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Author Topic: PLB in reverse....  (Read 7134 times)

Offline Pathfinder.Outside

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PLB in reverse....
« on: August 08, 2015, 01:24:54 PM »
Yup. In reverse.

Typically the concept is that your SPOT or InReach etc is purchased so YOU can be found when YOU have an emergency that warrants such. I personally bought my SPOT to give a certain peace of mind to the wife since I do mostly solo trips.

I understand the conversations from some about it being a leash and the discussions about not wanting to take technology into the bush or the costs and all the other reasons people point to for not getting some sort of PLB or Sat phone.

I get that. I really do and frankly argued those points my self until I decided that it was a minor concession for my wife and family's "peace of mind."

BUT.... on a recent (10 day) trip, not to far off the grid (but certainly out of reliable cell contact) the non-typical usage of my SPOT came in handy when we experienced a family emergency at home and I needed to be notified (the leash?).

Without going into details suffice it to say that my wife was able to communicate my location to some local authority (in a non-emergent manner) for the area I was in as well as a couple of very capable friends who all set out to find me.

This was a NON emergent situation in the sense that while not a time dependent emergency, it was imperative I be notified ASAP. There had been a death in the family (not immediate but close enough) and it was important to my family that I be present. I was not scheduled to be off trail for about a week.

Helicopters and teams of S&R people were not needed, but finding me was.

Because of my having and using the SPOT, my wife had gotten the pre programmed pings from me and the SPOT was set to "track" my movement they were able to narrow down where I was in rather short order and actually met me coming from the direction I was going towards, from a closer access point than the trail head where I originally signed in.

So.... Get one/ don't get one. Just an observation about a less than anticipated usage that I hadn't even considered prior to having it happen. And for what it's worth; the money I spent on the device and the subscription are now a moot point for me because this singular event and being present for the family has eclipsed any discussion about dollars.

Oh and this was only the third time I had used the SPOT after buying it and signing up for service in January this year. So as far as I'm concerned it's paid for.

Offline buddhabelly

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 08:12:44 PM »
never thought of that and it's good to know that one can be tracked down by trip waypoints if the need arises, as it didm in your case. I considered getting one as I thought it was a prudent thing to do for the peace of mind of others. I think we owe them that much if we venture solo cuz we all know s%$t happens.

Offline brianw

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 10:18:00 AM »
That is certainly not your typical use for a SPOT device, but it got the job done. 

Cheers

Brian

Offline acurrier

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 10:27:57 AM »
Yep, good thing you had the PLB. I haven't tried it personally, but SPOT recently brought out a unit which pairs with a smart phone to allow SMS (texting) in areas without cell coverage. Might be another good way for family to reach you in emergency...although I personally don't want to be texting constantly while in the bush.

Offline GearFreak

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 07:57:19 PM »
Sorry to hear about the loss of someone close but thanks for sharing the value of the technology. I have used a spot for about three years now and just eliminated the tracking option as I found the 30 day storage always expired before I downloaded the data.  I use my GPS now.  I recently had a somewhat similar family matter that may have precipitated my immediate return and resoled it by carried a satellite phone.  Allowed me to still go on the planned trips with the ability to return in case I was needed.

 
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss - "The Lorax"

Offline southcove

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 09:57:53 AM »
Coincidentally my wife and I have been arguing the need for such a device for a planned 9 day sea kayaking trip we planned in Alaska's Kenai area...  but she will win on this one if only for common sense (hers, not mine!).

Cabelas (US anyway) currently has on sale the Spot Gen3 GPS messenger tracker device with a $75 rebate!... roughly $75 total plus tax.  For me, that's the plan!  I may be surprised at how much it costs to activate or keep it going, but I will cross that minefield after I return from my trip.  (item # IBC-27-0164)




Offline Trev

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2015, 10:10:09 AM »
While I like the idea of having that kind of insurance, and my wife likes it too, I had a bit of a time dealing with SPOT themselves. I knew I would have a couple of years when I wasn't going to get any solo camping done, but had a terrible time trying to get the service suspended temporarily. It was bad enough that I have to reconsider having it activated again. After several attempts, with them still taking to money from my cc, I was finally successful after escalating my concern. Hopefully this is not a common problem.

