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Old 12-03-2015   #11
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
I have been going back and forth on the sat phone, spot or Delorme units for years.

I agree that a sat phone seems to be a good solution

I am probably alive today because of a sat phone working a couple years ago on a Grand Canyon trip being there to get a chopper in.

My question is any Buzzards have recommendations on places to buy slightly used sat phones.

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Old 12-03-2015   #12
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
I used the inreach this summer in some remote areas, and it got messages out within 5-10 minutes every time. I'd trust it in an emergency. It has more features than the SPOT and, as Nessles wrote in his recap, the service plan on the inreach is much more user friendly. It's also very waterproof - I unknowingly had it in my PFD pocket for a while and it works great. Unless you plan to drop $500+ on a full Sat phone I'd recommend the inreach.

The inreach smart phone app is also really cool. If you have your phone with you it'll broadcast a GPS signal to your phone and your phone will bring up a map of the area you are in - which would be super helpful if you were lost. As you can expect it murders your phone battery so you wouldn't have it very long.

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Old 12-03-2015   #13
AndTheLab's Avatar
SLC, Utwah
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 106
I have a couple non-disclosures signed so all I can really say is wait to purchase until later this year on the non-phone devices. Cool technology.....

SPOT has been running mail-in rebates a few times this year and it is going on now-- expires 12/31. You still need to pay for the $499 upfront for the phone but you will get all of it back by rebate. Same with the Gen3 device and the Trace.
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Old 12-03-2015   #14
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
InReach to InReach 2-way texting is also pretty cool. I could text our driver on the Gauley from Sweet's Falls and give him our ETA. He would have the bus backed in as we rolled up on time. Neither of us had mobile service and we could text. Super convenient in all sorts of emergency and non-emergency. It just sucks to text like you're entering your initials in the high score list on a video game (virtual keyboard).
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Old 12-03-2015   #15
nessles's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 75
Great to see all this discussion!

One other thing I wanted to throw out there about sat phones - used one in the Grand Canyon for a month long trip, but neglected to think about how sat phones work in a deep canyon. Turns out you only get about 1 minute of talk time every 1/4 hour when the satellite passes within range. Certainly something to think about, and can make coordinating complex logistics difficult (or just spit out all the important stuff quickly).

Could be a pro for texting devices where you can get information out clearly & in batches. The downside as some have commented, is the keyboards on devices like the inReach don't allow for the fastest texting...

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