the best view of the sky.
Now the interesting thing here is that I have been a little critical of the Track Progress feature (also known as SPOT Casting) of the SPOT service even though I paid the extra $49 for the option. My problem was that I thought it was just asking too much of a hand held, portable unit to continuously track a moving person or vehicle. Boy was I wrong. Right now, as I write this, I am receiving location messages plotted on Google Maps about every 14 minutes. I can see their progress. Incredible. Amazing. Cool.
The bottom line is if you give the SPOT unit a stable platform and a good view of the sky, Track Progress will work beautifully, even at 75 miles per hour. The Track Progress feature will work for 24 hours straight then the unit shuts itself down. To continue you simply turn it back on and repeat the process. It is very simple.
Hey, it is just a 6 hour trip to California, right? No big deal. To me, it is a big deal. I am a father so I worry. I am also a husband so I care. SPOT really came through for me today and I am grateful. You gotta love technology. Again, I give the SPOT Satellite Messenger my highest recommendation…because it works.
Sorting through the fads and fashion of the outdoor equipment industry to identify and promote the very best wilderness gear for high end recreational users, backcountry professionals and government agencies.
Hardcore Outdoor is dedicated to those who can’t or won’t turn back.