SPOT Connect and Smart Phones
I’d like to direct people to Will Gadd’s article on the SPOT Connect. I’ve previously written how smartphones should not be used as a primary navigation device for backcountry travelers.
Will points out that the SPOT connect, when paired with a smart phone, is not reliable. He had trouble with the Bluetooth connection. I would like to add that even if it is reliable, the battery life and inherent fragility of a smartphone when exposed to cold, and wet, make this a very bad idea for use in the backcountry except under the most controlled conditions.
I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT rely on a device that is not designed to work in the backcountry, or at the very least has battery life of more than one day. If you’re going to buy a SPOT device, get a SPOT or SPOT2 – both of these are designed to be waterproof, have exceptional battery life, and all functions work without needing to have a second device “paired” with them.
I have not heard if the DeLorme InReach has the same limitations (needs to be paired with a smartphone for all services to work), but be wary of these offerings. Many of the functions of the device could require the smart phone, and are thus of limited use to you.
I find devices these gimmicky, and in my opinion, bordering on the negligent.
But wouldn't it be nice to update your facebook status via SPOT? :)
I have used the DeLorne Spot Connect with GPS while working in Northern BC, I was not overly impressed. Thought the nice thing is the spot beacon part was completely separate and could be used without the paired device in an emergency. It is much smaller than the spot beacon and I liked that part.