The Spot Satellite Messenger is a small device I carry when hiking which tracks my location and allows me to call for help if I need it. It uses satellites for communications instead of the cell network which is good since many of the places I adventure have no cell service.
In addition to tracking where I am, the unit allows me to send a custom pre-programmed message, an ‘I’m Okay’ message or an ‘I need some help’ message to text or email addresses that I setup in advance. If I really get into trouble the unit allows me to send an SOS distress message that goes directly to a Rescue Coordination Center.
When I have tracking turned on you can view my location here: Lorne’s Spot
If you are one of the people I have setup to be my emergency contacts here is what to do if you receive one of the 3 help messages that I can send:
- Custom Message which says: ‘I’ve run into trouble & probably won’t get home tonight but I’m okay. I’ll try and get out tomorrow.’ This message means that some non life threatening reason (truck breakdown, out of gas etc) is preventing me from making it home but I’m okay. I will try and work out the problem myself so don’t send any help.
- Friends and Family Help Message which says: ‘Lorne needs help but not badly enough to call Search and Rescue. Send someone to get me!’. This message means that some non life threatening reason (truck breakdown, out of gas, broken leg etc) is preventing me from getting home and I want you to send help as soon as you can. If you get this message and aren’t able to come yourself contact Ross or someone else with backcountry experience (Dave? Ryan? Helen?). As a final resort contact the police or Search and Rescue at the numbers below.
- SOS Message: If I send an SOS distress message it goes straight to a Rescue Coordination Center (RCC). No email is sent to my contacts. On receipt of this message the RCC will try to contact my emergency contact (Christine, Ross) to check if its real. If it is real or they can’t contact anyone they will contact emergency responders in this area (RCMP, Search and Rescue). If things have gotten this bad then leave it to the professionals.
- Nanaimo RCMP: 911 or 250-754-2345