Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => GPS Gear and Tips => Topic started by: steelfrog on August 05, 2019, 03:53:50 PM

Title: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: steelfrog 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
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: backpacker56 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.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: mule ears 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 (https://www.roadpost.com/satellite-phone-iridium-daily-rentals.html) 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.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Reece on August 06, 2019, 12:11:53 PM
I did the same thing - rented a sat phone twice but with my ďon again off againĒ style it was too restrictive. I bought the InReach so I donít 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.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Casa Grande 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.



Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Lissa on August 06, 2019, 02:25:12 PM
The InReach is expensive, but even with my infrequent trips it isnít 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 canít turn it off.

I do think you can rent them, but it doesnít 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.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: House Made of Dawn on August 06, 2019, 02:56:40 PM
The InReach is expensive, but even with my infrequent trips it isnít 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 canít turn it off.

I do think you can rent them, but it doesnít 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 Lissaís 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 wouldnít 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!!!), Iíd pick up an InReach Mini and pair it with my iPhone.

But I think Lissaís idea of InReach ďtime-sharingĒ has real merit!


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: House Made of Dawn 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 itís way, waaaay, WAAAAAAY cheaper than an extended stay in the hospital... or a funeral.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Quatro 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?
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Keepa 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 itís way, waaaay, WAAAAAAY cheaper than an extended stay in the hospital... or a funeral.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

A funeral is the cheapest, because you never pay for your own funeral  :icon_biggrin:
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Lissa 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 wasnít thinking of something official, though am sure you could draw up a contract if needed. But itís (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 ďsign it outĒ to different users.  The user interface wasnít totally intuitive but weíve 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.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: nathanr 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.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: backpacker56 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.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Reece 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.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Solo 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 itís 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.
Title: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Reece on August 11, 2019, 08:01:02 AM
Iím good with ďreal.Ē You may not always want to call the air force...really.
Just because you have the option of texting a worried loved one doesnít mean you have to hike with your iPhone in your face.

No one communicator is right for everyone.

https://www.outdoorproject.com/gear/sos-activating-scary-sos-button-my-garmin-inreach

https://www.goldenstateofminds.com/blog-1/2018/6/14/sos-personal-locator-beacons-versus-satellite-messengers



Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Lissa on August 11, 2019, 12:22:51 PM
$330 + service plan is expensive, though not too much more than the base price of the McMurdo when I bought mine.

But itís 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.

It wonít prevent accidents, it can just make it more resource efficient to respond to them.  Even if the ďaccidentĒ is just a hiker falling behind schedule - the ability to notify family / rangers that youíre fine just slow can prevent an SAR operation in the first place.  And I routinely read stories from SAR about their appreciation for the 2 way texting capability during rescues. Personally I like the idea that, Iíd case of accident or emergency, I can provide SAR with the information they need to efficiently and effectively manage the most resource appropriate rescue.

When hiking with mine I very rarely send free form texts. Just the preset ones that basically say ďallís wellĒ when I stop moving for the day. For me, assuaging the fear of my family at home is a small price to pay to be able to get out there solo. And should I get in trouble, I like knowing that I can tell SAR exactly what condition Iím in / what help I need.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: ghysdulkc on August 12, 2019, 10:58:11 AM
I bought an inReach after hearing about an injured climber in Mt Rainier NP using one after a bad fall. She activated the SOS button and within 15 min a helicopter was overhead looking for her and the Rangers were texting her the whole time.
I love my inReach, I take it with me anytime I might lose cell service, even short road trips into the hill country. Having your truck break down in the summer on a small ranch road with no cell service would suck but the inReach solves that with its sat texting function.
My question, if anyone knows, what would happen if you pushed the SOS button on an inReach in the backcountry of big bend. How quickly would the local SAR/authorities be notified and mobilized and who would respond first? Iím guessing not as quickly as it was at Mt Rainier but I donít know.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Ranger Tim on August 12, 2019, 04:06:07 PM
I'll be fielding the InReach Mini starting this fall to assist with field communications in the backcountry at BBRSP.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: presidio on August 12, 2019, 04:36:42 PM
My question, if anyone knows, what would happen if you pushed the SOS button on an inReach in the backcountry of big bend. How quickly would the local SAR/authorities be notified and mobilized and who would respond first? Iím guessing not as quickly as it was at Mt Rainier but I donít know.

The notification would be as fast as Mt Ranier (or anywhere else)...as soon as the first available satellite was in view. That would be instantaneous to perhaps several minutes depending upon the positioning of the satellite constellation at that time. Ground to satellite time does not depend at all upon where you are (barring polar regions, where coverage may or may not exist). As long as you have a clear view of the sky (and are not in some slot canyon), the only variable would be where the satellites are in their orbits.

