InReach explorer & service - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-01-2016   #1
 
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Niwot, Colorado
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InReach explorer & service

While on a recent trip we had to use our InReach to communicate with someone (text) in order to solve a very complex and major shuttle issue.

It worked like a charm but got me thinking about the service, cost and capabilities of it.

After a quick exchange with Delorme, I came to find out that if you are not on an active plan (any plan) your device cannot be used to send out an SOS (emergency request for help).

This kind of surprised me as I really thought it would work similar to a cell phone out without a service contract by still being able to use 911.

I know billing for it would be a challenge but I'm surprised that Delorme wouldn't just have a one time charge for instances like this...say $100 or even $500 as I would imagine that someone in a L&D situation would pay for it.

Things that make you go hmmmm.....

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Old 08-01-2016   #2
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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I've been on the fence for one of these for a year, did it save your trip? Save a day of driving? I guess I'm asking if it was a 'damn I'm a hero for having this' kind of moment. I'd imagine their profits are in the plans. Kinda like wishing you could buy just the 6 cable TV channels you actually watch.

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Old 08-01-2016   #3
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Baytopia, Colorado
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There are so many many places without cell service. I am totally sold on this device I pay $12/mo and have never needed it for an emergency yet but very handy to get flow from my S.O. or whatever you need. The beauty of the inreach is if there is an emergency you can communicate exactly the nature of the problem so rescuers can make smart decisions without using unnecessary resources.
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Old 08-01-2016   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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Then get a SPOT device for $100/year. The delorme is relatively cheap for what it does in my opinion and I love mine. I take it every time I go out, and I find it to be a useful tool. I could be wrong but your subscription comes with insurance for YOUR evacuation and then the 24 hour monitoring of the SOS beacon. You pay more for your ADT bill, just sayin!
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Old 08-01-2016   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul7 View Post
I've been on the fence for one of these for a year, did it save your trip? Save a day of driving? I guess I'm asking if it was a 'damn I'm a hero for having this' kind of moment. I'd imagine their profits are in the plans. Kinda like wishing you could buy just the 6 cable TV channels you actually watch.
This was a save-the-day kind of thing. I actually was able to save days of headache and probably 800 miles of driving by being able to communicate with the in-reach. Granted - it relied on having someone (a friend) on the other end of the communication (phone/web) who was able to do all the logistics with us calling the shots.

Still - it saved the day - or really days.
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Old 08-01-2016   #6
 
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I forgot to mention - the inreach explorer - we used it heavily as a GPS as well. Uploaded the waypoints from rivermaps - it was dead on.
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Old 08-01-2016   #7
 
Denver, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Read_N_Run View Post
I forgot to mention - the inreach explorer - we used it heavily as a GPS as well. Uploaded the waypoints from rivermaps - it was dead on.
Yeah I've found that to be very useful with my unit as well. The interface on my iphone is wonderful, but I wouldn't want to use the unit without linking it with a smartphone.
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Old 08-01-2016   #8
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I use one year-round. So worth the $12 monthly. The service is different from 911, it's GEOS SAR. It requires a subscription because it's run like a private business. The InReach has a satellite modem in it that is worth near what the device costs - it's the subscription service that makes it possible.

A few examples.:

Got to the backcountry hut and trip organizer forgot the door code. Inreach saves the day in five minutes.

Driving home in a snow storm over Fremont Pass. Car wreck closes road for 2 hours. She doesn't worry because we can text back and forth.

A boat hits Dildo Rock and people take a beat down. It's raining and lunch is soggy and sucks. People are cold. A quick text to the bus driver and hot dogs and beer save the day at the takeout.

My snowmobile breaks at work and I don't have to walk back. This has happened several times.

Our parents love texts from Machu Picchu, Kalalau, or Mount Elbert. They taught us to love the outdoors and we love to say hi from wild places - and to let them initiate messages or track us on our private map page.

We like to communicate with the dog sitter from the Colorado Trail.

I could go on. It lives in my day bag year-round. It works reliably, in the Grand Canyon or in a car. It's got amazing battery life for an occasional texter like me. Also pretty durable. Get the padded case, it's simple, but nice.
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Old 08-01-2016   #9
 
Alpine, Wyoming
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SPOT Performance

Floated Deso-Gray at end of June. On day 2 we discovered our SPOT had stopped working. A little rubber cap for a port had opened and water got in the device and it quit working. My wife was pretty freaked out when she stopped receiving OK messages regularly. Our party also spent an extra day longer than planned. Needless to say, had we been able to send OKs my wife wouldn't have had to worry so much about our welfare. Not to mention we lost our ability to signal for help in an emergency.

On the other hand, about two weeks after our trip, my friend floated Deso-Gray. On his trip one of the party broke his leg. After trying and failing to make a cast they opted to push the SOS button on the SPOT device. Helicopter arrived shortly thereafter and evacuated him and his family.
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Old 08-01-2016   #10
 
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Originally Posted by theusualsuspect View Post
Yeah I've found that to be very useful with my unit as well. The interface on my iphone is wonderful, but I wouldn't want to use the unit without linking it with a smartphone.
The only thing I found that the phone was helpful to be paired with the inreach was when composing texts/emails. I would easily press the SOS button if I had to use the alpha-numeric interface on the device to compose anything other than "hi"

That being said - being able to download detailed maps onto the Earthmate app on my iphone could be useful but I have yet to need that.
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