Trekking Blog for ultralight and outdoor – Trailblaze

SPOT GPS Satellite Personal Tracker Review

September 2, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

The SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker is the first satellite messenger that enables message communication via satellite. In addition, the SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker can be used to determine location. Communication via satellite means SPOT can be used all over the world independently of cellular phone networks.

I was able to test the SPOT thoroughly on my latest Sweden tour.


After unpacking the SPOT, it must be registered on the manufacturer’s website. During registration, the serial number is recorded so it can be identified later. The manufacturer offers various services for SPOT.

The basic rate of EUR 99 per year includes the following:
– ALERT 911: Sends rescue services to the exact location.
– CHECK IN: Lets selected contacts know where you are currently and that you are okay. Unlimited usage of Check In E-mails. Up to 200 SMS text messages annually (Check In or Help) are also included. Every further text message costs €0.10 per message.
– ASK FOR HELP: Ask friends and family for help and transmit your exact location. Unlimited usage of Help E-mails. Up to 200 SMS text messages annually (Check In or Help) are also included. Every further text message costs €0.10 per message.

You can order the additional “Track Progress” service for € 39/year. This additional function allows your progress to be followed and sends and saves locations. Selected contacts can follow your course on Google Maps.

SPOT Streckenverlauf

At the SPOT website, you can file your own texts for the “Help” and “OK” buttons. These texts are sent by E-mail or SMS to the designated contacts when you press the corresponding button. The messages can also be displayed on the “Track Progress” function.

SPOT Nachricht OK

In practice, sending texts always worked very well. It is also practical that the message includes a link to Google maps with the current location.

Example of an “OK” message (by E-mail):
“Bivouac set up. Everything OK. Greetings from Lapland… Trailblaze – Sent by Spot Personal Satellite Tracker.”
Lat.:68.2002 / Long.:18.515
Next position:unknown
Time:08/09/2009 22:16:01 (Europe/Berlin),18.515&ll=68.2002,18.515&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

In an emergency, rescue services can be alerted using the “911” button. However, I did not test this function 🙂

For me, the SPOT unfortunately still has some weak points. The LED status indicator is very basic. Some different conditions of the SPOT are shown using the same status display. Due to the at times poor status display, I could only hope that there was currently satellite transmission. I wasn’t always sure. To switch from the function “Track Progress” to send “OK” message, I always switched the SPOT off and on. But in the end, everything worked.

Unfortunately, the buttons are not well protected, and I was often afraid of triggering a function unintentionally. For this reason, I removed the batteries during transport by plane.

I would be happy to rent out the SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker on a weekly basis for a fee. If you are interested, send me an E-mail.

Technical data:
– 208 grams incl. batteries (works only with AA lithium batteries)
– Batteries last about 14 days in “Track Progress” mode.
– Operating temperature: -40 to 85 degrees Celsius
– Waterproof up to 1 meter (for up to 30 minutes)

Supplier in Germany:
Bergzeit: (199,00 EUR)

Manufacturer’s website:


2 Responses to “SPOT GPS Satellite Personal Tracker Review”
  1. truevision says:

    Nice post, Thanks for your sharing.

  2. vinoo says:

    Informative, thanks for sharing the info

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