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Old 02-10-2019, 08:17 PM   #1
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Garmin inReach Explorer+

Anyone have any experience with this unit?

We like taking hikes and sometimes they can be remote. So I think I want some kind of emergency communication unit.

I find I can use the GAIA GPS app on my iPhone and it seems pretty reliable and I can download trails & GPX routes. But there is no two way comm in case of an emergency.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:17 AM   #2
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I began using the original DeLorme InReach about 6 years ago for remote backpacking and river paddling trips. It worked well and I was able to stay in contact with my wife and others without issue and it gave me peace of mind to be able to call for help if the need arose. I have since replaced the DeLorme unit with the Garmin InReach Mini due to its small size and light weight. I considered going with the Explorer version but valued the smaller size and weight of the Mini more as the GPS functions are adequately covered through my phone and Garmin Fenix 5x watch that I always carry anyway. In addition, efficient use of an InReach requires it to paired with a phone anyway. In my experience, I have always been able to communicate using the InReach devices although I might have to move a bit to get an adequate clear view of the sky. But the two way nature of the device provides confirmation that the messages went through. The operation is not what I consider to be intuitive so it does take some effort to learn how to use it and understand its quirks. A few years ago, I took an 8 day canoe trip down the Green and Colorado Rivers in Utah with 7 others. All 8 of us were able to communicate through the InReach with our wives daily and with the outfitter to arrange for our end of trip pickup. I used the tracking feature so the families back home would always know exactly where we were and could view our location on a map with a few clicks from our messages. I keep the Safety data plan active and carry the InReach Mini with me on every hiking or paddling trip and also in the motorhome so it will always be available if needed.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:56 PM   #3
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Jim / Shelia,
Thanks for the input. I figured I'd get a bit more folks responding but you did a good job of explaining the value of the device(s).
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:02 PM   #4
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I know it gets good reviews on the fishing forums for guys fishing 60-100 miles off shore. in my area we typically lose service 10 miles off so we bought one for my dad for Christmas this year to try out while offshore
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:07 PM   #5
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I've been using an InReach SE since they first came out, bought it to replace a spot which is basically just an emergency becon. BikinJim pretty much summed it up. You can use it to track you and allow others to follow where you are which my wife requires ne to do when I head out in the wilderness on my own wither backpacking, or on the atv. The two way communication has prevented a lot of heartache a couple times when flash flooding ment holing up a and getting back a couple days late. Also works good in allowing the kids to contact us if needed when we're camping in areas without cell coverage. Somewhat awkward to use, and only limited text size but acceptable when its the only option.
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