Editor: Cory McLaughlin
Info from SPOT:
When your adventures take you beyond cell service, SPOT Gen3 lets family and friends know you’re ok or sends emergency responders your GPS location, all at the push of a button. Add this rugged, pocket-sized device to your essential gear and stay connected wherever you roam. Long live adventure.
Enhanced Services ONLY available with SPOT Gen3:
SPOT Gen3’s customized tracking features takes your SPOT experience to the next level. Only with SPOT Gen3, is tracking motion-activated regardless of the level of tracking you choose (Basic, Unlimited or Extreme). A vibration sensor tells your SPOT to send track updates when you are moving and to stop when you do. (This is a great new battery-saving feature!)
New Tracking Options:
Unlimited Tracking Set it and forget it. Pre-set your SPOT Gen3 to send tracks at the speed of your adventures. Change your tracks to send every 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes. SPOT Gen3 will send tracks at your chosen rate for as long as your device is turned on and moving (no need to re-set after 24 hours). Tracking doesn’t stop until you do.
Extreme Tracking Get all of the great features of Unlimited Tracking, but with the added ability to vary your track rate down to every 2 ½ minutes. Don’t miss a step with increased track rates!
Enhanced Features ONLY available with SPOT Gen3:
Longer Battery Life SPOT Gen3 has approximately twice the battery life of the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger!
Battery Options Now there are more options for how you power your SPOT:
• 4 AAA Energizer® Ultimate Lithium 8x Batteries (L92)
• 4 AAA Energizer® NiMH reusable batteries (NH12)
• Line power with a 5v USB connection. (SPOT Gen3 is not waterproof when line powered.)
Basic Features included with your SPOT Gen3:
S.O.S.: With the push of a button, GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center provides your GPS coordinates and information to local response teams – for example contacting 9-1-1 responders in North America and 1-1-2 responders in Europe The S.O.S. button is for emergencies only.
Check In: Let family and friends know you’re ok when you’re out of cell phone range. Send a pre-programmed text message with GPS coordinates or an email with a link to Google Maps™ to your contacts with your location. With a push of a button, a message is sent via email or SMS to up to 10 pre-determined contacts and your waypoint is stored in your SPOT account for later reference. Your stored waypoints can be easily integrated into a SPOT Shared Page or SPOT Adventure account.
Help/SPOT Assist: Alert your personal contacts that you need help in non-life-threatening situations. Or, use SPOT Assist for professional services on land. (Additional service required).
Custom Message: Stay in touch while off the grid by sending your custom message. Set up a message before leaving to send to contacts with your GPS location. Use this feature as a secondary OK message or transfer your personal help alert to this message function if you are using a SPOT Assist service on your Help button.
Tracking: Allow friends and family to follow your progress online in near real-time and save waypoints so you can review your entire route at a later date.
Just The Facts:
Height: 3.43″ (8.72 cm)
Width: 2.56″ (6.5 cm)
Thickness: 1″ (2.54 cm)
Weight: 4.0 oz (114g) with Lithium batteries
Operating Temp: -30C to 60C (-22F to 140F)
Operating Altitude: -100m to +6,500m (-328ft to +21,320ft)
Humidity Rated: MIL-STD-810F, Method 507.3, 95% to 100% cond.
Vibration Rated: Per SAE J1455
Type: 4 AAA Energizer™ Lithium Ultimate 8X
Or 4 AAA Energizer™ NiMH Rechargeable
How much is a hug from your wife worth? Or a kiss from your child or one last visit with family? How much is your life worth? Can you really put a price on it? Is there a number that you would find acceptable? My guess is the answer is no. So, if your life is worth so much you cannot begin to place a value on it. How much would you give to preserve it? If you lay injured and near death on the side of a mountain would you not trade all you had for rescue? This is not all that uncommon of a question I know. Think hard, very hard, just how much is your life worth?