The response certainly would be slower. Ranier is a lot closer to major urban resources.

Who would show up first? Well, that would depend upon where you were, what your situation was and how hard it would be to get to you.

Undoubtedly, within a mile or three of any of the roads, the NPS would almost certainly be first on scene. In some remote place like far out on Mesa de Anguila, a Border Patrol helicopter or other aerial resource probably would be first.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Jalco on August 12, 2019, 07:09:24 PM
Any thoughts on portable ham radios?  My son just purchased one (Yaseau FT-60R) for his hiking adventures.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Casa Grande on August 12, 2019, 09:57:41 PM
Any thoughts on portable ham radios?  My son just purchased one (Yaseau FT-60R) for his hiking adventures.
I kind of like that idea!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Solo on August 13, 2019, 01:30:26 AM
It wonít prevent accidents, it can just make it more resource efficient to respond to them.  Even if the ďaccidentĒ is just a hiker falling behind schedule - the ability to notify family / rangers that youíre fine just slow can prevent an SAR operation in the first place.  And I routinely read stories from SAR about their appreciation for the 2 way texting capability during rescues. Personally I like the idea that, Iíd case of accident or emergency, I can provide SAR with the information they need to efficiently and effectively manage the most resource appropriate rescue.

All of that may be true, but personally, I would never spend hundreds of dollars for it.  I'm not attacking text-capable locators, but this is my reasoning:  Add up the number of months you plan to hike for the foreseeable future and the monthly cost of an InReach... ouch.  A PLB gets me out of serious trouble, and for anything less, I get myself out.  I've never believed for a moment that notifying loved ones or registering a hike would get help moving when it could do any good.  I simply don't need to notify anyone until I'm finished hiking.  In fact, many of my outings are unknown to anyone, which is a benefit of my lifestyle that others don't have.  I still carry my cellphone because, well, it's 2019 and it's a decent "multi-tool", so in many cases I can get to emergency cell coverage for a less serious emergency.  The number of times I can ever expect to need the texting function is far outweighed by the cost and hassle of a data plan.  I know there are others like me, so this is merely a recommendation to those people who are self-reliant, safe, and simple.  When the costs become reasonable, I'll get an InReach, but I don't expect it to happen in a for-profit environment.  Hopefully one day the government will expand the SOS beacon system to allow some form of communication.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Hang10er on August 13, 2019, 06:47:45 AM

My question, if anyone knows, what would happen if you pushed the SOS button on an inReach in the backcountry of big bend. How quickly would the local SAR/authorities be notified and mobilized and who would respond first? Iím guessing not as quickly as it was at Mt Rainier but I donít know.

To get a good answer to your question, read "Death In Big Bend".  Like someone just mentioned on a thread, it details what the park does when a SAR call comes in.  It details how they start depending on the season, area, time of day.  It talks about the behind the scenes stuff like searching the victim's car, talking to family back home about their skills and equipment, gathering all the info they can. 
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Lissa on August 13, 2019, 07:12:29 AM
Solo - in your case that makes sense.  As someone who still has kids at home, the idea that I could go away unnoticed for more than *maybe* a workday is kinda mind boggling for me 😎
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: backpacker56 on August 13, 2019, 09:36:52 AM
I can understand saying, ďI wonít spend that kind of money and effort on that particular technology; Iíll just have to take my chances and hope Iíll never need it.Ē  Each person must make his own decision in such matters. 

But I donít understand the idea that I am somehow immune to trouble because I am one of the self-reliant and safe, whereas people who need rescuing are somehow incompetent or reckless. 

I can identify with the desire to celebrate freedom and spontaneity and self-reliance by just vanishing into the wilderness for a few days without telling anyone.  Goodness knows Iíve done it, but at this point, on mature reflection, it seems foolish.  I'm thinking of Aaron Ralston.  At the very least, it would impose needless hardship on those tasked with SAR. 

I fully expect the for-profit environment to result in the best products at the best prices, as with most goods and services we enjoy daily.  If the government provides it ďfreeĒ, it just means the few will enjoy benefits that others are compelled to pay for, and it will probably cost twice as much and work half as well as it ought. 
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: miatarchy04 on August 13, 2019, 03:41:43 PM
I'll be hiking the OML in November with my son. I will be carrying an InReach Explorer that I'll buy between now and then. I don't consider the OML to be high risk hiking, and I do consider $400 plus to be a large expense. And I'll be doing it with my son which is unusual for me because I usually hike solo. But my wife is concerned about a man my age on extended hikes (I'm 67) and she insists that I have some means of calling for help if I need it.  So, to ease her mind, I'm going to expend the money.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Casa Grande on August 13, 2019, 07:12:44 PM


But I donít understand the idea that I am somehow immune to trouble because I am one of the self-reliant and safe, whereas people who need rescuing are somehow incompetent or reckless.

