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11/9/2018 9:21:38 PM
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Posted: 8/9/2018 9:23:50 PM EST
I'm heading out west in Oct for a solo Antelope hunt in Montana. A GPS locator is a must in my mind before I go. In my younger days I would've headed out into areas with no cell reception without a thought in the world, but at 32 and a career in emergency services I know the bad shit that can happen when you are way out of the way. I figure a good GPS messenger is a wise investment at this point.

I wanted to go through the pros and cons and see if anyone had any thoughts.

Garmin InReach Explorer
https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/

Pros-
Functions as a GPS with moving map display as well as a GPS messenger/emergency locator.
I wouldn't have to carry a separate handheld GPS, it would effectively replace my Garmin 62s (which has been awesome btw)
Being able to text friends is a huge plus. I can ask for help without sending the cavalry in situations that are emergent but not worth the 10k bill of a true emergency response (stuck truck, etc)

Cons-
Battery life- If I am using it as a GPS, I am probably going to burn through battery pretty quick. I would probably run out of battery when I really needed it knowing me.
Subscription- Not a huge deal, they have month to moth subscriptions. Just an added expense.

SPOT X messenger
https://www.findmespot.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=49

Pros-
Mostly the same as the Garmin, minus GPS moving map display
Slightly better battery life than the Garmin

Cons-
Would have to carry a separate GPS
Subscription required as well

ResQlink
https://www.acrartex.com/products/resqlink-plb

Pros-
No subscription
Extremely long battery life

Cons-
All or nothing. If I get my truck stuck and use it I'm in for a huge bill. No messaging.

Right now I am leaning Garmin. It's the most expensive, but I like having one device to keep track of. My biggest worry is the battery life issue. It's a built in rechargeable battery, so carrying spares isn't an issue. I guess using a portable charger is an option?

In for any details, experience or recommendation.
Link Posted: 8/9/2018 10:53:02 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/10/2018 12:21:41 AM EST
My father uses a Garmin in reach to text me from the back country, it works great. Used to use a spot when they first came out. Was fine too.

That being said.. GARMIN. Last summer my father used his Garmin to have me kick of a search and rescue and for me to act as the liaison between the hikers in the back country and the rangers leading up the SAR operation as they were doing their thing. The garmin had excellent battery life and no issues connecting with satellites and was extremely reliable when it was needed.

The incident lasted three days, and hours before they launched an all out operation the morning of the third day he self rescued.(old man had a senior moment in the back country compounded by a head injury) The garmin did its thing.
Link Posted: 8/10/2018 12:49:23 AM EST
Garmin also just came out with an InReach mini. That + dedicated GPS or inReach + Goalzero if you are concerned about battery life.

I have used the inReach explorer+ and it works great.
Link Posted: 8/10/2018 3:48:27 AM EST
I go solo backpacking quite often and my GF doesn't like it so I use the spot GPS. It works if you keep it updated and it is good for check ins etc.

I recently purchased a Ping device which i have been testing. It isn't as fast to pick up location like the Spot but it is 1/10th the size. I can track it in my car inside a parking garage. Two things I do not like about the Ping is it forces one to use the App for any function and the proprietary charging cable.

Both work well and I am happy with both.
Link Posted: 8/10/2018 9:28:20 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Conju:
Garmin also just came out with an InReach mini. That + dedicated GPS or inReach + Goalzero if you are concerned about battery life.

I have used the inReach explorer+ and it works great.
View Quote
I've been giving serious consideration to the mini, I like everything but the price
This guy did a good review of the mini's features:

Garmin InReach Mini Satellite Communicator In-Depth Review
Link Posted: 8/19/2018 8:30:14 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Conju:
Garmin also just came out with an InReach mini. That + dedicated GPS or inReach + Goalzero if you are concerned about battery life.

I have used the inReach explorer+ and it works great.
View Quote
I’ve been using the mini for about a month now.

Any of the devices using the iridium satellites needs a clear line of sight to the satellites. That’s pretty much the big limitation. Most of my hikes are with a heavy canopy and it can be spotty in its 10 minute pings. Messages don’t send instantly.

It’s good piece of mind for loved ones. The big reason I got one was so I could stay out longer without people at home worrying.
Link Posted: 8/26/2018 7:02:01 PM EST
the garmin inreach doesn't currently replace a standard garmin gpsr. next year they are supposed to release such.
Link Posted: 8/26/2018 7:15:25 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AHSGA:
the garmin inreach doesn't currently replace a standard garmin gpsr. next year they are supposed to release such.
View Quote
My decision was influenced by this fact last year.