I believe that you still have not yet figured out a way to put a number on it. So let’s start with $149. Why such a random number? Well, that is the exact price of a SPOT GEN 3 satellite device (Current promotion offers free device with service plan). Activate your device with the required service plan options ranging from $99-$149 per year (monthly billing available). So, what does that have to do with the value of your life? Place yourself back on the mountain, cold, alone, in great peril, unable to walk and suffering from life threatening circumstances. $149 is precisely the cost it would have taken you to save your own life. It is the cost that would have sent a message to emergency services and your pre designated loved ones to tell them you needed help. $149 is exactly how much you needed to again hold your wife or husband and your children and tell them you love them. How much is your life worth again?
If you are like me you shy away from fancy flashy toys until they have been out for some time. I like to see how long it takes before the bugs start crawling out of all these expensive gadgets. Such was my attitude towards the SPOT GEN 3. I had been thinking for some time about getting a personal location device. I am human however, and my other wants always seemed to jump in front of something that I honestly needed. Sure a cell phone can do the job of many devices but it has one big Achilles Heel and that is its necessity to stay in service. So, I sat on my couch the night before I was to embark on yet another weekend adventure into the great wilds of the PNW and it hit me like a ton of bricks, literarily, my daughter jumped unexpectedly in my lap and it snapped a thought into my head. What if something was to happen to me way out away from the roads? How would they find me?
I have long been a worrier and I always leave my wife with a detailed description of my plans and the location I will be in. This trip was no different and I had printed copies of my map and gave them to her with notes and circled areas. Once I left my truck there was a 20 mile loop that I planned to hike and if something was to go wrong all she would know is that I was on that loop somewhere. This was unacceptable and so began my search.
I was lucky to hit a home run with my first choice and when the great people at SPOT agreed to send me a SPOT GEN 3 to test out. I was more than excited. Later in the year I had some Idaho hunts lined up and was so relieved to know that I would have a lifeline with me.
The SPOT GEN 3 is more than a location device. It is not a GPS in the way that most of us think. There is no screen, no fancy gadgets or apps. It is simple and in my eyes that is what makes it so great. Yes, it does mark location at pre-determined time from 2, 10, 15 minutes. You can track these points on the SPOT website. The map will show every check-in and message point that was activated while on your journey. You can gain coordinates from each point that is marked. This map is fantastic for loved ones to use as a tool that shows in real time where you are. I know my wife and children had a great time logging on and looking at where daddy was.
The SPOT GEN 3 provides that peace of mind and security that I have been missing all these years. It allows me to let my family know I am safe no matter where I am. I feel secure knowing that if I am injured or come across a person who is I can secure help in a timely manner. My life, the lives of others, and the ability to assure my family that everything will be alright are of the utmost importance. The Spot Gen 3 covers all those and is a fantastic tool for anybody.
I am an outdoorsman and it stands to reason that this is the main purpose of my desire to use SPOT. I want to speak to another use for the SPOT GEN 3 that I find very comforting. Though there are many of use that love to get into the back country it is not for everybody. I see the SPOT as the perfect tool for that application but I also see that it is not limited to only that use. Cell phones are great but they cannot compete to the service that is available with the SPOT devices. It is my belief that this device would suit nearly every person who travels more than a few miles from home. There are millions upon millions of dead spots when it comes to cell coverage. The SPOT devices can bridge the gap and help to offer almost perfect peace of mind. I not only endorse, advocate, and appreciate SPOT is sing it’s praises from high atop the mountain. Literally.
If you are looking to add some security to your life by adding a tool that could save your life or the life of another. If you are looking to give those whom you care about the peace of mind of knowing you are ok while out in the wilds of the world. You are looking for SPOT. I recommend them without reserve and believe every traveler, outdoors enthusiast, and adventurer should add this to their packing list.
Check them out here and take advantage of the current promotion of a free device with activation of service plan.
What could be done better?
Honestly, nothing. With the current promotion that allows for a free device and the reasonable service plans I can see no room for improvement. SPOT is a safe bet for all!