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Taking the search out of search and rescue!

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This device is for those who venture off the grid on a regular basis. I am talking about hiking trails in National Parks, National Forests, wilderness areas. Or do you drive remote roads in search of adventure? If you are a fisherman, boater, mountain climber, or just travel remote areas, this device is something you should have. I found this last year when it was mentioned in an article in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). I think I have seen it also in an article in FMCA Family Motor Coaching Magazine but I can't find the reference.

SPOT is a GPS receiver which transmits your location to a separate commercial satellite when you are in need of assistance. If you find yourself or your vehicle disabled by an accident or medical situation, you may need to get help. Your cell phone might help rescue personnel find you if you can tell them right where you are located. Of course if you are beyond cell phone range it will be of no use to you. If your cell phone batteries go dead you are out of luck.

With SPOT you simply press the 911 button, make sure it has a clear view of the sky and it notifies SPOT emergency personnel of the your emergency call and gives your GPS location. They will then contact the appropriate emergency personnel and trigger a rescue. An insurance plan is available which will pay for your rescue expenses. Sounds expensive? SPOT sells for $169 and an annual service contract costs just under $100. The emergency rescue insurance policy is about $6 per person for one year of coverage!

SPOT runs on three triple A Lithium Batteries which will last for one week sending out emergency messages. SPOT keeps sending until shut off. To make sure we have good batteries, I carry an extra set with us any time we are out using our SPOT.

I figure that at my age (62) anything could happen when I am out hiking or 4 wheeling in some remote area. Accidents happen and a broken ankle could be life threatening if you couldn't get help. We have all read stories of individuals or families trapped by snow storms, lost hikers, an able bodied hiker gets his arm stuck under a boulder and cuts his arm off after several days hoping for rescue, boaters adrift in a disabled boat, the stories go on and on. I consider this device to be an excellent investment in peace of mind. Whenever we travel, SPOT is with us. I keep it in the backpack when hiking, on the dash of the airplane when flying, on my bicycle bag when riding, on the car dash when out exploring. In short, anytime we are away from civilization, SPOT is with us. There is an option to have SPOT keep track of your movements, it reports your location every 10 minutes and when you get home you can trace your movements on your computer. With a click, you can see your movements plotted on Google Maps or Google Earth! Rescuers shouldn't have to search any more, they should be able to see where you are on a map and plan a rescue to that point. Much simpler and much faster rescue is the result.

Need help but it isn't an emergency rescue situation, you can select several people to receive a help message. Press the help button and your two people will receive a prerecorded message from you via e-mail and phone. They can then come to your assistance. They will know where you are located with the GPS information and can also see you location on Google Maps or Google Earth on their computer. This might be good if you have a flat tire and just want a nearby friend or relative to come give you a hand. You could notify your emergency road service with this method. Ever try to tell emergency road service personnel where you are. Imagine if you could send them your GPS location and they could look it up on a map on their computer.

Our daughters enjoy getting regular check message e-mails from our SPOT. Each time we turn it on, we use the Check/OK button to send a message to ourselves and it also goes to our two daughters. It lets them know where we are before we start an adventure. Great peace of mind for everyone.

Find out more about SPOT at Findmespot.com

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