How do you use your SPOT messages?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by 1200gsceej, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,404
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    So there are basically five types of messages:
    Track, OK, Custom, Help, SOS

    Track is what it is; I don't think you can add any information to those messages.
    OK, Custom and Help can generate an email with a message text.
    SOS supposedly calls in the cavalry.

    So how do folks use these? Here is what I do:

    OK
    I generally hit this when I start off in the mornings, and whenever I am going to stop for "a long time" (i.e. more than just lunch).
    I include my Spotwalla link in my OK message.

    Custom
    I've not used this yet; I've not figured out what, how, when.

    Help
    Sent to key people who know I am traveling. I use it to mean 'something went wrong' but I am not hurt (not seriously at least). There will likely be a change of plans. I'll contact them soon, but they should try to contact me if they can.

    What do other folks do?

    BTW, I have two 'profiles' - one for solo trips and one for trips w/my buddy. The email addresses are slightly different, but the message types are pretty much the same.

    thanks,
    -ceej
    #1
  2. Wlfman

    Wlfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    TN/AL
    I have mine set as:

    OK - I've stopped for photo/fuel/pee/food/drink. All's well

    Custom - I've stopped for the night. All's well

    Help - I need a tow truck

    SOS - of course sends in the calvary.
    #2
  3. UnclebudinTX

    UnclebudinTX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    219
    Location:
    Plainview TX
    mine is similar to above

    ok= Unclebud just checking all is ok

    custom= Unclebud has reached his destination for todays travel

    help= Need help please call the authorities with these coordinates
    #3
  4. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    Location:
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    Thanks!
    I like the suggestion of Custom meaning 'at my final destination for today'.
    That let's OK be used for all other (temporary) stoppages.
    Thanks again
    -ceej
    #4
  5. DirtSolace

    DirtSolace Been here awhile

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    Mar 12, 2013
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    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    I'm a Dual Sport guy that does day trips solo. Wife worries. So, "Custom" sends a text to my wife that I'm in the Dirt; and "Okay" sends a text to her that I am out of the Dirt. She only has to worry for the dirt time NOT the asphalt component.

    She knows how to use my desk top to locate me. The "Help" button sends a text (and an email to local friend), that I'm okay but need vehicle assistance--this has been used once successfully, when I had to leave my bike (over a cliff when a soft sand berm gave way--I stayed at the top) in the back country and hike to a gate where she could collect me.

    --stan
    #5
  6. ggemelos

    ggemelos Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
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    193
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I do long trips alone and have come up with the following system. I should say that I only use the messages when something has gone wrong. I never use them as an everything is okay status update.

    Okay:
    I am fine, please ignore any previous requests for help you may have gotten. This is mostly in case I accidentally sent a request for help or if the situation has changed since I sent the request.

    Custom:
    I am physically okay, but most likely need a tow truck.

    Help:
    I am hurt and need medical assistance. This would be sent along with the SOS.
    #6
  7. Hayden#69

    Hayden#69 Been here awhile

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    Dec 16, 2005
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    Location:
    Wichita Ks
    I do big trips alone also and Each button sends texts and emails to Sis, Dad, Uncle, and 3 riding buddies.

    Ok.
    This one says " Alls well." Only pushed once a day at noon.

    Custom.
    This one says " Alls good, camping for the Night."

    Help.
    This one says " May have bike problems but can not move from this location.

    SoS. This one is for Family only.



    All of the recipients know that I only use the SPOT when out of Cell service. Meaning.....if no hear from me.....I have had Cell service all day and at camp loaction so no need to inform you yahoos. LOL. If I can, I text everyone any how but they know already that if they get info from SPOT, Im remote.
    #7
  8. LONG DONGER

    LONG DONGER Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
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    Location:
    Northwest Ozarkistan
    If traveling with a buddy or group, push the OK button at noon and later in the day. If traveling solo, I push ok about every hour or so just to keep the wife calm. About 2 or 3 people get the OK update.

    Custom, only goes to the wife, with a custom message, basically that I am okay and out of cell phone coverage, not to expect a call that night, but that I am fine.

    Have not used the others, but have immediate family members on the HELP button. I have never used that one, even though been in some pickels here and there, i am not the type to call in for help, figure if I was dumb enough to get into the mess, i can figure out a way out. When and if I push help, i mean i need it, so come a charging.

    SOS is send the calvary, and bring ammo. Or beer.:freaky
    #8
  9. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,275
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Ok.
    This is a cool SPOT and I'm stopping for the day.

    Custom.
    This is a cool SPOT but I'm going to keep moving.

