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Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger

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avatar Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 15, 2012 10:24AM
I just started looking at this as an emergency back-up for hiking the greater Yosemite area alone. It's $99. at REI but the product information says "requires a $99. annual subscription". I presume that means in addition to the initial purchase the first year,--the description was not clear on that point. Any clarification would be a apprciated.

By the way, for those who would lecture me about hiking alone,--please don't. It's not like I have any choice. I'm retired, live on the east coast, and don't know anybody else in my age group with similar capabilities who would be able to accomodate my 2-week schedule and semi-agressive hiking plan covering 3 different areas. I had Len Szwalski and his son as hiking companions in 2011 but that was an unusual opportunity and Len is no longer with us.

Jim
avatar Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 15, 2012 03:44PM
There is a local hiking club that is mostly seniors. I'm sure some could keep up with you and go along with your schedule. I can try to find an email/website if you want.
avatar Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 15, 2012 04:21PM
Dave,
I suppose it would not hurt to check it out. Thanks.
Jim
avatar Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 15, 2012 07:58PM
Spot has a variety of annual "services" they can provide, and yes, those additional services are required to make the thing work. I think that $99 is the cheapest you can get away with, and you can spend more if you want to include things like product insurance, emergency evacuation, etc. etc.

I got one of those things a couple of years ago and it has worked well both for my solos as well as other trips where people wanted to track my progress, for example when they are meeting me mid-route. I do need to renew my annual costs soon and probably will do the minimum.
Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 15, 2012 09:19PM
You didn't ask and you might already know this, but I just wanted to point out that personal locator beacons like the McMurdo FastFind have no subscription cost and have better reliability when it comes to sending a distress signal. The downside, of course, is that most have no other use besides notifying the authorities that you are in trouble.
avatar Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 16, 2012 07:22AM
bbb,

The McMurdo FastFind is something I will look at because notifying authorities of trouble is the only aspect I'm interested in. For somebody like my wife to be able to follow my daily progress would be nice but not crucial to safety. I'm not sure my exact location would be of that much value to her anyway since she is not familiar with the area backcountry trails or significant reference points. I was not familiar with the McMurdo product so thanks for the tip.

Jim
Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 20, 2012 06:12PM
Spot has had a lot of bad reviews in the past. Personally, I would go with a true PLB, like the McMurdo one.
avatar Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 17, 2012 12:33AM
Quote
tomdisco

By the way, for those who would lecture me about hiking alone,--please don't. It's not like I have any choice. I'm retired, live on the east coast, and don't know anybody else in my age group with similar capabilities who would be able to accomodate my 2-week schedule and semi-agressive hiking plan covering 3 different areas.

I'm not going to lecture you at all about hiking or backpacking solo, since I've done that also a good number of times, but I would like to point out that there are other "golden years" participants on this forum that could be compatible with your hiking style. If they're interested in joining you they could send you a private message (PM) if you like.

.
avatar Re: Spot II Satellite GPS Messenger
December 17, 2012 07:44AM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
tomdisco

By the way, for those who would lecture me about hiking alone,--please don't. It's not like I have any choice. I'm retired, live on the east coast, and don't know anybody else in my age group with similar capabilities who would be able to accomodate my 2-week schedule and semi-agressive hiking plan covering 3 different areas.

I'm not going to lecture you at all about hiking or backpacking solo, since I've done that also a good number of times, but I would like to point out that there are other "golden years" participants on this forum that could be compatible with your hiking style. If they're interested in joining you they could send you a private message (PM) if you like.

.

That's how Len Szwalski initially contacted me two years ago. He had already figured out we were about equal in hiking abilities and was completely open to whatever hiking plan I had in mind. I confess that once I've set up a plan it's pretty much written in stone until I get on the trails and possibly feel a need to modify it. Right now I have no problem doing next August solo and my wife is releived I'm considering an emergency locator device for the first time.

The primary hike is a 6-day, 5-nighter on the Twin Lakes/Matterhorn Canyon/Seavy Pass loop in late August. I'll actually be skirting around Benson Pass off-trail to Tellulah, Sister, and Surprise Lakes at bill-e-g's valued suggestion. Between mileage and altitude gain the first day will be the toughest for me getting all the way to the north of Slide Canyon. It's a 3,400' ascent before dropping into the canyon below the Sawtooth. After that I'll do a 3-day 2-nighter to the 1000 Island Lake area via the High Trail and Shadow Creek Trail. Next is a day hike up Mt. Hoffman. Last but not least, I'll do a 1-nighter to Matthes Lake via Cathedral Trail and over the saddle of Matthes Crest. Except for a half day coming out of Matterhorn Canyon, the inital trail to May Lake, and a portion of the Matthes area, the bulk of this will be new territory for me. Like I say, it's fairly aggressive for a 68 year old. Normally, one would not attemp all this simultaneously but I can only afford one cross country trip per year.

I might consider a hiking companion on one of these treks if it sounds like we might be a good match-up. Maybe there is somebody out there who would like to do one of these but can't find anybody to go with. Beware; I snore when exhausted so be prepared to pitch a tent at a safe distance! To be honest, I'm actually more open to sharing the day trip up Mt. Hoffman on August 31st., which is a Saturday.

Jim
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