This is not directed at spotmaker:
I just finished a ride from Wisconsin to Ushuaia. (Ushuaia is the southernmost town in South America.) I carried a lot of gear. I used everything. I was extremely demanding of my equipment. SPOT does not meet my criteria for adventure-grade. There are a lot of things that go into being adventure grade vs not adventure grade. For example, a product has to be foolproof. If I'm tired, hungry, or just whatever, I need a thing to work. If a product is supposed to save my life, and I can't get it to work 100% of the time, then it has failed me.
In Alaska I purchased bear spray. Later, in Canada, some experienced outdoor people said, ¨It usually works.¨ I was, like, what? Usually?! What if I need it! For $20, and the slim chance of a bear attack, I think bear spray is a good investment. (I used it against 3 muggers in Argentina and it worked perfectly.)
I have less-than-stellar opinions of some of my other equipment, but nothing failed as spectacularly as my SPOT.
I have other equipment that is more complicated than SPOT. For example, my camera. I operate if fine. Not every photo is perfect. But I don't depend on the camera to save my life.
Baja 1000 Countdown: 21 days.