21st century sos

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bivouac

Forager
Jan 30, 2010
234
0
Three Counties
I'm out a lot on my own and it occured to me that there is probably some sort of gizmo that at the press of a button would send an sos with my gps location to someone that could render assistance if i got myself into trouble. Would i need to get an expensive gps device? Is there an iphone app? (i dont have an iphone). I'm not having much luck with the search facility as i don't know what words to use. Any advice would be appreciated. I haven't got loads of cash to throw at it, so anything budget-priced would be ok. Thanks.
 
Dec 5, 2011
4,461
2
United Kingdom
There are lots of sos apps that utilise gps to get your location but sadly rely on SMS to send the distress message. Pretty useless if you dont have a signal.

SPOT tracker seems to be the accepted standard
 

SimonM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 7, 2007
4,015
3
East Lancashire
www.wood-sage.co.uk
Are you UK based for your trips?

Do you leave details of your routes and eta for return? Do you have a home contact who you contact when you do return?

TBH, I've never felt the need to anything other than the simple steps listed above... Other than to prepare well of course.

Simon
 

Tom.heath

Member
May 13, 2012
25
0
London
The brietling watches have a SOS GPS thingy. But I've heard there is a huge fine, if pressed when there is no emergency!!
 

kiltedpict

Native
Feb 25, 2007
1,333
4
48
Banchory
AFAIK the spot tracker is very expensive- your tied into a yearly contract (automatic renewal without notice) and if you cancel, it's effective immediately with a difficult process to retrieve the money they've already taken for the rest of the year.

Heard a lot about poor quality and poorer customer services whilst looking into getting one for the TGOChallenge too.

A personal locator beacon is more expensive up-front but has no ongoing costs and might be worth looking at as an option?

KP
 

bivouac

Forager
Jan 30, 2010
234
0
Three Counties
Thanks for the replies. There is no cheap option here it seems. The Breitling watches are really expensive to buy and - " it’s not a watch to wear on a night out with the lads. Buyers sign a contract on taking possession of the watch to say that they’ll cover the costs of a rescue. Money well spent if you’re about to be eaten by a bear – less so if you’re tucking into a curry and one of your mates decides to fiddle with a few buttons." (Watches of Switzerland website). The SPOT tracker seems to be around £100 + £100 a year subs. That's not too bad.

The trouble with leaving your route details is that it defeats the point of leaving a route card if you go for a wander off-route when the fancy takes you whereas an sos tracker will tell everyone exactly where you are at all times if needs be.
 

Scots_Charles_River

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Dec 12, 2006
3,252
19
paddling a loch
www.flickr.com
I know a National Outdoor Centre uses the SPOT tracker as they know where the group is. And the newer one can send texts via the satellite using bluetooth to your phone.

Route cards are good but if the weather makes you deviate eg you have to go with the weather not fight it, then the SPOT tracker would show that. Whereas the PLB is a last resort. It won't show your route to that point. Or if you don't check in with the SPOT then someone at least knows your route to the last check-in.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,236
1,007
Lancashire
Breitling watch is a one shot thing spot isn't. It also allows user to log locations so others can track you I believe. This is separate from the emergency function.

Plbs use satellites so better perhaps. However you can end up in poor signal areas such as in trees or gorge. These are effectively very weak transmitters after all. I just think these are last choice and you need to use the old, tried and tested methods as previously mentioned. Even if you go off course for a wander at least your approximate location will be within a narrowed area. After all you can't walk that far off your route in one day.
 

Scots_Charles_River

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Dec 12, 2006
3,252
19
paddling a loch
www.flickr.com
Breitling watch is a one shot thing spot isn't. It also allows user to log locations so others can track you I believe. This is separate from the emergency function.

Plbs use satellites so better perhaps. However you can end up in poor signal areas such as in trees or gorge. These are effectively very weak transmitters after all. I just think these are last choice and you need to use the old, tried and tested methods as previously mentioned. Even if you go off course for a wander at least your approximate location will be within a narrowed area. After all you can't walk that far off your route in one day.

But if you are sailing, canoeing or have to escape down a side glen or valley.

Tracking for non emergency use is the good thing about Spot type units.
 

theoctagon

Nomad
Sep 3, 2010
458
0
Yorkshire
Another vote for the Spot devices. I tend to go out by myself most of the time and it's nice to know I have the emergency function should it ever be needed.

Checking in from the top of Scafell Pike last Thursday :)

IMG_5157_zps0ca27d35.jpg
 

markmullen

Member
Oct 4, 2012
32
0
North Yorkshire
I've got a delorme inreach for my solo landscape photography trips after I nearly took a tumble in Glen Etive, on my own, at dawn, in November.

I went for inreach as it is two way, you can get confirmation that help is on its way, I thought that would be a massive morale boost in an emergency situation. You can also have it broadcast your position as a breadcrumb trail for friends and family, something I'm going to try when I lead a photographic trip to Sri Lanka later in the year.
 

tenderfoot

Nomad
May 17, 2008
281
0
north west uk
for certain backup a plb is about £200 with a renewable contract say 50 quid at three years i think. probably good for 10yrs before needing upgrade.probably worth the money if you go out alone. it would only need to be used once to be worth it i reckon!
for a cheap app which when in range of mobile phone signal will track your progress and show it on a map on a website to those whom you have allowed an access password try viewranger (also do os gb mapping reasonably cheap on your symbian/android or iphone at 1:50k or 1:25K loaded on gps phone :-not signal dependent )
 

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