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Discussion Starter #1
I know this subject has been discussed before but with the fact that this technology changes so rapidly, I was wondering if anyone can provide some recent feedback on a good unit that:

1) provides two way emergency communication
2) provides mapping/waypoint navigation (able to upload know waypoints for mapped rivers)
3) is water resistant

Any other considerations I should consider?

I was looking at the Delome inreach explorer but would like to hear from folks that have used these devices on the river.
 

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I have been using the garmin oregon 550 on rivers for 6 years now. No 2-way emergency communications, but uploading waypoints is easy and I have jumped in the river with it on my PFD may times without incident. I use ExpertGPS - GPS Mapping Software for Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance, Eagle GPS to map out camps and river miles then upload it to the GPS. I like Expert GPS more than the Garmin software. I was playing around with the updated Oregon 650 last week and noticed the touch screen was better, they added a Qwerty keyboard and the layout was a little nicer than my unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Anyone else want to chime in on this now that we are mid-stream (pun ntended) in the river running season?
 

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I have an InReach Explorer and love it. I rarely use the compass, map, and GPS features, as it's mostly a phone to me, but the 2 way texting works well. The website and software are a bit clunky, and texing/emailing are a bit slow with the on-screen keyboard, but I've had reliable communication from some pretty far flung places with the Explorer. Just yesterday our cell tower was out and it was useful around the house!

I did have a defective device early on and customer service at Delorme took care of me and replaced the unit immediately. It sounds like defective devices are uncommon - but test it before you go out!

I don't know of any other device that does everything you're asking about so it seems like the obvious choice.

There is a really, really long thread (and several shorter ones too) in the "Gear" forum on backpackinglight.com if you need more detail. Those nerds study the thing like it's the space shuttle!
 

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I used SPOT in the past, but just bought inReach Explorer (2 way txt and gps). Worked great in Deso and Lodore this year. All 3 buddies of mine have bought as well (it was on sale in REI). I canceled my SPOT contract.

Lodore ranger told me none of those "fancy toys" will work in the canyon and in case of emergency use the "standard" procedures for evac. I nodded and talked to my wife via inReach from Rippling Brook camp (way down in the canyon).

The cool thing about these devices vs a standard sat phones, is you don't need a persistent sat connection. The satellite can just fly over in a short period of time for you to send the signal/txt. I paired it with my phone and everyone could send a txt to their loved ones at home.

I went with the on/off contract with inReach, so I can cancel the sub when I need to.

Hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yea - #2 is pretty important. I'd compromise on the implementation of the emergency communication (very simplistic types of com) for good river navigation capabilities.
 

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The Delorme uses the Iridium satellite network- that seems to be the key in providing consistent connections. The long distance motorcycle community is in love with the Delorme unit and has left the Spot behind.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 
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