Emergency GPS tracking device- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Emergency GPS tracking device

    We are in the middle of the summer in EU and between one Alpine ride and the other I was wondering if I should buy some kind of satellite messenger in order to provide my realtime location to parents/wife/friends. Most of the times I do find myself riding solo and with no others riders/hikers in sight, that's the main reason why I was thinking if I should buy one of those things.
    Questions are: is there anyone of you using one of those devices? Which are the main brands? I do only know the Spot ones, as I did see some commercials while watching the Cape Epic few months ago.
    Ideally I'd like a basic device that I could strap to the seatpost and forget about.
    Any tips/advices?
    I'd also use it for solo hikes out in the mountains.

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    One question for you is how reliable is cellular reception out your way? If cell reception is pretty reliable, then you could use an app with a live tracking function. You could still do that on a trial basis if you aren't terribly sure about cell reception.

    The two main satellite tracker messenger systems are spot and Inreach (Garmin). You have to pay for a subscription for the service to use them. IMO, it's fairly expensive for what it is, compared to a Personal Locator Beacon (no live tracking, only SOS beacon use, but only a one-time expense for the device).

    I also feel like live tracking is pretty overrated most of the time. Especially for typical done-in-a-day rides. Meh. Sure, it'd be cool if you're doing a major bike expedition trip where you're out of touch for days/weeks/months at a time. Or you're doing a big vacation, traveling all over, and people actually are interested in where you're going.

    Otherwise, I think basic SOS capability is plenty. I like the ICEdot crash sensor system, too, and wish that it could pair with a satellite messenger device. THAT would be a subscription I'd pay for.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    The info you want may be covered in this thread:

  4. #4
    Loud tyres save lives
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Where I ride there's cellular reception so I use Garmin live tracking with the incident detection which I find works well.

    Friends who use tracking where there isn't cellular reception use the Spot as it works for them and worth the money.
    2014 Trek Fuel Ex 8
    2015 Trek Farley 6
    2016 Trek Stache 7

  5. #5
    Armature speller
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    I use a Spot Gen 3 and it works well. Tracking is better on the road bike than on the MTB in the hills as it doesn't face north for long enough to get most track points out.
    Tramping, car, motorbike, it's brilliant and almost every 10min trackpoint is registered.

    Money no object, the Garmin Inreach Mini. 2-way comms.
    Otherwise I'll stick with the Spot.

    I had some old batteries in it and my stepson borrowed it for a group ride on bikes down the length of the island. 10 days of constant use, almost every 10min trackpoint was successful and the batteries are still going.

  6. #6
    Ted is offline
    Ted in real life
    Reputation: Ted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    +1 on the Spot Gen3. I don't use tracking. I send an "I'm OK" message to my wife every hour on the hour. At the start and end of the ride I send a "I am starting/ending the ride" message. Keeps my wife happy. No cellular reception where I ride and I am always by myself.

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