Alternatives to Spot Satellite Trackers

By Amy Rodriguez

Adventure seekers enjoy traveling in rough terrain, far from cities or civilization. Undiscovered regions, from hidden valleys to the open ocean, are extremely exciting to explore, but can lead to dire circumstances if the traveler becomes lost or injured. SPOT satellite trackers are GPS devices that notify authorities about a stranded traveler's location. However, there are alternatives to this particular device type.

SPOT Satellite Tracker Features

SPOT satellite trackers use two satellites, a GPS and a SPOT commercial satellite, for determining a user's location and transmitting the information to loved ones or emergency personnel. The device allows a user to check in with loved ones by reporting the user's coordinates, or provides a distress signal when the user requires help or rescue. However, this device does require an annual subscription fee for use and only functions in certain land and sea regions.

Satellite Phone Alternative

Satellite phones are an alternative to SPOT satellite trackers. As the name suggests, the phone uses low-earth orbiting satellites for obtaining a signal for communication, as opposed to land-based cellular sites. In fact, satellite phone coverage is so vast that a user can communicate with emergency personnel while lost at sea or in either polar region. Although requiring a phone subscription, the coverage that a satellite phone has makes it a life-saving tool during an emergency.

Cell-Based GPS Tracker Alternative

Many cell phones have GPS capabilities built into their electronic structure. A user can call emergency personnel and communicate the GPS coordinates displayed on the phone. However, this GPS acquisition relies on cellular site communication. A user lost or injured in rough terrain will not be able to access a cellular site for communication. This type of device is designed mainly for city use.

Personal Locator Beacon Alternative

Personal Locator Beacons transmit a user's coordinates through military satellites. The military satellite use is strictly for emergency locating only; a user cannot simply check in with loved ones using this device. In fact, a PLB must be registered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA creates a unique personalization number for each PLB, allowing emergency personnel to know exactly who they need to rescue.