PDA

View Full Version : Personal locating beacons and hunting



Bob
05-07-2012, 06:59 PM
After reading through the "Hunting Partners" and "Technology taking the hunt out of hunting" threads, It got me to thinking that not only lot of hunters hunt alone but are also an aging group by and large, myself included. I wondering if anyone here uses a Personal locating beacon device on their trips and if so would you share your experiences and opinions regarding them. As I remarked in the hunting partners thread I prefer to hunt alone, so after my minor stroke my wife understandably isn't comfortable with me being gone for several days to a week or more at a time in the mountains out of cell range and, I don't care to be tied down to my son-in laws schedule. I have no familiarity with them and thought this might be a better option and hopefuly ease my brides concerns.
Thanks for your opinions.
Bob

jenbickel
05-07-2012, 08:18 PM
I go a lot by myself and my Dad, even though I am grown, is still very protective and worried about me when I go out alone. I bought a SPOT locator this year to help ease his mind. It goes directly off my Iphone and I can send him personally typed messages and he likes to watch where I am going. He said it was pretty cool because he could actually watch me walk down a canyon and back up. I can send an SOS message to him if say I just needed a little bit of help and it was something that wasnt super serious. If something does happen, it also has the 911 button on it where it dispatches my location to emergency services. It lets you map where you are going and lets you look at the map later on as well. It's a little expensive but is definitely a life saver if you really needed it and I think the price is worth the comfort I have knowing I wouldn't be lost and not found!

Old Hunter
05-07-2012, 08:20 PM
You know me. No gizmos. No electronics. If I die hunting. It's a good way to go.

Only my dog will miss me.

jenbickel
05-07-2012, 08:24 PM
I have two kids that I live for so I enjoy coming home and will do or buy absolutely anything to help make sure that I do.

Old Hunter
05-07-2012, 08:26 PM
I was answering the OP.

Kevin Root
05-07-2012, 08:52 PM
I have the Spot 2. One thing I keep coming back to is getting a Sat phone. The cost of the Spot 2 and a subscription is lower and it gets the basics of what I need for emergency needs and check ins. More communication to be able to just pick up the phone and call someone for emergency or check ins to family, friends, etc.... just would be more awesome.

8750
05-08-2012, 01:55 AM
I have the SPOT Connect. It works ok, sometimes I wonder though when it crashes my phone. I think the SOS feature is reliable, I hope! My wife sure is a lot happier that I have it, and more hall passes are the reward!

Old Hunter
05-08-2012, 08:45 AM
I have a close friend who loves to climb all the 14ers in the area. He's my age, and has one of those SOS gizmos. On one climb a storm came in faster than he thought, and was trapped. He sent out a signal, but nobody showed up. He managed to survive, and later found out they were looking for him on the wrong mountain.

Kevin Root
05-08-2012, 09:20 AM
I have a close friend who loves to climb all the 14ers in the area. He's my age, and has one of those SOS gizmos. On one climb a storm came in faster than he thought, and was trapped. He sent out a signal, but nobody showed up. He managed to survive, and later found out they were looking for him on the wrong mountain.

This is one of the reasons I am debating getting a satellite phone. The Spot 2 is getting better reviews on reliability than the original one. There is better reliability and one can send out messages and the tracking feature is cool but I kind of like getting a voice back in the conversation or even text back would be nice for some better back and forth communication. If satellite phones come down in price a bit more, similar to cell phones in rates and costs I will be getting one.

The satellite phone rentals are ok in price but I think with technology advancements they will come down in price similar to cell phones soon. For those that want a bit more communication and or it is important to them there are some options out there at least.

$12 per day
Incoming calls, free
Incoming text messages, free
$1.99 per minute outgoing calls

http://www.mobal.com/satellite-phone-rental/

tim
05-08-2012, 10:24 AM
my spot works well for this kind of thing.

Umpqua Hunter
05-08-2012, 10:35 AM
What I have done is to own a "SPOT" and use this regularly. I have the original version and my wife can see on a website where I am and track my movement in the field. For more extreme hunts like when I backpacked for a sheep, I rented a sat phone for one month. I would call in for a few minutes every evening when I was settled in camp. The extra insurance was worth the money.

Bitterroot Bulls
05-08-2012, 10:51 AM
I run a SPOT 2 and I am very happy with it.

tommyp
05-08-2012, 10:54 AM
i use a spot. very reassuring to family. and i can be used to create jealosy to friends that are at home working, when you send notifications from the high country. I take it with me on all hunts, but I bought it for my solo hunts...

Bob
05-08-2012, 07:01 PM
Thanks alot for the replies everyone, short of a sat. phone it sound like a lot of you run the Spot locator with very good results. I havent seen a Spot yet, but I do have an Iphone 4s and if it interfaces with that, it might be very handy. Do they work well when out of cell range though? I hunt in rough, steep sided, mountain country with a dense conifer canopy that even my Garmin 60 CSx GPS has trouble punching out of once in a while. I walk old, grown up haul roads along the old cut lines til ' I cut some promising sign. Sometimes I may end up getting several miles and drainages away from the truck by the time it's getting to dark to hunt. I really like what some of you said about my wife being able to see where I'm at from the computer at home. I don't like the idea of her worrying about me when I'm hunting and if this is a reliable unit and way to go I'm all in. I've been thinking it would not only be a prudent personal safety item but may save the life of someone your hunting with or you may run across while in the woods.

