Why is the SPOT X Messenger important to carry on your pack?
I carry my SPOT X Satellite Messenger on day hikes and overnight backpacking trips and I find it valuable for the following reasons:
- Emergency S.O.S. Distress Call
- 2-Way Messaging to Keep in Contact with Family/Friends/Hikers in Group
- Tracking Feature for Others to Check on Your Status/Location
- Navigation Function to Assist in Locating Points or Each Other
- Compass for Orientation
There are several additional SPOT X functions but I have listed those that are the most important to me.
Emergency S.O.S. Distress Call
It’s nice to know that there is an S.O.S. distress call button on the left side of the device if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation. My daughter is on a search and rescue team here in Colorado and her team is called out several times each week. It’s amazing how many of people they get called out to find or extricate from the area, don’t have any form or communication, when outside of cell coverage.
I have been hiking enough in the mountains to know just how often you are outside of cell service and also how many times I or someone in our group has been close to being in a life-threatening situation.
I don’t leave for a hiking trip without my SPOT X anymore.
The great thing about the SPOT X is its ability to message 2 ways, but also almost as important is the built-in keypad that allows you to type in custom messages much faster than the competition.
You can see from the image above, the built in keyboard which makes typing much easier and faster. The SPOT X fits easily on my daypack strap, and comes with a hook, that allows me to detach it to check messages, navigate, or send messages.
My family loves the tracking feature because to often, I am hiking by myself and they feel more comfortable when they can see where I am and that I am still moving. If they see me staying in the same location for a long period of time, they can message me to see if everything is okay.
I also like the tracking feature as I can see where I have been, after getting back home, and show others the tracks that were laid down so they can see where the trail is.
The navigation function is nice because I can list waypoints that help me navigate on the trail or better yet, allows me to send my location to others in my hiking party if we get separated, so we can navigate to each other to meet up again.
My one concern or reservation about the SPOT X’s navigation abilities is the inability to see a map on the device, which would make it easier to navigate. The compass or bearing that is built into the SPOT X is valuable but is limited when you cannot see the trail and how you would actually navigate to your waypoint.
The mountains here in Colorado make nearly impossible to navigate directly to your waypoint. You always have to follow a trail or find terrain that is passable due to the steep mountains or valleys.
Compass for Orientation
The compass is helpful but you always need to calibrate it before using it on any hike.
The problem I have found with the compass is that the direction can vary by 20 degrees or more which makes navigating to a waypoint challenging.
I love having the SPOT X with me on hikes but I like it for the S.O.S. distress call function, tracking, and 2-way messaging primarily. The navigation functions is something I rarely use, due to its inability to display topo maps.
There are many things I have yet to learn here in the Rocky Mountains but the most important thing I have learned this year is to not leave home without one of my Emergency Satellite Messengers. It gives me and my family more confidence when I’m out on the trail.
No one wants to end up needing a rescue helicopter but you’ll be glad that you can contact a rescue team if the worst should ever happen.
I would love to hear from you if you have ever been in a situation where you needed help. Please leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.
- Message- exchange messages with any cell phone number or email address from virtually anywhere in the world
- S. O. S. - send an S. O. S. To the 24/7 search & rescue center, message back and forth about the nature of your emergency, and receive confirmation when help is on the way
- Tracking- Select from 21/2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minute tracking intervals, and let family, friends and other Adventurers follow your progress with SPOT easy-to-use google maps interface
- Check in - quickly and easily let everyone know you're ok
- Post to social- Link your social accounts to keep your friends and family in the know wherever you go
- Service agreement required.
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