I understand why insurance wants PLB in addition to SPOT. If the SPOT fails and there IS an emergency that might be a problem. I know that a big problem for chief and checkpoint people is scrambling to have a spare or activate a replacement SPOT.
The barrier for entry continues to rise every year. A $300 PLB in addition to the SPOT and annual plan, and everything else.
I spoke with SPOT and you can have 1 spot, activate a second SPOT prior to race then refund the plan after the race (2 week window). Clunky.
I suggested that they have a plan whereby a user can have two spots on the same plan provided they are used together or only one in use at any given time. They said well, you could have a second one with you and if the first one fails your race people can call and switch the ESN. I said they are missing the point. If the SPOT fails and there IS an emergency that is what lawyers dont like. They just don't understand true fault tolerance....
They should be receptive to a redundancy contingency for groups like watertribe. They get to sell 2 pieces of hardware and cover up the reliability issue.
A question for chief: If we are required to have a PLB (in the future) and a SPOT, if the spot fails are we out of the race until we get a replacement or does a PLB suffice??
I guess a PLB is inevitable and they are far more reliable than SPOT but if SPOTs are a hard requirement for the tracking aspect I'd rather have 2 of them instead of 3 devices.