Author Topic: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?  (Read 31247 times)

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Offline mathewsen

Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« on: April 16, 2009, 02:02:33 pm »
Curious if any folks are using (or plan to use) SPoT GPS messengers for their Tours. The google maps tracking can be shared with family and friends. And a help message can be sent from them. Any comments? Experience?

Offline jsieber

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2009, 04:38:25 pm »
I have no direct experience using the Spot device myself but they were used to track the progress of racers on the Tour Divide last year. It seemed to work well along the Great Divide Route so I would imagine that they would work well for other routes as well.

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 04:40:43 pm »
My experience with these comes mostly from backpacking and skiing, but it really depends on what you want.  The emergency beacon and real time tracking features are unique to this and set it apart from a standard GPS unit.  On the other hand, you lose a lot of versatility as far as interacting with the unit like you can with a more common GPS unit.

You have to sign a 1-year agreement for their service plan, so you're going to be paying for service when you're not using it, but then again, you can't really put a price on it when you need it the most.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 04:48:21 pm by Successor to the Professor »

Offline rs7trout

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2009, 06:58:39 pm »
I have used the SPOT backpacking--works well--and I am considering doing the Great Divide Trail this summer and plan on checking in twice a day using the SPOT. if you are planning on using it I would suggest using it a bit before you go on Tour to get used to it--the last thing you want is to be in an emergency situation and not know exactly how it works!

It definitely seems to work best when the logo is face up with no obstructions. If you are planning on going in remote areas -- you might consider the insurance package which I believe is for the GEOS system if in fact you should have to be rescued.

The tracking feature is definitely a cool feature but for me has not worked that well--I personally will use the ok button to send a signal out to people via their cell phone and email.


Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2009, 11:04:21 am »
I would be interested in this if it did not
1)cost so much
2)have to have a yr subscription
this September I will be riding for veteran issues.    from Cleveland, Ohio to Dallas, Texas Please support me as I make this journey.
Thank you, BIGRIDE

Offline Fanwaar

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Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 12:16:27 pm »
I got turned onto this by Dave Whiddon and Kelly Jordan ( and became very excited about what on paper looks like the perfect device for me. I'll be cycling up the Americas from Ushuaia in November and figured the SPOT Messenger ( would be perfect; I have rejected using all GPS systems on grounds of expense and figured that a device that allows me and family to track my route could only be sent from heaven. However, 90% of reviews have only had bad things to say about this product and company.


As an aside, can anyone please tell me straight up if there is a cheap, reliable, battery friendly GPS unit out there that simply gives coordinates in addition to the basic info you get from standard bike computers? I am a relative Luddite and a lover of maps who simply wants an emergency backup and accurate coordinates for progress logging.

Offline afmeyer

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 12:22:31 am »
The way to go is with a ham radio with GPS and APRS system.  You can report your position and send/receive emails.  Then others can view your position on the web.

Offline lkelly

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2009, 09:38:18 am »
I just got done using a SPOT device for a benefit charity ride I had attempted to do/ complete. even though I could not complete the whole ride due to a knee problem. the SPOT worked A-1 and renting it was well worth the knowledge. that my family and friends knew right where I was and plus having the 911 feature on it was a big +.

Offline cdevens

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009, 08:02:41 pm »
Spot works great, the ok check feature has failed once and a while, but I just send two and at least one gets through.  I carry the thing all the time when I go out.  I'm always traveling by myself and you never know when you are going to be without your cellphone for one reason or another.  I think it is well worth the price.  If you travel solo or travel in any semi remote or remote places then you should carry one.

As a Ham that has used APRS for several years.  I have not yet been able to get it to work every sing time, plus you can't just hit one button and have a rescue team out looking for you.  But it is pretty cool.

Offline lkelly

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 08:51:04 am »
I just returned from my ride for other disabled veterans an the SPOT not only gave me a good feeling being disabled myself. it also gave my friends and family a good feeling with the I'm ok function and the 911 button. so I give it a +1111111111

Offline mathewsen

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2009, 10:05:04 am »
SPOT is the only way to go for a remote route such as the great divide on which cell service is pretty non-existent. SPOT now has a new unit out as well:

For 8 bucks extra you can buy Geos rescue insurance as well. is a SPOT-based group tracking site that now has a group (social) tracker for the Great Divide route:
Anyone who carries a SPOT on the Divide can now be tracked by their families on this tracker. It offers complete individual historical data plus avg. speed and overnight camp plotting. It's pretty cool. It's also neat to think you can drop in to an internet cafe while riding the route to see where other thru-riders are along their trip and when/if you might encounter them. The tracker was developed and time-tested for , the annual MTB race on the Divide route.

Trackleaders is discussing creating group cycling trackers for road routes such as trans-am as well but it seems the utility of a SPOT on highway routes might not justify the weight + expense of the device so TL is developing the ability to receive GPS location data from all forms of location-based services (i-phones, etc.) before releasing those trackers.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 10:14:53 am by mathewsen »

Offline BadBob6

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2009, 12:34:18 am »
I use SPOT all the time for both bicycle and motorcycle trips. I have my own website set up with a Google map that shows my current location as well as a "bread crumb" trail of my route. My family and friends then can follow along as I travel and see my current location in near-real-time. That gives them a feeling of traveling along with me as well as knowing where I am all the time. I use it extensively on motorcycle trips from Mexico to Alaska, and recently used it on a bicycle trip in Normandie and Tuscany. I love it and the 911 feature might some day be a lifesaver.

Offline Trek_geek

Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 11:24:49 am »
My son and his wife are very active outdoor adventures and live outside of Anchorage, AK. SPOT had a deal last summer. Buy two years of service and get $169, the cost of the unit back as a rebate. The basic communications service was $100/year and the tracking option another $50. We gave him the cost of the 2 year service as a birthday present. We really enjoy receiving that SPOT email on my Blackberry on a Saturday afternoon and seeing where the kids and their two Alaskan huskies are "playing" that day. Be it packrafting, dog sledding or back country sking, knowing they have that 911 button makes it worth every penny spent.


  • Guest
Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 10:01:48 pm »
Can we use a Google Earth to see the track? Does F1 racer uses it in their car? I thought the track are already made and we need to follow the same track. Can we use the short cut way using Google Earth? Has the modern technology made a live Google earth in cycle? 


  • Guest
Re: Anyone using SPoT Tracker for Trips?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2010, 04:56:35 am »
The Spot GPS Messenger, which is about the size of an '80s-era pager, relays your exact latitude and longitude to one of 48 orbiting satellites every 10 minutes. You can set the device to automatically upload this data to a Web site so your buds can follow your crazy adventures; you can push a button to send canned messages from the middle of nowhere, assuring your parents that you're OK; you can even call for roadside assistance (for an extra $30 a year). But the gizmo really shines in an emergency: Flip open the SOS safety cap to hit the 911 button and Spot will fire off an urgent message to the GEOS International Emergency Response Center in Houston. GEOS will then figure out the best purveyors of rescue — cops, Coast Guard, US embassy, or, in this case, Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue, a volunteer group of snow-happy badasses located in Placer County, California.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 07:59:41 am by FredHiltz »