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About 5 years ago I bought a Spot Gen 3 personal  locator and carried it religiously.  The decision to purchase was based on stepping in to a badger hole and tweaking my knee.  I was in the middle of a 1 mile section of CRP pheasant hunting and did not have cell phone service.  Other than some cuss words and slightly painful walk out, nothing was hurt but it got me to thinking about what I would have done if I had broken my leg.  I would like to thing that I am tough enough to crawl out but I know that is foolish.  Maybe 20+ years ago but not today.

You activate the SPOT yearly and the price just kept increasing until it was almost $200 last year.  I only use it maybe three months of the year and I read several bad reviews about them not working last winter.  Costco had a Garmin Inreach on sale last January for about $100 off normal.  The big advantage over the SPOT was pay by the month instead of a whole year and the difference in cost would easily pay for the new Garmin.  The SPOT was much easier to carry, it's smaller and I carried in up high on my left side on the strap of my hunting vest.  The Garmin uses different technology but is the same size as a ASTRO so harder to carry.  I did notice when I cancelled my subscription for the SPOT they had reduced their prices and now offer a monthly subscription rather than just the yearly one.  Any one else carry a PLB?

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I now have a Inreach mini to follow me in the woods after spending a lot of time last week in some far off places and getting a deal for one under $300 I knew I had to step up my game.  Talking to Pau

InReach subscriptions are by the month and can be suspended and reactivated at any time with a click of the mouse.  I have the Freedom Safety plan which gives 10 texts per month and .50 per text over

I bought an inReach mini. We use it year around for all sorts of activities. Under $12 a month. We also subscribe to Life Flight helicopter service, because if I need one I will probably need the othe

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InReach subscriptions are by the month and can be suspended and reactivated at any time with a click of the mouse.  I have the Freedom Safety plan which gives 10 texts per month and .50 per text over the 10.  And it has SOS.  It's about $15/month.   The more one texts, the more expensive the plans.  I hardly text so I went from $34/mo. to the above plan.  With an app, I can bluetooth to the InReach and use my smartphone to type.  As long as suspended before the next month, I am not charged until I reactivate.  It keeps running for the paid up month after suspension.  I keep it running during turkey season and fall/winter seasons.  I get reminders the day before I am charged for the next month so I can suspend the day before I am automatically charged.  Gil

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Gives the wife a sense of comfort which allows me extended journeys doing something I love.  Cut a hike short because of a wasp sting and returned home because my epi pen was there. A friend recommended keeping one in my pack and I complained about the cost. Her response was "what's your life worth" ?

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Yep, I have the SPOT Gen 3 also.  My wife bought it for me a few years ago because I hunt a lot by my self and there's no hope of cell service where I do most of my hunting.  To be completely honest I leave the thing in the truck as often as not simply because I forget that it's in the glove box.  Probably won't save me in there.  I tease her that she bought it so that she'd be able to locate the corpse quickly rather than waiting the 7 years to be declared dead if I went missing.  I wasn't aware that they had a monthly plan now, have to look up the details.

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Yes, I carry a Spot.  

 

1st Generation limited to one-way text messaging.  Now upgrading to X.  

 

I usually send a pre-assigned Text with Lat / Lon location at each covert.   

 

Each time I move I update the location.  

 

That way, if late, they know where to start the search.  

 

Usually leave the device in the truck.  

 

When leaving I send two texts back-to-back to signal I am on the way home and then call when in cell range.

 

The X has two-way messaging.

 

Gives my wife some peace...  me too!

 

The best...   Trav

 

 

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I've had a Spot Gen 3 locator for quite a few years now. It is a bit annoying that the subscription rate creeps up each year. That said, I carry it a lot since most of the time I recreate in areas that have limited to non existent cell service.

 

The only time I consistently send a canned text is to my wife while elk hunting. Every text over sent over the years has gone thru. 

 

What convinced me to get one was learning of a rescue  in the back country of Montana. My brother and I were elk hunting and saw a group of guys leading a pack string past us. The next day we ran into them at the trailhead. They were bringing in the last of their gear to a camp twenty miles from the nearest road. They were good guys in a good moods. One of them told me they liked a comfortable camp, including hauling in beer instead of hard liquor. That made me smile.

 

A couple of months later, an article in the Sunday paper caught my attention. One of the guys in that group had a bad horse wreck while hunting. He broke every rib on one side of his body, collapsed lungs, the whole nine yards. One of them had a Spot and they sent an SOS. From the time they sent the message, it was less than two hours later he was in a hospital bed in Bozeman. Literally it saved him. They were hours away on horseback from cell service.

 

I bought mine a week of so later. 

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I bought an inReach mini. We use it year around for all sorts of activities. Under $12 a month. We also subscribe to Life Flight helicopter service, because if I need one I will probably need the other.

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2 minutes ago, Up North said:

I bought an inReach mini. We use it year around for all sorts of activities. Under $12 a month. We also subscribe to Life Flight helicopter service, because if I need one I will probably need the other.

 

I just got an InReach mini for my birthday yesterday.   

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Have used in reach for 3 years. There is seldom cell service where I hunt.  Most of my hunting is either alone or with 78y/o dad. In reach gives some peace of mind and also lets me stay in contact with home

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I use a PLB (personal locator beacon).  It will only send an emergency "I need help now" type message.  It is on the same system that ships at sea use.  Supposedly a signal receives a lot more attention than the typical SPOT type device because of the number of false alerts sent by SPOT.  The signal is stronger and more likely to be received, and the device sends co-ordinates of your location.  It costs about $300 and there is no yearly charge, except that batteries need to be replaced every 5 years at a cost of around $100.  It is smaller than a pack of cigarettes and weighs little. 

   The disadvantage is that it sends ony a true emergency message--not "I am stuck and need help".  For me, that is enough.

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I just upgraded my spot gen 1 to gen 3 .   They gave it to me for free.  They told me if someone hits the SOS the middle company will call the number you have assigned for OK alerts to ask them if this a a real SOS.  Meaning is your husband out where he could be in trouble.  So if your wife don’t answer the phone you won’t get help

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1 hour ago, blanked said:

I just upgraded my spot gen 1 to gen 3 .   They gave it to me for free.  They told me if someone hits the SOS the middle company will call the number you have assigned for OK alerts to ask them if this a a real SOS.  Meaning is your husband out where he could be in trouble.  So if your wife don’t answer the phone you won’t get help

That is the same sort of story I read about.  Guy in a boat had trouble on Lake Powell and activated his SPOT as he was in a jam. They called a phone number and said call them back if it was an emergency.  That’s why I switched to the Iridium system.

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I carry a PLB deerstalking. My knees aren't great, and will one day probably let go, so I just consider it cheap and easy to carry insurance. If you activate them here when not facing a serious emergency there will be a bill, but otherwise the SAR will send a helicopter. Other than a new battery every 5 (or maybe 7? - better check) years, there is no maintenance. 

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