If you ride a snowmobile out into the backcountry, or if you venture out into the woods, how will people know where to start...

If you ride a snowmobile out into the backcountry, or if you venture out into the woods, how will people know where to start looking for you if you don’t come back?
The National Association of Search and Rescue estimates there are over 50,000 search and rescue missions launched each year in the United States alone. Most of these are initiated without knowledge of the victims’ location.
Many snowmobilers assume they will be able to use their cell phone to alert somebody of a stuck sled, a mechanical problem, or simply being lost, as they can relay their GPS coordinates (if they carry a GPS). But often times, a cell phone doesn’t get a signal or you’re not sure where you might be.
That’s why it makes so much sense for every group to riders to have at least one of the new satellite locator devices with them. One such device is the low-cost SPOT Satellite Messenger. It gives outdoor enthusiasts users a way to alert responders of their GPS location independently of cellular coverage.
SPOT enables users to send their location and message to friends, family, or emergency responders, and to visually track the location of the SPOT satellite messenger through four simple functions:
* Alert 9-1-1 notifies the emergency response center of your GPS location
* Ask for Help sends a request for help to friends and family
* Check In lets contacts know where you are and that you are OK
* Track Progress sends and saves your location and allows contacts to track your progress using Google Maps (for an extra $49.99 per year).
Weighing just over 7 ounces with a MSRP of $169.95 (U.S.), the SPOT Satellite Messenger requires a service plan as well. For $99.99 a year you get the Alert 911, Ask For Help and Check In functions, all with unlimited usage. You can let your family know several times per day that all is well, and where you are, or if you need help.
Perhaps the best option is the “GEOS Search & Rescue Benefit” that only costs an extra $7.95/ per year if purchased at the same time as the initial activation (it’ll run you $150.00/yr USD if purchased after initial activation). This provides up to $100,000 of additional search and rescue resources, including helicopter extraction around the world and reimbursement benefits – underwritten by Lloyd’s of London – for any emergency service expenses incurred.
Bottom line – $170 for the unit, and $108 per year for satellite communication with search and rescue AND your desired contacts. To learn more visit www.findmespot.com

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