Big Bend Chat
Random Bits from the Outside World => General Outdoor Stuff & Camping Equipment => Topic started by: GaryF on March 12, 2017, 04:06:25 PM
I've seen some talk here about the Delorme InReach satellite message devices. Garmin has acquired Delorme, and the new Garmin branded models are hitting the market. The new ones have a bigger screen, are physically bigger and weigh a little more, they probably have better GPS functionality, and they also cost significantly more.
The current REI sale / close out on the old Delorme branded models is easily the best price I've seen, $228 for the Explorer or $180 for the SE. Note that that includes a 25% discount that REI is running on Clearance items through March 20, you wont see the 25% discount until you add it to your cart. The new Garmin models list for $450 and $400.
I don't have one of these, although if given it some serious consideration and this sale may cause me to pull the trigger.
Note that these do require a subscription to use, plans are here: https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/content/docs/consumer-inreach-fees-us-only.pdf
Cheapest option for occasional or emergency use is the Freedom Plan, which you can activate for a month at a time for as low as $15 a month, plus Garmin imposes a $25 annual fee. If you expect to use it for more than just emergencies, one of the other monthly options may make more sense to avoid overage charges.
Something like this is probably overkill for hiking in the Chisos, or even the OML, but if you are going solo in more remote parts of the park it's at least worth considering. There are also PLB's on the market in this same price range that do not require any kind of subscription. Do some research, a PLB is probably more reliable as an emergency device, but it offers less versatility. A PLB allows you to summon help, which will be treated as an immediate life and death emergency by the authorities, with a corresponding response. The Inreach would allow you to convey the circumstances of your situation, and allow for a more measured response.
Anyway, I'm not trying to "sell" anyone on a device I have never even seen or used, mostly I wanted to convey the current bargain in case anybody else has been considering one of these Delorme InReach devices.
I had the same discussion with myself last year.
I picked a PLB, the ACR ResQLink+ from REI. The price went down.
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