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Inreach and other PLBs

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Offline steelfrog

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Inreach and other PLBs
« on: August 05, 2019, 03:53:50 PM »
InReach Mini is about $330, and you can get a subscription on a monthly basis not too bad

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 07:41:34 AM »
I've long thought it would be good if some vendor would rent this sat phone type gear at the parks, where you could have it for the few days you needed it, and not have to make such a big investment in something used occasionally.  I've not looked, maybe there's already an online vendor that does this.
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 10:32:30 AM »
I've long thought it would be good if some vendor would rent this sat phone type gear at the parks, where you could have it for the few days you needed it, and not have to make such a big investment in something used occasionally.  I've not looked, maybe there's already an online vendor that does this.

There is a pretty simple and somewhat reasonably priced option from Roadpost that el hombre told us about years ago.  They send the phone to your house (or where ever you say) with a UPS prepaid envelope to send it back in when you are done and you only pay for the days you have it.  I rented one for my Dec. solo trip and it cost $188 total with shipping for 10 days.  If I rented 2 times then I might as well buy an InReach Mini and have it.
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Offline Reece

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 12:11:53 PM »
I did the same thing - rented a sat phone twice but with my “on again off again” style it was too restrictive. I bought the InReach so I don’t have to plan so tightly. Paired with an iPhone it becomes the satellite link so you can send and receive text and email right from your phone.


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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2019, 01:13:09 PM »


Paired with an iPhone it becomes the satellite link so you can send and receive text and email right from your phone.



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Offline Lissa

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2019, 02:25:12 PM »
The InReach is expensive, but even with my infrequent trips it isn’t that expensive on an amortized basis.  I pay something like $28 a year for the freedom plan, then pay ~$30 a month for the month  I turn it on. Since I do infrequent but longer trips this works for me.  If I went more often I would get the yearly plan that is less per month but where you can’t turn it off.

I do think you can rent them, but it doesn’t take too many trips for purchasing to make sense.  An interesting model would be a cooperative one where a bunch of friends  go in together on 1 or 2, then chip in together on the service plan.  Assuming folks go at different times (or together) it could work well. Probably easiest for folks living in the same area to reduce logistical planning and mailing fees.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2019, 02:56:40 PM »
The InReach is expensive, but even with my infrequent trips it isn’t that expensive on an amortized basis.  I pay something like $28 a year for the freedom plan, then pay ~$30 a month for the month  I turn it on. Since I do infrequent but longer trips this works for me.  If I went more often I would get the yearly plan that is less per month but where you can’t turn it off.

I do think you can rent them, but it doesn’t take too many trips for purchasing to make sense.  An interesting model would be a cooperative one where a bunch of friends  go in together on 1 or 2, then chip in together on the service plan.  Assuming folks go at different times (or together) it could work well. Probably easiest for folks living in the same area to reduce logistical planning and mailing fees.

+1 on Lissa’s comments. When I bought my McMurdo FastFind twenty years ago, it was the most reliable PLB available and I bought mainly for use outside the U.S., where messaging capability wouldn’t really have done much to help rescue me if I got in trouble. So I passed on the message-capable emergency signalers, and went for the McMurdo. I did rent a satphone a few times when communication with a basecamp or city-based HQ was necessary. But if I were to buy an emergency signaling device now (and - surprise - I am!!!), I’d pick up an InReach Mini and pair it with my iPhone.

But I think Lissa’s idea of InReach “time-sharing” has real merit!


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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2019, 02:59:33 PM »
$330 + service plan is expensive, though not too much more than the base price of the McMurdo when I bought mine.

But it’s way, waaaay, WAAAAAAY cheaper than an extended stay in the hospital... or a funeral.


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"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2019, 06:59:02 PM »
An interesting model would be a cooperative one where a bunch of friends  go in together on 1 or 2, then chip in together on the service plan.  Assuming folks go at different times (or together) it could work well. Probably easiest for folks living in the same area to reduce logistical planning and mailing fees.

How would this work?  I assume there is one registered owner.  Does the registration include email address of a couple of contacts?  Is it easy to change the contracts when a different person takes it out?
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline Keepa

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2019, 10:27:38 AM »
$330 + service plan is expensive, though not too much more than the base price of the McMurdo when I bought mine.

But it’s way, waaaay, WAAAAAAY cheaper than an extended stay in the hospital... or a funeral.


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A funeral is the cheapest, because you never pay for your own funeral  :icon_biggrin:

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Offline Lissa

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2019, 05:30:00 PM »
An interesting model would be a cooperative one where a bunch of friends  go in together on 1 or 2, then chip in together on the service plan.  Assuming folks go at different times (or together) it could work well. Probably easiest for folks living in the same area to reduce logistical planning and mailing fees.

How would this work?  I assume there is one registered owner.  Does the registration include email address of a couple of contacts?  Is it easy to change the contracts when a different person takes it out?

I wasn’t thinking of something official, though am sure you could draw up a contract if needed. But it’s (relatively) easy to set up different users / accounts for the same device. A number of companies use this model. The company owns the actual equipment and can “sign it out” to different users.  The user interface wasn’t totally intuitive but we’ve been able to do this on an unofficial basis when a friend borrowed the unit. Just created a different user profile and assigned the device to them, and then they just paid us back for the monthly fee when they borrowed it.

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Offline nathanr

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2019, 07:31:28 AM »
I bought an in reach after I fell and broke my arm in some nasty moraine four years ago. It was a three day walk to the nearest trailhead. I thought I was lucky it was Just my arm and not my leg. So now I’m the in reach guy with my friends. They’re all welcome to it when I’m not using it. It’s in Colorado right now. They repay me with lending their gear, beer, occasionally paying the monthly fee,etc. it all works out in the end.

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2019, 07:53:53 AM »
Sounds easy, and so I come back to the idea of strolling up to the counter at Park HQ and renting one of these In Reach devices for a few days, for a relatively few dollars.
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

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Offline Reece

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2019, 11:37:25 AM »
I once loaned my InReach to my neighbor for a Big Bend hike with his aged father in law. He declined setting up his own account and just used it for the SOS feature in case of dire emergency.


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Offline Solo

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Re: Inreach and other PLBs
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2019, 12:24:31 AM »
$330 + service plan is expensive, though not too much more than the base price of the McMurdo when I bought mine.

But it’s way, waaaay, WAAAAAAY cheaper than an extended stay in the hospital... or a funeral.

Let's be real though.  That's not what an InReach does.  All of that extra money won't prevent accidents, it's just for people to send texts in the wilderness.  Personally, I go to the wilderness to be away from things like texting, so it was an easy choice for me: a one-time purchase of a PLB.  If I get into serious trouble, the USAF gets a satellite signal and the rescue teams are alerted.  No monthly fees required.
'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, and robes the mountain in its azure hue.  -Thomas Campbell

 


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