jfrishmanIII wrote:But for now, I'm regarding it as just a fun gadget that might, if I'm lucky, offer me an extra chance at survival.
Dead on. I don't understand how SPOT has done such effective job displacing traditional PLBs, but they're based on totally different technologies. If you primarily care about getting help in an emergency, ditch the SPOT and InReach for a dedicated PLB. These things are built like tanks, have a battery that lasts 5 years, require no annual subscription and are far, far more likely to actually reach a satellite when it counts.
If you primarily want the check in and tracking features, then at least buy your SPOT at REI so you can return the piece of junk for a new one when it goes bad, which by all accounts a good percentage of them do within a year or two. Globalstar's quality control and product support have been a mess for years, and they clearly have no intention of fixing it.