    Help.
    I have some kind of mechanical problem. If I push this again within four hours please send help.

    SOS. I'm badly hurt. Please come rescue me and my bike.

    Q~
    #9
  10. BootDragger

    BootDragger Rehibilitation Rebel

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    544
    Location:
    Santa Paula, Ca.
    OK = Everything is great! Just checking in.

    Help = This is a non-medical emergency. Mechanical breakdown. Help to GPS coord ASAP. Format is deg/deci deg

    Custom = This is a medical yet currently non life threat emergency. Help to GPS coords ASAP. Format is deg/deci deg.

    SOS = This is a medical emergency message for _________DOB 09/09/99. I reside in __________ CA with __________. I'm unable to continue without assistance and I feel that I need medical attention immediately, otherwise I would have used my help assistance. Please send Paramedic ASAP. GPS coord format is deg/deci deg :deal <----- Good? Most are missing a few details here I think.
    #10
  11. DirtMedic

    DirtMedic Intrepid Explorer

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    Location:
    Brooksville, Florida, USA
    @BootDragger, just a little technicality you may want to consider. You might want to change your message from "EMT" to "Paramedic". Some areas run a two tiered EMS system. BLS and ALS. Basic Life Support which are the EMT's and Advanced Life Support which is paramedic level. While it is not likely, given that your message is requesting EMS for essentially an unknown problem, it is very much within the realm of possibility that a dispatcher for such a system might send you exactly what you requested. If you have a broken leg you want the folks with the morphine and fluids. That is only supplied by paramedics.
    #11
  12. BootDragger

    BootDragger Rehibilitation Rebel

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    Santa Paula, Ca.
    Post yours up! :ear
    #12
  13. Earth

    Earth I Break Fixed Stuff

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
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    62
    Location:
    Northern Illinoise
    Hey team,
    I think we're all close to using the same messages but there are TWO THINGS OF IMPORTANCE we must all follow: first, make sure your receiving party understands what each of your messages mean and, second, add something to your SOS msg to the effect that your COORDS are in decimal degrees WGS84 datum.
    I read this post on ADV that made me think about this. Do what ya want but it couldn't hurt to include it or some variant.

    I also added a "shortened URL" to my SPOT Shared page for a super quick map link especially useful on a smartphone!

    Anyway, these are my settings:

    OK: Ed's checking-in & OK. View my position: http://goo.gl/Pi47R Bye4Now!

    CUSTOM: MSG from Ed: Stopped for now. Will send "OK" msg when I'm moving again. See my position at http://goo.gl/Pi47R

    HELP: Ed needs HELP ASAP! Non-life-threatening. See my position at http://goo.gl/Pi47R Send pickup truck or trailer.

    SOS: Ed has activated his SOS beacon which means he or someone in his party needs life or limb help ASAP. Ed has no allergies and takes no special medications. See his position online at http://goo.gl/Pi47R The COORDS sent are decimal degrees WGS84 datum; set your GPS to same to locate him.
    #13
  14. klinquist

    klinquist ├╝bergeek

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    My CUSTOM message sends a message to my girlfriend saying, "Crashed or broken down, I'm ok, please get my van and come pick me/my bike up at this location."
    #14
  15. Renegade_Azzy

    Renegade_Azzy Kamen Rider

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    903
    Location:
    SW PA
    OK - "Just checking in, hit up the google map"

    Custom - "Found something nifty"

    Help - Spot tow service (I've used it, it worked out perfect after my clutch went 45 miles from home)

    SOS - calvary
    #15
  16. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
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    898
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    One thing to consider to possibly free up a button for you that use the OK or Custom buttons as a cancellation button. If you hold either the Help or SOS button for 5 seconds or greater until it turns red it will send out a cancellation to whomever you had sent the Help or SOS to in the first place. That should work as your cancellation.

    One other thing that is obvious to me but who knows to others is to let those on your contact lists know what each activation means before hand. That way someone doesn't get a notification and freak out..
    #16
  17. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,521
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    I have an inReach instead of a Spot but the idea is the same. My first message is bascally "I'm OK, here's where I am. Message 2 is the same but goes to facebook. Message 3 is "I'm OK but I'm going to be late". I find I use that last one fairly often. My riding partners and I all have an agreement - I tell my wife it was my riding partner's fault that we were late and they tell their wives/girlfriends etc that it was my fault. Should the other's wife/girlfriend inquire of me as to the reason for the lateness, I always take the blame as do they when my wife asks them. The wives have pretty much figured this out but it works okay.
    #17