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SHTF – SPOT II Satellite GPS Messenger

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For When the Going Gets Impossible

Not all SHTF situations are about rupturing volcanoes and flesh-eating zombie hoards. Sometimes ‘S’ hitting the fan is a much more personal emergency. It can be a slip and a fall while hiking rough terrain, or being bitten by a poisonous snake miles from help. Emergencies can pop up just about anywhere.

Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, adventure junkies, or even the casual sightseer, the SPOT II Satellite GPS Messenger is a reliable communications tool that can also be a potential lifesaver. SPOT is a pocket-sized device that allows a user to send real-time messages as well as emergency signals via a net- work of satellites from virtually anywhere in the world.

Let’s say you want to let friends know that you’ve made it deep into Mongolia; SPOT can do that for you. Its Track Progress feature allows you to share your progress with friends by sending your GPS coordinates in real time to Google Maps.

SPOT uses a network of global-positioning and communications satellites to send data; it is more reliable and covers a larger area than traditional mobile- phone services. If you’ve run into trouble and are in need of help for a nonlife- threatening emergency, SPOT has a Help feature you can activate. In Help mode, SPOT sends a message, along with your GPS location, to your contact list every five minutes or until cancelled. This allows your contacts to know where to reach you for help.

For more urgent emergencies such as a life-threatening injury, just hit the SOS button and wait for help to arrive. GEOS Search and Rescue (SAR), a full-service SAR provider, powers SPOT’s emergency SOS network. The SPOT Messenger sends your coordinates, along with a distress message, to the GEOS International Emergency Rescue Coordination Centre (IERCC) and, in turn, the IERCC contacts the appropriate emergency responders to come to your aid. The command center may contact local police, the Coast Guard, private SAR teams, or even your country’s embassy or consulate.

SPOT will continually send your SOS every 5 minutes until cancelled, or until the batteries run out. It uses three AAA lithium batteries; its life is dependent on weather conditions, with stand-by mode lasting about three months. Even if SPOT can’t get a GPS signal, it will still send out your emergency message, just without your location. Chances are that within hours of hitting the SOS button, you are in a helicopter being airlifted to safety.

SPOT II Satellite GPS Messenger requires an annual service fee of $99 for it’s services; the GEOS Search and Rescue service is available for an additional $12.95.  The GEOS Member Benefit reimburses up to $50,000 per incident in qualified SAR extraction-related expenses and covers up to two events per year. The benefit also provides additional SAR coordination—including arranging a private airplane or helicopter charter and private search teams,—if it’s required to get you to safety. That’s a total of $100,000 of extraction insurance per year for thirteen bucks. That’s piece of mind, at a bargain.

Whether you get your kicks on a mountain bike at a nearby trail, or if you’re planning to lead an overland expedition to Timbuktu, a SPOT II Satellite GPS Messenger is a device that you will want to carry with you, just in case


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