A SPOT device is a one-way satellite communicator designed for outdoor use. It’s a handy little contraption that sends “I’m doing dandy” messages to paranoid loved ones left at home who are sure you’re walking to your doom every time you step outside your door. It will also send a “God help me” message to local emergency authorities should you find yourself in trouble and unable to obtain cell phone reception. It’s for wussies. And this is why I’ve always thought so.
Why I’ve Always Been Just a Little Too Badass to Carry a SPOT Device
- Well the number one reason is because stuff happens to other people and not me. Period.
- I carry a copy of “Wilderness Survival For Dummies” on my Kindle in my backpack. It’s got everything I would need to know in an emergency.
- I’m super fit.
- I wouldn’t mind clawing my bloody self through sand, dirt, or snow to get to civilization if I had to.
- If I’m meant to die, I’m meant to die.
- I couldn’t possibly afford the weight of it in my pack. Tequila I’ll make room for, but a wussy satellite gizmo? No way.
- I could always set the woods on fire if I needed to to get attention.
- The point of being in the wilderness is to get away from electronics.
- There’s other hikers out there who would find me if something happened. One of them would likely have a SPOT or be willing to hike x amount of miles somewhere to get help for me.
- I’m young.
- I’m not afraid.
- I know how to cope with pain.
- I love the thrill of knowing I’m out there on my own and my survival is entirely up to me.
- I’m familiar with wild edible plants and I know how to melt snow for water.
- I have one of those little mirrors on my compass and a whistle on my backpack.That’s totally enough.
- People will judge me as a wuss if they see me carrying it. I must appear strong and independent. Because I am. Dammit.
- Batteries? Omg I would have to carry batteries too?? No.
- I am an invincible superhero incarnate and a SPOT just wouldn’t go with the cape.
For those of you who haven’t read any of my previous posts, I was taken off the Pacific Crest Trail this year by having a subarachnoid hemorrhage stroke, a big fat nasty I-have-no-idea-who-I-am brain explosion, on the side of a mountain in the Sierras. There was no cell reception. There were no available carrier pigeons or owls. There were other hikers, but it was at least a day’s walk to the closest civilization. Blood was POURING into my skull at a repulsive rate and because I didn’t have a SPOT, the poor souls in charge of my survival had to get very creative about getting me necessary medical attention. They did, but it took 10 hours. 10 HOURS! According to all current scientific data, there was no way I could’ve survived 10 HOURS of brain hemorrhage without help. I did. It was a miracle. Really, it was. And the gratitude I want to express for the miracle I received is a responsibility to my own well-being as much as possible from this moment in time forward. I will carry a SPOT. I AM badass. But I will carry a SPOT. And I will be ridiculously grateful for the luxury of doing so.