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As Susan Conrad passed around her trusted old SPOT satellite tracker at our last general meeting, I was reminded that sitting in my pack at my feet was my own trusty (so far) SPOT that sees use about twice a year but otherwise sits dormant, as I’m sure do many others belonging to other members. (I include all varieties of trackers such as InReach etc.)
These things are not so expensive to buy but have a heavy monthly/annual cost for service. The cheapest service for my SPOT is $200USD or $249CAD. You have to by year-round service although they cunningly claim that there is a monthly subscription rate – which is a sham. The thing costs more than my smart phone!
It is easy to reconfigure the cloud software to change the basic personal information – this is done, I guess, at the insistence of rescue authorities who want to know exactly who who set off the SOS alert, not who bought the thing. They anticipate that folks lend them to each other – e.g. to my daughter for her weekend hiking trip.
So, would it work for SKABC to have a loaner program? Many years ago, I suggested that SKABC buy some of these devices as loaners, but the club’s history with shared equipment (radios) was not good, so the idea was dropped quickly. Instead, what I propose is a loan of one’s personal tracker – or is this too risky to contemplate? I’d just like to see mine get more than minimal use. Maybe others feel the same way or I am missing some vital point?
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