As much as he helps out with Gun Carry Reviews, my father is getting up there in age.  He has become a little worried about something happening to him when he goes out by himself hunting or fishing.  So I was looking for a solution to insure his safety.  What I found was Spot GPS.

The Spot GPS unit is a simple GPS tracker that acts as a messenger to transmit it’s location at preprogrammed intervals to a satellite that records the location in your account so that your loved ones can see your location when they log in.  We chose to track the location every 10 minutes.  He simply turns the unit on before leaving the house and uses the included caribiner to hook it to a belt loop and off he goes.  When we logged into the account we can see the location of each ping.

The unit includes programmable message buttons that will text or email your chosen contacts with your predetermined message.  In our case we set the OK button to tell contacts “I’m Here” so we know he had arrived at his location.  We programmed the Help button to notify us if he needed someone to come help him in a non-emergency situation and provide his location.

Lastly, there is an Emergency button that notifies the GPS company to send emergency services to your location for rescue.  The monitoring team will then call in all emergency responders to the location pinged by the SPOT unit.  They even offer an insurance fee that will cover the cost of the emergency response, should you need it.

There is an application in smartphone app stores that will link to the account and track the location for you.  Even better you can set the account to report to a facebook page.  We set up a SPOT tracking page for dad and made it private and added the family as friends.  This enabled the family to see the tracking  without any need to log in to an account.

The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the unit’s need to have a clear view of the sky to insure satellite transmission. So we took it to SHOTshow with us in Las Vegas and turned it on while traveling from place to place via taxi.  I was very impressed to see the location reported on the phone app even though the unit was inside a taxi with no real view of the sky.

All in all, the SPOT unit worked very well for us and allowed a renewed freedom for my father at a reasonable price plus service.


***Update: While we were very happy with the function of the SPOT GPS, the auto-renewal of service was not priced as expected and we chose to discontinue our use.

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