Sunday, April 13

"Share Your Adventure" with SPOT!

"Share your adventure ...," so says the advertisement for Spot, a messenger tool (i.e., satellite plus GPS) that allows you to inform others of your exact whereabouts. For some of us this might be more info that we want to share but the beauty of Spot is it puts you in control of just how much you want to share. You can select up to ten email addresses of family/friends whom you want to keep track of you. Think of the safety factor. Think of the possibilities for families who want to keep track of children--well perhaps it's not that great an idea for teenagers. SPOT

For me, this sounds like a perfect little gadget for the solo adventurer. In the UP of Michigan, cell phone coverage is dismal! Throughout Canada--forgetaboutit! I'm forced to check in with family via public phones (which I detest) or hotel phones or email--if I stay in a hotel with Internet service. The Spot allows one to send a text message that will include your satellite position. With the help of Google mapping, family/friends can zero in on your exact location. Cellular coverage becomes irrelevant. All the Spot needs is a clear view of the sky and a subscription service.

Another super feature of Spot is the ability to instantly connect to emergency help. This is the peace of mind loved ones will appreciate. I don't have a Spot yet. But riding solo moves this to the top of the list of essential tools for distance riding. For more than a week in Ontario, I had no mobile service and it would have been neat if, every now and then, I had the ability to send a message saying "I'm okay." I recall long days of riding and finally reaching the hotel just before dark and the last thing I wanted was to make the customary call or set up the computer to send an email. The Spot could make checking in easier and allow others to check in on me when they desired.

I'm looking forward to doing a gear/gadget review of this little doohickey after I get my hands on one.