Our troop started carrying a SPOT Messenger on high adventures about seven years ago. A SPOT is a satellite pinging device that can be used to request aid in an emergency. Parents felt much more comfortable knowing this extra bit of safety was along on each trek.
It allowed us to touch base with parents every morning and evening. We would send a "Starting Now" email to a mail list address when we hit the trail each morning. When we stopped at camp, another "In Camp" message was sent. Every interested person that asked to be on the mail list received these messages each day.
We also use the tracking ability of the SPOT to ping a satellite about every 15 minutes. At the end of the day, families could view a satellite map online and see where the crew had traveled that day. A pleasant surprise we discovered was that the real-time tracking function of the SPOT was a big hit with families left at home. Mom could virtually watch as her son moved across the Philmont terrain or paddled through the Boundary Waters.
I also carry my own SPOT with me on all my long hikes and backpacking trips. At the end of the trek, I have a map of my adventure and I can add geotagged pictures to my online adventure. Here is an example trek.
Even if you buy a SPOT and use it just once for a Philmont trek, it adds less than $25 to each participant cost. When used on other troop-planned adventures, the distributed cost is negligible. The annual fee is $150 and it is not too difficult to find a very good deal on the device - I got mine free just before Christmas!
Here is a way you can save 20% ($30) off an annual service plan ...
- Purchase a SPOT device - locally at REI, Cabellas, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro Shops, EMS, Sportsman Warehouse, or online at their web sites, or wherever you can get a good deal.
- Activate your SPOT device with whatever rescue and tracking options you want.
- Visit Referral Page and enter your Name and SPOT ESN to receive 20% off your next annual service plan.
By referring you, I also receive a discount on my next annual service plan, so we both win!
If you have questions about the SPOT GPS Messenger, I have been using one for 8 years and would be happy to answer them.
Scout On Safely
Posted: 11:02 10-09-2014 1122
Mar 22, 2017 - T.R.
Clicked on the link, but it just takes me to the regular referral page, asking for your EIN and account name as well as mine. Maybe email the info to me so we can each get a discount?
Mar 22, 2017 - Scouter Paul
The new referal link is here.
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