It’s called SPOT and it’s a personal GPS device designed to regularly tag your location when you are off the beaten path. The SPOT sends a satellite signal to an email address or text message and it contains, among other things, your latitude and longitude, a link to where you are on Google Maps and even a little message (which you create before you leave) that lets your contacs know you’re okay. For example, Greg has been out riding all over the countryside all day and I just got a ping from his SPOT that says he’s somewhere near Loon Lake and has a message that says, “Pardon me, do you happen to have any Grey Poupon?” My husband, comedian/motorbike adventurer.
Here’s what SPOT looks like.
As you can see, he fits right into the palm of your hand and he could just save your life. Not only does SPOT track your whereabouts, but he also comes equipped with two very powerful little buttons. The button on the left says Help and you push it if you are in the bush and you get stranded for some reason and need someone to come and get you. The button on the right says 911 and, just like it says, you use it for emergencies. For instance, if Greg got a flat tire today, he could push the Help button and it would ping my computer, telling me that he needs help and his exact location on a map. I can also ask Google to provide me with directions on how to get to him. In addition, if, say, Greg was hunting in Grizzly territory and a hungry Griz mistook him for a juicy meal and took a bite out of him before deciding he didn’t taste very yummy, he would push the 911 button. The SPOT would ping me at home and also at the SPOT home base, where the rescue squad would be sent out to pick up what was left of him, on the double.
Never again will I spend a restless night tossing and turning while Greg hunts with the Grizzlies or when he takes off on a motorcycle adventure. Never again will I have pleasant dreams about becoming a rich widow because I haven’t heard from him in the ten days since he left for a hunting trip. Okay, I’m mostly kidding about the last one…mostly.
My point, my good peeps, is that anyone who frequently ventures into the great unknown would be a fool not to take one of these babies with him (or her). You can buy one at any store that has anything to do with selling adventure gear. They are approximately $160 CDN + $160 CDN to subscribe to the satellite service for one year. In the scheme of things, $320 seems like pennies when compared to the price of peace of mind.
Phew, I feel better already.