SPOT ??

wood2turn

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 17, 2009
2,219
278
Oak Harbor, WA
Name
Terry
Boat
14’ Sterling Sea Skiff - Gypsy Queen
Hello all!

As I approach 70 years of age I’m still actively fishing, hunting, and gold prospecting. I’m almost exclusively alone because everyone I know has a day job where as I’m fully retired.
Anyway, I had a wake up call yesterday with a surprise visit to the emergency room only 1 day after I had spent an entire day alone up on the Sauk river. I was lucky the wife was in the car because I was suddenly unable to drive.
I now find myself asking the what if questions. The main one being…What if this happened to me the day before when I was alone in the middle of nowhere?
So now I’m looking at getting some type of emergency locator like a SPOT.
Anyone have one of these? If you do, are you happy with it? Have you had occasion to use it? How pricey are the subscription packages?

Are there any other brands I should consider?
Thanks all!!
 
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TexMojoII
TexMojoII
He'll contact me, I'm retired but not as old. I'll go with.
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gabe0308

Member
Jul 25, 2008
809
615
B'ham WA
Name
Gabe
Boat
SAANAUK' (SEASPORT 24XL), Tlingit Princess (20' Wooldridge Sport Offshore)
May want to look at the Garmin Inreach. I have used a Garmin Inreach mini all over the Central BC coast and SE Alaska. Never had to use it for an emergency but the tracking and texting has always worked wherever I was. I use the plan that can be turned off and on whenever you want and it is pretty reasonably priced.
 
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wood2turn

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 17, 2009
2,219
278
Oak Harbor, WA
Name
Terry
Boat
14’ Sterling Sea Skiff - Gypsy Queen
Thanks to both of you!
I knew there was another one but couldn’t remember the name.
And…
I was afraid someone would tell me to just quit doing those things and improve my golf game (which admittedly requires a lot of improvement…lol).
 
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hawksfan75

Wear your god damned mask!
Sep 7, 2011
3,159
2,634
Kent, WA USA
Name
Eric
Boat
Whichever I am invited onto
Another vote for the InReach. My wife Carrie’s the InReach Mini while she’s out backpacking.
You can pre-program some check ins and I “think” that you don’t have to pay extra if you only use the pre-programmed ones.
 
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Realdeal

Almost A Member
Jun 11, 2009
199
51
Shoreline wa
Name
Ryan
Boat
25’ NR OS
Yep in reach!!
I have a buddy who accidentally pushed the sos button and they contacted his emergency contacts and things went just as they claim.
I have used mine in remote areas and have had no issues
 
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tacklejacked

Capt./ Ho if I get to drive
Jun 2, 2009
3,152
3,562
Seabeck
Name
Greg
Boat
22 Hewescraft Searunner ET HT
In reach vote number 5 ish..
Worked great for me 150 miles north of the article circle on my caribou hunt...so pretty sure it will work anywhere...start and stop service as needed...cheap insurance...
 
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The Peddler

Living vicariously through others.
May 28, 2008
2,717
1,308
Olympia, WA
Name
Matt
Boat
2400 SeaSport Explorer - "Permanent Waves"
There’s also the ACR Bivy satellite communicator. Relatively new option, and I don’t know a lot about it yet, but I believe it offers 2-way texting?
 
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Nosecrets

Blackmouthers good side
Jul 6, 2012
1,914
4,044
North of seattle
Name
Blackmouther
Boat
9' bullfrog "mr big"
Another vote for the InReach. My wife Carrie’s the InReach Mini while she’s out backpacking.
You can pre-program some check ins and I “think” that you don’t have to pay extra if you only use the pre-programmed ones.
No extra charge for pre programmed. Only texts if you go over
 
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wood2turn

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 17, 2009
2,219
278
Oak Harbor, WA
Name
Terry
Boat
14’ Sterling Sea Skiff - Gypsy Queen
Wow…looks like Inreach is the way to go. I like that the idea of stopping (suspending) service then restarting when I need it cuz I’d only ge using it for maybe 5-6 days a year.
I don’t think I’d be texting on it (I don’t have anybody to text to) . My wife’s phone (and mine) dang do texting.
I’d use it for the emergency button and maybe the mapping only (but I’ve never carried a map into the woods with me yet and I’ve never gotten turned around. Still it would be good insurance.

Time for me to start looking for a deal…might wait for the Christmas sales!
 
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Salmonater

Member
Oct 10, 2008
835
627
Tacoma,Wa US
Name
Jeff Norwood
Boat
31' North River Walkaround, Salmonater
Wow…looks like Inreach is the way to go. I like that the idea of stopping (suspending) service then restarting when I need it cuz I’d only ge using it for maybe 5-6 days a year.
I don’t think I’d be texting on it (I don’t have anybody to text to) . My wife’s phone (and mine) dang do texting.
I’d use it for the emergency button and maybe the mapping only (but I’ve never carried a map into the woods with me yet and I’ve never gotten turned around. Still it would be good insurance.

