Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

SPOT Beacon....

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
User avatar
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Boerne, Texas

SPOT Beacon....

Postby broncotw » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:55 am

I am interested in purchasing a SPOT beacon... Which is the best one in terms of performance, durability, ease of use, and cost?

Thanks,
Ted from TEXAS!

Moderator
User avatar
Posts: 4903
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 8:54 am
Location: Woodland Park, Colorado

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby CO Native » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:58 am

Don't buy a SPOT. The company has terrible service and the units are proven to be very unreliable.

http://www.14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=35722
Remember what your knees are for.
http://www.hikingintherockies.com

Moderator
User avatar
Posts: 4903
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 8:54 am
Location: Woodland Park, Colorado

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby CO Native » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:59 am

Remember what your knees are for.
http://www.hikingintherockies.com

User avatar
Posts: 331
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: Durango, co

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby GeorgiaTyler » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:14 am

I have the first generation SPOT and used it on the entire CO trail, 3 times a day and lots of times since then, and to my knowledge all my "i'm ok" transmissons have gone through. Never used the help or 911 function though. Im a fan.

User avatar
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:21 am

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby Mooney Pilot » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:26 am

I have a SPOT but very seldom take it with me anymore as there is cell phone coverage on most of the routes that I hike.

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby bergsteigen » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:30 am

I also have the first generation SPOT, and have never missed an OK transmission from a summit, trailhead, or camp. (I am on the recipient list for all transmissions, so I know if a message goes out) Never had a problem with it, other than the annoyance of how to attach it to a pack for tracking mode.
"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games."
- Ernest Hemingway (or was it Barnaby Conrad?)

http://otinasadventures.com

User avatar
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 8:44 am
Location: Castle Rock, Co

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby dsunwall » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:39 am

My first generation spot has also never failed, but I don't think you can buy them anymore.

I either put it in the top pouch of my pack, works fine from there, or hook it on top of my shoulder strap. Tether it with cord tied to the D-rings on the cover screws as the clip is not very secure.

If I were to purchase a beacon again, it would not be a Spot.

Online
User avatar
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 9:32 am
Location: Englewood, CO

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby Derek » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:42 am

The big question is what is your main purpose in purchasing one?

As you can see from CO natives post above, some people have issues with reliability. I have used mine for over 2 years, sent hundreds of "ok" and "Im late" msgs with absolutely no issues and no missed sends. (I have the second generation...the smaller one.) I love it.

However, when I purchased my spot, my main reason was for my wife, and not for the SAR send out. Obviously, having the ability to ping SAR is a benefit, but I prefer to put effort into keeping safe and not NEEDING that button. After all, I traveled all the time without the service before I had the unit, and I'm not about to feel "braver" just because I have it now! My main reasoning of purchasing the unit was for my wife. I do multi-day outings quite often, and she likes to have an idea of where I camp, when I am at camp for the night, when I leave camp, on a summit, etc. (We have set patterns to let her know specifics...ie 2 "oks" mean at camp for the night, etc..) She also likes that I have a custom message telling her that I am running behind my planned schedule, but that everything is fine. It is great for what I need it for.

If my main purpose of having the unit was to call for help, then maybe I would look at purchasing something like CO Native linked above.

Once the new units that allow texting are "de bugged" more, I probably will replace it with that. Like I said above, communication with the wife is my highest priority. (And hers.)

To sum up, spot is good if communication to home is your highest priority. If your top priority is help in a "Oh Sh*t!" scenario, a specialized unit like CO Native linked above would probably be best.

--D
"I used to think my Dad was Elvis. But I haven't told him that yet. I haven't told my Dad either." -S. Murdoch
LOJ

User avatar
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Boerne, Texas

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby broncotw » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:56 am

My main purpose for the purchase of the beacon would definitely be the "Oh S_it" feature.... If myself or one of my climbing party got hurt and needed assistance I would feel better having some sort of reliable means to contact a SAR team….

I am really not that concerned with communication with home or others since most peaks now have cell coverage.....
Ted from TEXAS!

Moderator
User avatar
Posts: 4903
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 8:54 am
Location: Woodland Park, Colorado

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby CO Native » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:59 am

An interesting thing I found as well is that you can use the self test feature of that PLB I mentioned as a sort of OK message to your family using the 406 Link Service. ($40 per year)
Remember what your knees are for.
http://www.hikingintherockies.com

User avatar
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:44 pm
Location: Golden, CO

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby creidinger » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:35 am

If you can swing the extra $$$$, I would recommend a Delorme Inreach, which also syncs with my Delorme GPS unit. Mine works great for tracking and messaging. I also had to use it for SOS earlier this month for a climber from another party that fell to his death on Windom Peak. I was able to text updates on the situation to the sheriff as the unfortunate events unfolded.

I also have a SPOT and it doesn't work worth a darn anymore. I let my subscription expire.
"GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places." Habakkuk 3:19

User avatar
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Boerne, Texas

Re: SPOT Beacon....

Postby broncotw » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:43 am

So with these suggested units do you have a pay a monthly/annual fee as well???? It looks as some of these devices are portable routhers as well... I really do not think I need this function.....
Ted from TEXAS!

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests