i own a spot. and now, after walking fully across alaska and the NWT with no phone or bs whatsoever, i deploy this marvelous little thing guilt free.
i have watched it place my camp, which was very far above the arctic circle on the porch in a friend's yard, directly in his back yard on his porch. what could be better ..
the spot beacon works correctly across the entirety of .. i can't even remember the name of it .. but it's between Paulatuk and Kugluktuk .. park.
your friends can watch you beat your head against the wall across the north. and THEY LOVE IT ! at least mine do. your's, may not.
when i zing off a new location, the entire tech dept of a leading machinery production company comes over and looks at the screen. they are not watching peter, they hardly know me, but by watching, they become part of, The Dream. it's somewhat bigger than me.
and you need not call down a C-130 gunship to save your show when all you did was lose your raft, your buds can send a floatplane to get you without it being an "emergency".
there are ethical reasons both ways on to carry or not a beacon. they wrote articles on this in early bpl days. there seems to be not right or wrong, as long as one does not deploy it thru stupidly.
ahh well, hike yor own hike.
i'm certainly going to hike mine.
all that said, their jolly lash-up to a sat phone seems like contrived techo/patent issues still needing to be sorted out.
garmin foretrex 401 is 2.6 oz w/lithium batts.