Kevin Callan
Credit: Kevin Callan

Incredible news in the world of wilderness communication. GlobalStar Canada Satellite Co. just introduced their SPOT X —a standalone, portable and lightweight two-way messenger. This is freakin’ awesome!

I’ve used a SPOT for years. It’s always been a dependable device to send my location and a message that “I’m OK” to friends and family back home. It also gave me great peace of mind knowing that I can send an S.O.S. signal for an emergency rescue if I ever needed it. In Canada alone, the SPOT has been used to initiate more than 1,800 rescues plus nearly 6,000 around the globe. It’s a great piece of technology that’s gotten even better.

First and foremost, the new SPOT X can send and receive messages and short emails to a rescue team, providing them with important information on your exact whereabouts and your condition.

You can also be in contact with friends, family and co-workers when you’re beyond cellular reach, as well as link to Facebook and Twitter accounts to share the good, bad and ugly times of your trip (if that’s your kind of thing). It even provides you with your own Canada-based personal mobile number so others can message you directly from their cell phone or other devices.

SPOT xGlobalStar

It still has the S.O.S. emergency notification button which will send for help—and a direct two-way message communication with 24/7 Search and Rescue services through the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Centre.

Extra bonuses are an illuminated 2.7 inch display screen and a backlit keyboard. A GPS Tracking system shows your waypoints by way of Google Maps at intervals of 2.5-, 5-, 10-, 30- or 60-minute intervals. It also has a built-in compass and programmable waypoints. And the battery life is amazing: rechargeable lithium battery averaging a lifespan of 10 days when tracking in 10-minute intervals. It’s also comes in an impact-resistant, dust-proof and waterproof covering.

So, let’s get to the pricing.

It’s being sold in Canada for $349.99 with an annual service plan starting at $19.99 USD per month. Their website shows a breakdown of possible payments: The “Weekender” plan, for an annual service fee of $199.99, will get you 300 messages ($0.25 per additional message), unlimited tracking plus a $19.99 Activation Fee. A monthly $19.99 payment includes 25 messages ($0.25 per additional message) and unlimited tracking. Then there’s the “Adventurer” plan for $29.99 monthly or $299.99 annually that allows unlimited messages.

I went for the “Adventurer” annual plan because I’m out a lot. But it’s nice to see you have options. You might even consider renting one from an outfitter or outdoor retailer if you’re only committing to one trip per year.

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