Testing the SPOT GPS Tracker on the trail

I headed to the Southwest corner of the smaller lake at West Delray Regional Park, where a trail loop shaded by Pines awaited earlier today. Here is a GPS MAP of my exact location.

After hearing one too many tales about my travels where the cell-phone reception dies and alongside big gators and moccasins, my mom surprised me with a SPOT GPS Satellite Personal Tracker. “I have to worry a little bit after hearing about where you’re going,” mom said. “And it’s not like Sandy can pick up the phone and call for help.”

That’s if there is cell phone service.

Now I can send an OK message to my mom and Rachel to let them know all’s well, so they won’t worry if I’m out on the trail a little longer than they thought I’d be. And if something were to happen I can hit the call-for-help button that goes to 911 and Forest Services, or the Coast Guard if I’m kayaking, via the GEOS International Emergency Response Center.

The SPOT GPS Tracker is waterproof, small, and can be attached easily to a rucksack or stowed in a saddle bag. It’s a good thing to have for someone who is out on solo trips often. Thanks mom!

Once when biking at Alafia State Park a few years ago, an ambulance and Forest Ranger truck came down the Jeep trail, flagging down bikers to see if anyone
“knew where the injured bicyclist was.” Apparently a biker took a bad fall and broke his leg, calling 911. But he was unsure of his exact location, and without GPS coordinates it took emergency services more than ninety minutes to find him (and that’s after the twenty minutes it took to get to the right trailhead to begin the search). Several of us were trying to help them find the injured biker, but it was a daunting task because of the vast network of trails at Alafia. If this guy had a SPG Tracker the paramedics would have found him a lot quicker.

Here we are starting out on the trail Wednesday:

Not far from this point on the map, we hiked through around fat Banyon trees and thick ferns where I saw an Oriole, Cardinal, Blue Jay, and a few sparrows. I also heard a bird in the distance that sounded eerily like an infant crying. I listened for a while until I heard a distinct bird-like call coming from the swamp.

The GPS Tracker can also track your trail, allowing you to create GPS maps of your adventure. The tracking service costs an extra fifty bucks a year. Here is the Web site for the SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger. The Tracker is much more simple than more expensive GPS devices. But sometimes more simple does the trick when you need to rely on technology.

1 Comment so far

  1. Anna on August 12th, 2010

    Like the link on facebook.

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