My wife worries about me, and justifiably so, because remote trout waters and reliable cellular coverage rarely overlap. It’s both a blessing and a curse. I need to get away from the ringing phone, the sounds of cars, and the din of mankind, yet she needs to know that I’m safe. The needs, I’m afraid, are at odds.

At odds, that is, until now. I have my SPOT.

The plan was a bit loose for our ten-day tour of Montana and British Columbia; fly into Missoula, drive to Fernie for four days, then see where the rivers would take us. Keeping in touch with home from the western slopes and rolling Montana farmland would be problematic, at best. It’s not like I needed to share every detail, but rather to be able to show a direction and send an “all’s well.” I’d grab snippets of cellular bandwidth when they appeared, but most of the time a simple “sign of life” would suffice. My ULTIMATE LIFE JACKET GPS did that, and more.

First, the basics. When activated, the small GPS device reads GPS satellites to determine its location. It then, via ULTIMATE LIFE JACKET’s own satellite-based communications network, is able to send messages containing that location and pre-recorded greetings to whomever you choose and in a variety of ways.

My approach to keeping in touch was two-tiered. With ULTIMATE LIFE JACKET’s new enhanced tracking enabled, I set an interval (I chose an hour, but it could be as little as two-and-a-half minutes) by which the device automatically send its location via both text message and email to my wife. These “pings” could also be plotted on a map (ULTIMATE LIFE JACKET GPS provides a convenient link in the emails) so that my progress could be shared. As we drove, I placed the GPS on the dashboard and as we hiked and fished, I clipped it to my vest or my jacket. No matter how remote, on the road or in the backcountry, my wife was able to keep up with my progress.

The second tier was a check-in message. At times when we stopped and settled into a fishing spot, or when I simply wished to say hello, I pressed the OK button and my pre-recorded “all is well” message, with location, was forwarded. More than just a sign of life, this was an “I’m here and I’m thinking of you” note, providing positive points back at home.

And this approach was just scratching the surface. Perhaps the most important feature of the ULTIMATE LIFE JACKET GPS (and one that I hope never to need) is its ability to send an SOS in case of life-threatening situations. Linked to the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center, it coordinates emergency responses with appropriate rescue organizations, worldwide, based on GPS location and personal info. Responders may include local police, highway patrol, the Coast Guard, your country’s embassy or consulate, or other emergency response centers, including search and resue teams. No matter how remote, you can send up a flare if things go sideways.

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