Kit Focus – SPOT X Bluetooth 2-Way Satellite Messenger and Tracker

SPOT X Bluetooth 2-Way Mobile Satellite Phone
The SPOT X Bluetooth 2-Way Satellite Messenger and Tracker is a lifeline for expedition adventurers. It offers two-way communication through text and email, position tracking, a quick 'check-in' facility, and an SOS distress functionality. All these things can add comfort and safety to your adventures and travels.

When I plan and execute any expedition, I stick to a 4C's plan – Care, Comfort, Communication, and Contingency.

  1. Care – This starts with careful and thorough planning of an expedition and continues with a careful and sensible approach to all aspects of its execution.
  2. Comfort – This does not mean opting for luxury, but considering comfort over potential discomfort or distress. For example, if you are wild camping in sub-zero temperatures, take the right season sleeping bag rather than opting for a summer season one to save weight—it could save you from hypothermia.
  3. Communication – Aim to keep communication as constant and flowing as possible at all times. This supplies reassurance to family and friends that may be following your progress, but it also means you are more likely to be noted when you are in trouble or in need of help.
  4. Contingency – Always plan for the unexpected and do not be afraid to adapt and change plans as conditions demand and evolve. "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray..."

Carrying the SPOT X Bluetooth 2-Way Messenger on an expedition contributes towards multiple aspects of the 4C's approach: delivering comfort and reassurance, communication, and emergency contingency provisions.

How does it work?

The SPOT X Bluetooth looks like a Blackberry from several years ago—with a QWERTY keyboard and a large antenna. It also shares many functionalities of a traditional mobile phone, but with a few key differences…


As a standalone unit, the SPOT X supplies two-way satellite messaging through 140-character texts and emails, even when you are off the mobile phone network grid and beyond regular coverage. You simply tap out messages as normal on the keyboard and can send them to pre-saved contacts within the unit's address book.

You can also link the SPOT X to your mobile phone through Bluetooth and the SPOT X App. This allows you to access your phone's contact list and type messages from your mobile phone rather than on the SPOT X itself (still with a 140-character limit).

Each SPOT X has its own dedicated U.S. mobile number so others can message you directly at any time. When you send emails from the device you get a unique email address for the unit, which others can also reply to.

The communication functionality it simple, but effective and reliable. It is reassuring to know you can text and email wherever you are in the world. 

Check-in Functionality

The SPOT X also has a neat 'quick check-in' functionality, which can send pre-defined messages such as "All fine. Just setting up camp" to a list of email addresses and mobile phone numbers. This is an excellent feature when time is of the essence.


The SPOT X allows for remote tracking with a 2.5, 5, 10, 30- or 60-minute tracking interval. The unit will then send a position log to a cloud-based mapping service to place your position.

You can share this map with others and make it password protected for privacy peace-of-mind. This remote tracking facility is superb to let loved ones follow your progress, as well as if you are racing in endurance events when SPOT tracking is the norm.

You can also link the SPOT X to your social media channels to supply live automated updates on your progress.


The SPOT X has an inbuilt compass and navigation facility, which provides you with your GPS position and compass bearing to help with navigation.

S.O.S. Services

Finally, the SPOT X allows you to send an S.O.S. to the 24/7 Search and Rescue service GEOS with just a press of a button. You can then also message back and forth about the nature of your emergency, and receive confirmation when help is on the way.

It is worth noting that initial communications with GEOS are included in a SPOT X's monthly service plans, but that the costs of the rescue are not—those need to be covered by personal accident insurance.

Technical Specifications

  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Battery (via Micro USB)
  • Battery Life: 240 hours in 10-minute tracking mode
  • Weight: 200 grams
  • Operating Temperature: -20 to +60°C
  • Impact, water and dust resistant to IPX67 (submersible to 1 metre for 30 minutes)

To summarise, the GLOBAL SPOT X Bluetooth 2-Way Satellite Messenger is an invaluable asset for both local micro-adventures and extreme expeditions. It delivers communication, comfort, and emergency contingency assurance.

This little orange unit will certainly be close by on all my future expeditions.

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