Spot Satellite Messenger

Spot – Backcountry Satellite Messenger and emergency distress beacon – works where your phone gives up trying.

Even when you are miles out of mobile phone range, a Spot Satellite Messenger keeps you linked directly to the global matrix of GPS satellites, SMS and the web. It has three levels of communication, OK, Help and Rescue and there’s always someone listening out for your call.

Green Light
Press a button and a pre-selected “I’m OK” or “Here I am” message is sent to a list of phone numbers and email addresses. This OK message can be whatever you like, but as it can only be changed by logging on to the Spot website, it tends to be a simple “green light” alert so the people who care know everything is fine.

Are you following me?
These messages contain the set text, your co-ordinates and a link to Google Maps where your past and current position is plotted. Whenever you send an update, your expedition support team, your jealous girlfriend or your mum can see exactly where you are, and where you have been.

Red Alert
Hit the “Help” button and your co-ordinates plus a different message goes out to the list you’ve chosen as your back up boys. Again, this has to be pre-written before your trip. It could be “I’m sinking”, if you are on a yacht mid-Atlantic, or “We’re out of beer”, if you’re camping in the Cairngorms.

Personal International Rescue Service
A Spot Satellite Messenger is very useful if you are a hardcore adventurer with a bad habit of straying off the beaten track and essential if you are in the back of beyond and find yourself in a life threatening emergency. A broken leg, at night, miles from civilisation and way out of mobile phone range need not result in your funeral. Hit the distress button and an alarm call goes out to the GEOS International Emergency Response Centre and they dispatch rescue services straight to your aid.

Sorry, It Won’t Work Here…
Just be careful where you need to use it. Coverage doesn’t include really out of the way places like most of Africa or South East Asia. That said, even the UK has mobile phone black spots and if a Spot Satellite Messenger gets you out of trouble when you crash on a mountain biking trip or loose a paddle sea kayaking its purchase price and service cost could be well worth it.

Pros:
Three level messaging – “OK”, “Help” and “Rescue Me!”
Waterproof, shockproof.
Good battery life

Cons:
Global coverage blackspots.
Purchase price plus annual service charge

Stuff Says
Life Saving link when things go wrong – but be careful where you need to use it.

Star rating
4

Tech Specs
Dimensions
111 mm x 69 mm x 44 mm
Weight
209 grams
Batteries
2 AA 1.5V lithium batteries
Battery Life
Power on, unused: Approx. 1 year
Tracking mode: Approx. 14 days and 1900 OK messages
Emergency mode: Up to 7 consecutive days

Waterproof?
Yes
Shockproof?
Yes

http://www.findmespot.eu/

199.99

Stuff.tv January 2009

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