I have 4 western states of OnX maps, plus satellite imagery of frequently hunted locations loaded onto my Garmin 62SC. The land ownership data is worth it's weight in gold.

IF they included that functionality in the Inreach, I would have bought it.

I hunted Alaska last fall. I rented an InReach for 10 days for under $125, including the shipping to me and back. There are several reputable rental places.
Link Posted: 8/27/2018 11:57:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2018 12:00:39 AM EST by AHSGA]
Ya, a friend met with a Garmin rep at a conference this summer. The current Garmin inreach is almost exactly what inreach offered before the buyout. The next model is supposed to be what we all want - the gpsr features of a 62/64 combined with the satellite texting ability of the inreach. I'm recalling it was a "66" but I may be wrong. Form factor will be slightly bigger than a 64 and built in non-field changeable rechargeable battery- which I hate.
Link Posted: 8/28/2018 4:12:33 PM EST
My father is in MT and often goes out on back forest roads where you are a long way from cell coverage also riding around on a 4 wheeler out there.

I did some looking at the various units and went with the ResQlink buoyant model as what I got him for fathers day. Just seemed like overall it has the best reviews and is made by a company that specializes in those things.

Just my .02 It seemed like a nice little unit. If I end up moving out that way I will be getting one for myself.
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 10:12:20 PM EST
I rely on an ACR Personal Locator Beacon for ultimate emergency rescue request (for example: immobilzing injury, heart attack, severe burn, blindness, etc.) but not for informing family/friends of my whereabouts or status. This technology, so far as I know, is state-of-art "come and save me" gear... Have one, if your circumstances/situation might require one, and hope you never need it, like fire-extinguishers, bear-spray, 9mm pistols, and typewriters...
Link Posted: 9/21/2018 5:24:47 PM EST
I'd recommend the Garmin Inreach Mini and a separate GPS device. You won't be killing your comms battery when navigating. Definitely bring along a set of extra batteries and map and compass though! :)
Link Posted: 9/21/2018 5:27:23 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AHSGA:
Ya, a friend met with a Garmin rep at a conference this summer. The current Garmin inreach is almost exactly what inreach offered before the buyout. The next model is supposed to be what we all want - the gpsr features of a 62/64 combined with the satellite texting ability of the inreach. I'm recalling it was a "66" but I may be wrong. Form factor will be slightly bigger than a 64 and built in non-field changeable rechargeable battery- which I hate.
View Quote
Garmin has the 66 up on their website and it is a regular GPSr powered by 2 AA batteries :)
Link Posted: 9/27/2018 12:43:16 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kayl:

Garmin has the 66 up on their website and it is a regular GPSr powered by 2 AA batteries :)
View Quote
The 66 on the Garmin website has a few additional features and a new form factor but is not the model that I was told is coming out.
Link Posted: 9/29/2018 8:06:39 PM EST
I have the inReach. It's great.
Link Posted: 9/30/2018 8:05:19 PM EST
I don't have any of those but I was talking to a big game biologist the other day and he said they carry SPOT. These guys work, often alone, in some seriously remote places.
Link Posted: 10/20/2018 12:11:44 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By xtrastout:
I don't have any of those but I was talking to a big game biologist the other day and he said they carry SPOT. These guys work, often alone, in some seriously remote places.
View Quote
I have the inreach and while I rarely do much besides test it, I have every confidence it will work when I need it. Next time you talk to the biologist ask him why NDOW set up a bear trap next to my house.
Link Posted: 10/20/2018 12:24:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2018 12:36:38 AM EST by airsix]
I use the InReach.

I carry 3 devices in the back country
1) Garman etrex 30x
*weatherproof
*small
*forever battery life
*rugged

2) Samsung phone in airplane mode
*great camera
*waterproof
*blutooth pairs to InReach for text messaging

3) Garmin (Delorme) InReach
*I only turn it on 3 times a day to send/receive
*basically use it as a repeater. Use Samsung phone to send/receive

I go out for a week at a time. If it’s overcast and I can’t use a solar charger I can still make it a full week on a single phone charge if I use them sparingly. InReach easily makes it on one charge.

The InReach is great because you can message anyone you want via text or email, and send any message you want, not just canned responses like Spot (maybe they changed that now?)
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