Time for me to start looking for a deal…might wait for the Christmas sales!
Costco sells these at a discount from time to time.
 
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Hot_Pursuit

Member
  • Jun 21, 2013
    531
    385
    53
    Seabeck
    Name
    Eric
    Boat
    2022 Pursuit OS325
    The Garmin Inreach Mini is what I have. Works awesome. Works in conjunction with you phone. I use it for my remote hunting trips. Allows texting via satellite, local weather reports, and emergency locating.
     
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    Tish

    Almost A Member
    Jun 27, 2019
    165
    135
    Shoreline WA
    Name
    Grant
    Boat
    1991 Achilles SGX-122, 1997 Boston Whaler Dauntless 17
    Spot and Inreach are great options for communication/staying in touch via satellite.

    If your only goal is to have an "I need immediate rescue" button, an ACR PLB like this one is also something to consider and does not include a subscription, just the up-front purchase of the device and a battery change every 4 years. This is like a lightweight wearable EPIRB... you remove the safety, punch the button and you have satellite SARSAT, 121.5MHz and 406MHz all lit up right away. I wear one strapped to my vest when I fish: it is waterproof and buoyant and I can use it (including deploying the antenna) without ever removing it from where it is strapped to my vest and/or in a low or no light situation so I don't need to worry about it floating off if I become hypothermic or lose consciousness.
     
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    Salmon King

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Mar 29, 2013
    1,631
    1,731
    Everett, WA, USA
    Name
    Tim
    Boat
    Salmon King 21' Custom Pilothouse
    In reach works great. You can set it to send a preprogrammed message every so often. This is great so your contact knows to send help when they see you are texting “I’m doing great!” from the same spot at the bottom of a cliff for a few days.
     
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    Fireball

    Not so New
    Jun 23, 2010
    1,729
    964
    Lynnwood, WA. USA
    Name
    Bud
    Boat
    SOLD
    In reach sounds awesome and I may have gone that route a few years back.

    @Tish brings up another great device and it is the way I went years ago. The PLB does not require a membership. It does not let you text and you have to flip up a little protector that covers the activation button to send a signal. If you are not using it to text or stay in touch with family the ACR PLB may be worth looking at. I know if I'm floating in the water I'm not texting, but may be good to have the texting possibility if you were to fall and could text. You could let the emergency crew know what was going on prior to their arrival. (if you get in to texting)

    Good luck with your choice!
     
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    BGMiller

    Newbie
    Jul 1, 2012
    7
    4
    Ellensburg WA
    Name
    Bruce Miller
    Boat
    Off the Hook
    My experience stay away from spot. I went with Zoleo this year. It has some sync features with the app that I like better than inreach. It uses the same network unlike spot. Comparing to my buddy's inreach in remote Idaho this year the zoleo performance was on par if not a bit better for message send and receive speed. Zoleo is about 100 bucks cheaper device with comparable subscription cost
     
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    eldplanko

    got the skunk off
    Jun 18, 2012
    607
    470
    Ballard
    Name
    My other boat is a piece of...
    Boat
    Floater
    Two different devices with two different purposes… PLB=Uni-directional safety equipment, use when you’re fucked, send SAR now…. InReach bi-directional communication… if you have the $ and are running a $100k+ boat (both likely if you spending any amount of time out of cell range), why not get both!

    For OPs situation, PLB seems to makes more sense to me… I’m planning to get one for my mom, she 70+ and still out hiking in remote areas.
     
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    KimH

    Someday I'll live the dream.
    Mar 4, 2009
    2,854
    2,961
    Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
    Name
    Kim
    Boat
    28' Farallon Walkaround "Paragon"
    For OP I kind of like the idea of the PLB but if Inreach has one button push it might have similar results. PLB might have a quicker response but I'm not sure about that.

    I've had and wore a PLB for several years when out sport fishing but I'm considering the Inreach also. I'd think a stand alone model would be better than one you have to sync to your phone. Having to sync you're just adding another device that can fail or run out of battery. My iphone sucks (11 pro) stinks for battery life.
     
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    cozenone

    Member
    Jan 25, 2020
    587
    675
    northwest
    Name
    joe
    Boat
    none
    Definitely get one with texting, I had an emergency and had to activate the sos on a regular spot, everything seemed to be working, but you can't tell if the signal goes out....So every time the lights quit blinking I sent another signal...All night long....when search finally got to us, I asked if they were getting the signal? Yes.....a couple pages of them :), Yes they work, Yes get one when off the grid, and DEFINITELY get one with text capability...I also had GEOS ins. which covered up to 100,000 in S&R fee's, The Geos is no longer available now.
     
