Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Richmond BC
Interest: Backpacking, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, mountain biking, and playing drums in a rock band.
Spot or InReach messengers?
Because I am forced to do most of my backpacking solo, I think I am going to invest in an emergency satellite messenger. Just thought I'd pass on what I've learned abut them. These messengers work on satellites, so when there is no cell service, you can send emergency SOS signals or basic text messages to family to let them know you arrived safe and sound at destination.
I was going to go with the Spot 3 messenger, because it's so much cheaper than the InReach.
But it turns out that you get what you pay for. Did a lot of research and cannot believe the company that makes the Spot messenger is even still in business, given all the negative reviews.
Apparently the name Spot is ironically appropriate, because it is so spotty. Messages often don't go through, according to numerous reviews on MEC, and Amazon.
Worse, the subscription service is like the Hotel California -- you can check in any time you like but you can never leave. You have to sign up for a year (about $150 per year), but then you don't get any warning that your subscription is coming up for renewal, and it auto renewals. And they won't let you off the hook. You have to wait another year. And you have to give a month's notice before cancelling, after 11 months.
This wasn't just a few bitter reviewers, this was almost every single review I read that said the same things.
So yeah -- glad I didn't shell out $200 for the Spot 3 messenger.
I will try to get an InReach second hand. It gets great reviews, and apparently there is a month-by-month option.