Offline southcove

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 01:45:37 PM »
I had heard that too, it seems the real money is in the subscriptions...for our planned travels, we might have/need 5+ units given single and double kayaks and would want and need marine radios for hailing and USCG, weather and boat to boat com.   

For most of my winter stuff I would have no big need, but certainly in the first year I would give it a try on my winter and other camping/hiking excursions just as a safety net that I don't presently have.    $75+ tax may be irresistible to me at this time. 

Offline GearFreak

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 03:32:05 PM »
While I like the idea of having that kind of insurance, and my wife likes it too, I had a bit of a time dealing with SPOT themselves. I knew I would have a couple of years when I wasn't going to get any solo camping done, but had a terrible time trying to get the service suspended temporarily. It was bad enough that I have to reconsider having it activated again. After several attempts, with them still taking to money from my cc, I was finally successful after escalating my concern. Hopefully this is not a common problem.

Hi Trev, welcome to the forums!

I have heard that this is a problem and when I signed up I read their terms and conditions.  You have to contact them prior to renewal (I believe it is 30days?) for changes or suspension of your service.  They send you a reminder email about a month prior with the renewal information and if you want to make changes to delete anything you are being charged you have to call the 1800 number.  You can add things to your service online but not delete.  I wont debate the customer service aspect of it - but I have seen this type of arrangement before (ie: cable companies).




"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss - "The Lorax"

Offline Trev

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2015, 09:12:00 PM »
That does sound about right. It's not uncommon for at least part of the problem to be on my end...
 :-X

Thanks for the welcome!

Offline southcove

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 10:20:30 AM »
It's not uncommon for at least part of the problem to be on my end...

I can only hope that your wife or GF does not frequent the Forum.  First Rule of Marriage:  Never admit you are wrong!   :-X

Offline sleddawg

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 11:25:15 AM »

 
I can only hope that your wife or GF does not frequent the Forum.  First Rule of Marriage:  Never admit you are wrong!   :-X
[/quote]


Admitting you're wrong is never the issue...........if you're male it's just assumed.

I never considered carrying a communications devise until last year when we did an eleven day trip through Woodland Caribou.  My wife's father was nearing his end but we were confident he would be fine until we returned.

It was a three day drive to Red Lake, by the time we got to R.L. my wife saw a post on F.B. which precipitated us renting a Sat. phone.  We pre-arranged two times for calls home, plus arrangments with Harlan for the possibility of an extaction.  The calls my wife made were very reassuring and in the end all was well.

But upon reflection and the fact that I'm now closer to 64 than 62, we'll be carrying a Sat. phone for all our trips.  Just knowing that if anything happens to me my wife has an out, is a big load off.

For my solo winter trips (in the 28 years we've been together I haven't had the courage to even suggest I go on a solo canoe trip) I'll likely not take anything, but that's another story.

Cheers,
Ken

PS: and no, I haven't forgot to order patches, but will soon.
I, haul the sled so therefore I am "the" dawg.....

Offline Trev

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2015, 10:37:28 AM »
Hahaha Southcove, my wife is allergic to camping so she doesn't know about me admitting this, although I suspect she wouldn't be very surprised.

I'm hoping for another 5 nighter to Temagami in a couple weeks, but I don't think I will have the SPOT activated until next year anyway, if at all.

Offline southcove

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2015, 12:27:53 PM »
I am living dangerously here  ;D as my wife does occasionally read the forums here to see what she might be expecting to see in the next UPS delivery (!) but also because we are celebrating 27 year anniversary and we are NOT going camping as previously planned.  By me.

Offline h_t

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Re: PLB in reverse....
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2015, 09:13:50 PM »
someone posted nice comparizon spot vs delorme on myccr and over 3 year period the latter wins $$$ and functionality is better.