As my ride to Portugal approaches and I've checked my lists a dozen times now and can't think of anything else to do but wait with giddy excitement....I thought I would feed the "adventure monkey" in me by posting about one of the best possible devices you can have and my experience of using one for 4 years now. The Spot Tracker can save your life. Some basic rules to live by: 1.Wear it on you. Some companies make mounts for them on the bike. What if the bike goes over a precipice and you manage to not go with it. Where is your spot? On the ledge where you can't get to it and it's probably facing down if murphy is sitting next to you in the dirt. There is an armband strap that is functional and allows you to see the flashing red light when the battery is low because eventually it will just stop working and that's no good either. Also you don't want some kids to get a hold of it and hit the 911 button....more on that later. 2. Get the tracker subscription. Most of us have someone at home worried about us, or friends we want to boast to later about our ride. Either way get the tracking function. This way someone can see the route you are taking so if something does go wrong they have an idea where to start. (see #1) Plus it's a great way to figure out where the heck you were all day if you don't have GPS like me and love getting lost. It's a hassle to push the OK button and because it doesn't always get a signal through, less reliable. 3. Carry extra lithium batteries. Most countries just don't have these. When I ride my month long trips I bring 2 extra sets and put fresh ones in the unit. I might hit the second set but once when I had to get normal batteries, they were done in about 4 days. 4. Buy the Medivac and Roadside Assistance insurance that they offer with it. You get it for half off when you have a spot and I sure wish I had this when I crashed in some mountains of Bulgaria where people come to hunt and I dislocated my shoulder and could have never ridden out without help. My funny story that will prove how well this works. In Turkey I was riding along a dirt road and this was back when I used to mount it to the bike....it fell off and some local kids got a hold of it and of course hit all the buttons. Because I had the tracking on I was able to locate the last signal which was coincidentally close to where they were hanging around so I knew they had it. I didn't know if they hit the buttons and had no way to tell in the middle of nowhere so I went on my merry way hoping that everything was ok. Within 1 hour, the border patrol, the military police and the local city police of the nearest town all came and found me in Ani separately. Turns out the boys did hit 911 and they took it VERY SERIOUSLY and came to find me and make sure I was OK. I was so impressed with the way they responded. They had my name, a description of me and came right at me like I was in some big trouble. It was kinda scary but I quickly realized why they all knew who I was and I was grateful beyond words. I hear about how people are abusing this privilege here in the US but I tell you, I will never travel without it on me ever.