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I'm thinking of gettng one of the SPOT emergency beacon devices and hear that some now come with a texting facility that works through the satelites which can be used for non-emergencies, ie for just reporting home, or even reporting in to mission control in Montrose.
Anyone have experience of these with texting?
Greetings to you all,
I am aware of the Spot Connect device that you mention but I have one of the Spot2 contraptions, my wife’s decision that I carry one every time I go on one of my walkabouts, I think it’s so that she can check that I have gone to where I said I was going. It has the facility to pre-set two messages, I have them set up for one in the morning when I am starting off for the day and one at the end of the day when I’m setting up camp, plus she has it subscribed to the Track Progress so she can check on me at 10 minute intervals. I Hope you don’t mind me adding to your question but I wasn’t aware that Challenge control would accept a Checkin/OK or a Custom Message from a spot device, How do you organise that and presumably that does away with the need to phone in at the 4 pre-determined places, or does it?
See you all on the crossing, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock!
I've used one of these since they were first introduced over here. You can have several email addresses attached to each button and I usually send an "OK all's well message" to my home location first and last thing in the day and every time I stop - so say every couple of hours. I haven't set mine up for continuos tracking but sending the OK message enables everyone to plot my location. The help button I have a message that says everything is Ok but I'm a bit behind schedule and will phone when I can. This goes to home and also to the challenge email address.
I've copied below the item that appeared in last year's final challenge details for your information, and no doubt something similar will be in this year's details. But if you want to discuss purchase or setting up emails etc contact Donald Cruttenden as mentioned below and also mention the Challenge.
As in previous years we hope to offer Challenge supporters the chance to follow live progress of participants carrying SPOT Personal Trackers.
SPOT units allow walkers to send a pre-programmed message to family and friends to let them know they’re safe, and allow them to follow progress on Google Maps. In emergencies a GPS location can be sent to rescue services; in less threatening situations assistance can be summoned from family and friends.
Adventure Trading Ltd, the company that introduced the safety devices to the UK, will help us to create a single on-line map on which individual SPOT units can be indentified as they weave their way from west coast to east.
Adventure Trading is also offering TGO Challengers a 10% discount on SPOT units bought before the end of May.
If you’ll be carrying a SPOT tracker, please send your “Public Shared URL” (included in your SPOT account) to Donald Cruttenden by email at support@AdventureTradingPost.co.uk about a fortnight before the Challenge begins – don’t forget to mention the TGO Challenge connection.
If you’re interested in buying one of the devices visit www.ad venturetradingpost.co.uk. When checking out, enter the unique code “TGOC2012” to receive a 10% discount. For details contact Donald on 0161 713 2426.
Hope all this helps.
Thanks Alan - looks like I need to revisit the challenge notes so thanks for pointing me back in that direction!
Do you have any opinion about which of the SPOT models is the best, ie does exactly what you describe?
I have the original version which I know has been updated to a lighter model with a better battery life. I've been well pleased with mine and until it dies I can't bring myself to fork out for the new version. Your best bet is to telephone Donald and have a chat with him. Mention my name and make sure to tell him that you are on the Challenge. You never know you might get a discount.
I have one of the original SPOT devices that is very basic allowing for the transmission of the same fixed OK message by e-mail (free) or text message (for payment) and the 911 button for transmission in case of life threatening health issues. Its an excellent piece of kit and from the weekly testing I have done with it can confirm the e-mail messages are received, the gps location accurate, and the batteries appear to last forever.
Whilst Challenge Control does monitor the SPOT Challengers on their journey across Scotland THIS DOES NOT PRECLUDE YOU FROM MAKING THE 4 TELEPHONE CALLS FROM LOCATIONS ON YOUR JOURNEY.
I briefly quote from the Final Report for the 2012 Challenge re 'SPOT reporting':
‘Insufficient numbers of these and similar devices are currently carried by Challengers for the technology to be properly incorporated in our own safety system…………
………Whilst satellite tracking won’t replace the phone in system in the immediate future, its an excellent additional safety measure worth considering, especially for the peace of mind it offers folks back home ……’
SO YOU WILL STILL BE REQUIRED TO MAKE THOSE PHONE CALLS which provides for two way traffic; your call confirming you’re OK and control informing you of any difficulties that may be on your route.
Call me a miserable old traditionalist, but I like the idea of nobody knowing where I am. The thought of someone tracking my every step is horrible. I mean, I expect it in "Civilisation" where my phone, car, credit cards etc betray and deny any last vestige of privacy, but out in the hills I want to pretend that I'm the only person left on the entire planet (.... apart from the bloke driving the JCB digging the road for the new windfarm, of course.)
Can I be in your camp too, Judith?
The fleshpots are for the socialising and the hill is for the wild, back to basics stuff of sheer "nobodyness."
I can relate to those thoughts Judith, however I also would point out that some of us have worryworts at home and the Spot devices give us freedom to roam we have not enjoyed in the past.
You can still get lost with a Spot, but you're the only one who is lost - everyone else knows exactly where you are. :)
I agree Judith. If $hit is going to happen it is going to happen.
And they are more expensive than my tent.
Also I don't want to be tracked across Scotland.
Not that anyone back here would track me.
Anyway according to Mr Slomans blog, I spent 2011 challenge in a pole dancing club in Euston dressed as a lady.
Well, at least I have lost weight since then.
We'll not go into how.
Amazingly Mr S.
The secret code to post this mail was
I couldn't have made it up
Sorry folks, I don't mean to offend anyone but I’m not in your camp on this one, should things go **** up out on the hills you can be almost certain that it will happen where there is no phone signal, they only place the masts to serve the areas of population, we go in the areas that are not populated. The thought of an acute incident that is life threatening, be it an AMI, Appendicitis or something requiring the need for treatment or urgent admission to hospital, delay is going to be costly to you and to the people that come to get you. If your signal is too weak to make a voice call or even send a Text they may have to triangulate your position from the signal of the emergency call you made to narrow down the area that you are in, that takes time, the search area size is dependent on how many masts pick up your signal, the fewer, the larger the area is. The very reason that you are making that call means you want to get out of that situation fast and not have to sit and wait for search teams to find you. All for the weight of 147g and about the same in shekels.
I thought this was The Great Outdoors Challenge ?.
A "self supported" back packing event from West Coast
to East Coast. What with accommodation lists, Sat Navs. Spot
devices . You will not get the Challenge feel surrounded
by all the clutter of civilization or other challengers,
it will just be a long distance walk from "watering hole"
to the next "watering hole". Has as already been said it's
one of the few times in the year you can be free of all
the clutter. Cheers. (Yes, I too am a traditionalist.)