SPOT Satellite Messanger
This is a cool piece of technology. I just picked this up and gave it a test this weekend. For my VT run, we wanted something that you could track live time and also send messages with. SPOT was the only device that I found with this ability. Setup and function is pretty easy. I found that the tracking service does not work in the woods (they said it wouldn’t without a clear line of site), but sending messages worked fine once I got to a clearing. The device has functions for sending preprogrammed messages to check-in, and shows your location on Google Maps. When you check-in a text or email can be sent to a list of contacts. You can also send a help message or the use SOS to contact the International Emergency Response Center. It’s nice to know that you can be located pretty easily. I strapped the unit to the shoulder strap of my pack and found it not to be a bother. Although expensive ($100 for unit, $100/year for basic service), it’s a good thing to have when a cell phone isn’t reliable. You can learn more here.
Very comfortable and decent storage capacity. The Quick Link™ connection system works well, is easy to clean, and easy to access while on the run. I’ve found that the 100 oz. is enough for about 4-5 hours depending on the heat. When full of liquid, the pack weights about 10 lbs.
So far these have done the trick. In the snow, they kept my feet as dry as can be. They are comfortable around your ankle and stay in place. I can’t tell I’m wearing anything different. Adjustable leather strap seems to be holding up. I don’t think you need more than a size small unless your feet are huge (10.5 here). There is a little metal clip on the front if your shoe has a hook. If not, you can hook onto your bottom laces.
Luckily for all bears in CT, I haven’t had to use this yet, but clearly you can see it’s pretty beastly.
From an online description, “This Gerber knife is as adaptable as the personnel who carry it. Use it to cut through the skin of a fuselage. Or sever a seat belt. Or egress through the Plexiglas of a chopper. Plus, the LMF II does a slick job cutting firewood and building shelter. It can even be lashed to a pole to create a spear, if you feel like Rambo!!”