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    Mazu

    Member
    Aug 30, 2008
    304
    247
    Seattle/Westport
    Name
    Leif Jackson
    Boat
    22' Sea Sport, "Mazu"
    The group has it right. An ACR PLB is a measure of safety if you really, really don't want to pay a monthly subscription. It will send an SOS but that's it. You can't communicate about the nature of your emergency, so you can't help search and rescue muster the appropriate resources. I've heard stories of rescuers reaching the victim hours after receiving an SOS, only to then radio their HQ so the needed resources are sent. It can delay evacuation by hours.

    I have an InReach mini, and I pay the monthly fee. I thought about the plan where I can turn the service on and off, but talked myself out of it. I imagined going for a day hike and being too cheap to turn on service for just the one day. What would happen if I twisted or broke my ankle while I was out of cell range that day? Or what if I just forgot to turn it on? Anyway, I pay every month, including more months than not when I am not using it. But my life and peace of mind are worth the couple hundred bucks a year.
     
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    fishbadger

    Member
  • Apr 6, 2012
    303
    264
    WA
    Name
    fishbadger
    Boat
    .Grady Gulfstream 232 "Herd of Turtles"
    Good thread. . .I have one of those ACR PLB's, and I might have to get an Inreach in addition to it after reading this,
    fb
     
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    wood2turn

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Aug 17, 2009
    2,219
    278
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Name
    Terry
    Boat
    14’ Sterling Sea Skiff - Gypsy Queen
    Great response everyone…what a great group!!

    Several of you are right in that I really only need a unit that will send out a distress signal and the ACR PLB would be that type of unit. I looked at them and I liked them.
    But as a few of you have also mentioned rescuers would have no idea of the nature of your situation and yes additional resources may be required an it COULD be time sensitive for me.
    I REALLY like the idea of the InReach Explorer +.
    I already know I won’t be sending regular text messages to anyone UNLESS an emergency comes up. Besides which my current phone (being a flip phone) does not have a pairing capability of combine with another unit.
    A stand alone unit is definitely the way for me to go.
    As I only do day excursions, and only 5-6 times a year a plan to suspend service would also be the way for me to go. Especially since I also only use my boat for I think maybe 8-10 times a year.

    Some day I’ll find a new partner to go with me on a regular basis and I’ll feel safer then (but I’d still get some type of emergency locator). Right now everybody I know either has a day job or don’t do the activities I enjoy..

    Hope everyone has a stellar day!!
     
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    Oct 16, 2020
    5
    5
    40
    Sitka, AK
    www.bdoutdoors.com
    Name
    Jonathan
    Boat
    27' Maple Bay Trawler, hopefully a fast tin can soon
    I have a Garmin InReach Explorer+ - it's a great device. Good battery life and I use it for texting when I am frequently out of cell phone range here in AK. The thing to keep in mind is that round trip messaging takes a while when there's not a clear view of the sky and for pure emergency use, a 406 PLB might do the trick. I have one of those on my inflatable life vest in case I end up in the water.
     
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    tacklejacked

    Capt./ Ho if I get to drive
    Jun 2, 2009
    3,152
    3,562
    Seabeck
    Name
    Greg
    Boat
    22 Hewescraft Searunner ET HT
    In reach doesn't have to pair to the phone ..pre set messages can be sent to anyone that can get a text or even email. Pairing to the phone just simplifies things.
    Also consider those times when you need help but don't really need sar... Do you want sar using resources to come get you for a sprained ankle when you can still kind of walk, but could use some help... family or friends. ...or those possible situations where you won't be home on time and have to overnight...a quick message that all is ok could prevent someone from activating sar for a missing person that's not missing.

    Vehicle problems are another aspect...roads to and fro area's that lack service, also lack service...

    Lot's of uses beyond send immediate help...
     
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    liltrouble

    Member
    Jun 9, 2012
    931
    1,052
    ShillCreek, WA USA
    Name
    Shari
    Boat
    Mr. Buttercup
    The Garmin 86sci has built in marine charts and the satellite communication. About twice the price as the in reach mini. However, being able to add text to any rescue scenario is valuable. Ditch bag worthy in any mariners repertoire.

    If you are in the backwoods and need to for the rescue button, letting rescuers know what they are getting into can be helpful. "I sprained my ankle and can't walk out" will have a different response than "having a heart attack". That whole urgency factor can be appropriate to circumstances.

     
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    AdmiralSnackbar
    AdmiralSnackbar
    I wasn't aware this had come out. Marine charts and inreach sounds like a better fit for boat owners than the regular explorer+ Thanks for the link!
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