Bitterroot Bulls
05-08-2012, 07:22 PM
Bob, the reviews on the smartphone linking SPOT are mixed. Some find it reliable, others don't. The SPOT2 communicator isn't as versatile, but has a good reputation for getting the messages out. I have had very good luck with mine, even in inclimate weather.

tommyp
05-08-2012, 08:54 PM
Bob, the reviews on the smartphone linking SPOT are mixed. Some find it reliable, others don't. The SPOT2 communicator isn't as versatile, but has a good reputation for getting the messages out. I have had very good luck with mine, even in inclimate weather.

spot 2 is what mine is.!!! enough technology to send the occational notification and still leave most of the technology world behind and enjoy the wild.

HuskyMusky
05-08-2012, 10:11 PM
have been thinking about getting those rhino gps/walkie talkies which tell you where you are and your hunting partners, but wondering if there is something newer/better out there now?

Personally I'm not worried about myself getting lossed or reading the gps, but family members who are older or younger, ie elderly and/or kids who may not know how to read the map or where they are and I could simply say hey you're over there turn right and come this way.... or actually hike to them if need be, ie if for some reason we split up and they get lost in the process/turned around.

rhino's anyone?

jenbickel
05-08-2012, 10:16 PM
Thanks alot for the replies everyone, short of a sat. phone it sound like a lot of you run the Spot locator with very good results. I havent seen a Spot yet, but I do have an Iphone 4s and if it interfaces with that, it might be very handy. Do they work well when out of cell range though? I hunt in rough, steep sided, mountain country with a dense conifer canopy that even my Garmin 60 CSx GPS has trouble punching out of once in a while. I walk old, grown up haul roads along the old cut lines til ' I cut some promising sign. Sometimes I may end up getting several miles and drainages away from the truck by the time it's getting to dark to hunt. I really like what some of you said about my wife being able to see where I'm at from the computer at home. I don't like the idea of her worrying about me when I'm hunting and if this is a reliable unit and way to go I'm all in. I've been thinking it would not only be a prudent personal safety item but may save the life of someone your hunting with or you may run across while in the woods.

My spot connect works wonderfully off my Iphone 4s. I haven't had problems with it yet, although you may want to pack a couple extra batteries just in case. If your spot connect thingy runs out of batteries then you are SOL. It does work in all the terrain that we have out here, which is some deep, thick timbered crap holes. My Dad commented on how cool it was to actually be able to watch me walk down and back up a canyon. I also have a solar panel that I carry on my backpack to keep my phone charged up at all times too. I guess that's one downfall of it.

Graylight
05-09-2012, 01:09 AM
We use an ACR military grade 406 EPIRB. emergency indicating radio beacon transmitting via satellite. No matter the weather, no matter the terrain, you hit the button, SARS is coming for you, it had better be life threatening because you can go to jail if it isn't or pay a heavy search and rescue fine! It is about the size of two packs of cigarettes and nominal in the weight category, so it is worth it to me...

llp
05-09-2012, 10:19 AM
The ACR SarLink is the way to go, and the professionals choice of gear. The SPOT works well in most areas, and allows communication at a cost. You can do the same type of check-in with the ACR products for a similar subscription fee. I personally don't use the subscription fee, and only use the EPIRB for its designed use - true emergency signaling. I put it in my pack, forget it, and hope to never use it. But if things get really bad, I can summon help for certain. Far more reliable and accurate than the SPOT.

I spend a lot of time on solo hunts, in wilderness areas and far from any other hunters. The ACR SarLink EPIRB goes with me on those hunts. When hunting with family, which is typically close to civilization, I use the Garmin Rhino's. Great for keeping track of other members of your party and provides sufficient safety factor that the SarLink can stay home. Different tools for different applications...
llp

lawsonw
05-09-2012, 05:55 PM
I invested in a satellite phone a couple of years ago and never leave home without it. Works great anywhere and has not failed to get a signal once. I use it while hunting in the back country to check in with my wife and also use it for while working in remote areas of western Wyoming. The phones are a little pricey,but after initial investment my monthly plan is very reasonable.

Bob
05-09-2012, 08:28 PM
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone again for their thoughts and opinions. Based on everyones responses, I'm investigating purchasing a Spot and in addition the ACR unit as a back-up. I'm assuming the Spot may work well in most situations I encounter that if an emergency arises, I will be able to get help. At the very least, I would hope that I could use it to reassure my bride that everything is fine from time to time. Some may ask why the redundancy?, well, my logic says most of us carry a spare tire and chains in our trucks, extra batteries for a lamp, and possibly a powersaw or winch. You hope you never have need any of them but, you're darn glad you have them with you when you do.
Bob

jenbickel
05-09-2012, 08:30 PM
Good thinking Bob! I was kind of thinking of getting an ACR unit as well to add to my SPOT for the same reasons.

Old Hunter
05-10-2012, 08:40 AM
I still like doing it like Jeremiah Johnson.

No fear. No fun. :)

Bob
05-10-2012, 07:48 PM
For some reason, call it a hunch, and I do remember seeing the fear on J.J's face, I have a strong reason to believe J.J. would have preferred a lever rifle over his cap and ball model when the Bear was chasing his backside down hill and eventually through his cabin.
When reminiscing, "Fun" is something you say after narrowly getting your backside handed to you and you have the opportunity to laugh about it. I've had the misfortune of having to deal with the aftermath of some folks that will never have that chance

Old Hunter
05-10-2012, 08:45 PM
You're not really comparing Hollywood and Redford to the real JJ? :)

AG166
05-30-2012, 10:18 PM
Amen for that!