Author Topic: SPOT tracker alternatives  (Read 1206 times)

SPOT tracker alternatives
« on: July 06, 2019, 11:38:42 pm »
I'm doing a few solo (non-organised) multi-night rides this year on and off road in UK and Europe and would like my family to be able to know where I am and it would also help to know I have a means of summoning help, should something go badly wrong out of mobile reception / battery. Something I can stick in a jersey pocket and essentially forget, so decent battery life and rugged / waterproof.

SPOT seem to be the device of choice in the ultra / bike packing community, but I'm slightly put off by the €180 annual subscription and 12 month minimum contact (there is apparently a 50% discount code for the first year). I'm only going to really need it for 10-15 days this year if I'm lucky.

Is there anything else worth looking at?

Had a look at the Garmin Inreach mini, which has a monthly contract, so better suited to my intermittent use. It seems to require a second device (mobile or Garmin) for "live tracking", which means it isn't an independent safety device. Also, the location updates are 10p each, so frequent updates or long trips would add up.

Re: SPOT tracker alternatives
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2019, 03:40:55 am »
I had previously used FollowMee and it worked very well. It has phone apps which don't seem to use much power, I have used it for 20 hour rides without apparent impact on battery. I stopped using as they changed a few things and it got complicated but I notice the options have mostly returned as previously. The "free" version allows you to publish your current location via a map URL you give to people watching or if you use the "basic" supscription (USD5.99 per year) then it will show your current and a history of locations (each 5-10 minutes) for a configurable number of hours up to 24. The more money you give them the more other options are available but the basic seems enough to me

PS There is a free trial of the basic service on the FollowMee site, 2 weeks I think.

Otherwise Spotwalla will work with some free? apps to show your location and some history but I have not used this, just a watcher

Re: SPOT tracker alternatives
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2019, 06:30:21 am »
Does this help?

No idea what the firm is like, I just googled "InReach hire uk" and they were at the top of the list. Regarding the SPOT subscription rates, here in the US they recently changed to a monthly rate option that is identical to the inReach Mini rates. It might be worth checking the SPOT website again, they may have done the same for the UK, or may do so shortly.

Complaints about the SPOT here in the US seem to be in regard to unreliability of the emergency notification system, especially in northern latitudes.

I bought a SPOT last year, and switched to an inReach Mini this year because of concerns about the SPOT's emergency notification system. I also like having the ability to communicate with whichever emergency services provider the inReach contacts for me. Pairing the inReach with my phone lets me put a map with my route on my phone, and I can check to make sure I am still on route.


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Re: SPOT tracker alternatives
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2019, 07:02:54 am »
There is now an 'almost payg option' with teh SpotX which is a combination of an annual standing charge then a per month

eg: $24 one off 'flex charge' then $15 per month for the months you want to use it for.


Re: SPOT tracker alternatives
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2019, 09:15:06 am »
Thanks everyone.

I'd completely missed the rental and that the SPOT X had monthly contract options.

I'll use my trips this year to rent a couple of different devices and then decide whether to buy a device.


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Re: SPOT tracker alternatives
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2019, 09:47:44 am »
Just received an e-mail today to say that RidewithGPS have introduced a live logging option.


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Re: SPOT tracker alternatives
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2019, 08:00:03 pm »

I have a full size garmin Inreach Explorer+, I used to have the previous version the Delorme Inreach explorer.

I used it as my tracker on the TCR. I've had an inreach of one form or other for about 5 years, and love it. I have a monthly contract so I don't have the whole mental thing of "Nah, I won't enable it this month" *heads out into the woods* "oops".

It has a PaYG option, and with the Payg option you can have it include unlimited tracking points. I think it's about €35 euro for this, on Payg. Tho I'm not sure I haven't looked recently.

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