Bingo. Me either.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Casa Grande on August 13, 2019, 07:15:08 PM
Does anyone have any thing to say about this?

It obviously doesn't have the fancy stuff that inreach has, but this price is nice.

Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger - Orange https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C8S8S4W/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_Oi1uDb1QQ4MZ4

One year service is $100 bucks. Not too bad...


https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=130


Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: GaryF on August 13, 2019, 08:59:01 PM
I was doing some analysis on Spot vs iNReach a couple of years ago, and here is what I came up with:

Spot - less reliable because of the Satellite network it relies upon
Spot - can only send one or two preconfigured messages
Spot - Does not receive messages, no confirmation that your texts or SOS were received
Cost - the iNReach  would actually be cheaper (Device cost and plan costs combined) over a ~3 year period if you only activate it for a month or two each year.

That said, my data may now be old, and  I havenít looked at the Spot X Messenger that came out last year, which seems to be more comparable to the iNReach in terms of capabilities.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Flash on August 13, 2019, 08:59:45 PM
The satellite phone rental looks better and better over time...  :eusa_think:
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: GaryF on August 13, 2019, 09:05:18 PM
My question, if anyone knows, what would happen if you pushed the SOS button on an inReach in the backcountry of big bend. How quickly would the local SAR/authorities be notified and mobilized and who would respond first? Iím guessing not as quickly as it was at Mt Rainier but I donít know.

Here is one real world example in Big Bend. This was actually a PLB, but I canít imagine the response being much different.  Of course the 2 way texting on the iNReach would help sharpen the response, assuming that you were still conscious / coherent enough to utilize it.

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/your-trip-reports/warning-initial-trip-reportelephant-tuskdecember-30-31/


Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Casa Grande on August 13, 2019, 09:36:36 PM
My question, if anyone knows, what would happen if you pushed the SOS button on an inReach in the backcountry of big bend. How quickly would the local SAR/authorities be notified and mobilized and who would respond first? Iím guessing not as quickly as it was at Mt Rainier but I donít know.

Here is one real world example in Big Bend. This was actually a PLB, but I canít imagine the response being much different.  Of course the 2 way texting on the iNReach would help sharpen the response, assuming that you were still conscious / coherent enough to utilize it.

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/your-trip-reports/warning-initial-trip-reportelephant-tuskdecember-30-31/
Yes, I remember that story.  It was very suspicious to me.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: ghysdulkc on August 13, 2019, 11:56:42 PM
Great stuff Presidio and Gary F! Ranger Tim I will be interested to know how that goes. Yeah my real question was deep in the backcountry, how long would it take a helicopter to respond and whoís would it be. In this real world example it belonged to DPS and responded the following morning for a call placed at night. The two way texting would indeed be useful if the gps had you in the wrong spot. Interesting also how this was the first use of a PLB in big bend. I wonder if there have been any since.

Hang10er, I have indeed read death in Big Bend and am also well versed in Wilderness SAR. I was specifically wondering about the response from a PLB or inReach. Good stuff!

Casa Grande, why was that story suspicious?
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: sandersmr on August 14, 2019, 07:45:09 AM
Any thoughts on portable ham radios?  My son just purchased one (Yaseau FT-60R) for his hiking adventures.

It would depend on the frequency.  The Yaesu FT-60R is a dual band - 2m/70cm with only 5 watts of power.  It needs a repeater fairly close by (within a few miles) to work.  The nearest repeaters appear to be in Alpine or between Sanderson and Rosenfeld, both right off Highway 90. 

In other areas not as remote, a Ham radio H/T might be a good choice.

Maggie
AKA WA5RSU
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Casa Grande on August 14, 2019, 08:38:19 AM




Casa Grande, why was that story suspicious?

I'm going to guess you're talking about this story from many years ago....

https://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/index.php?topic=2695.0

I briefly looked over the post again and the whole story seemed odd.  It looked like he set up a rescue situation so he could use the PLB.  Anyway, I remember having a conversation with other BBCers in person during a Bender party about that story and we all seemed to agree.   Been a long time then though.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: congahead on August 14, 2019, 09:47:26 AM
I had the Spot Gen 3 for a few years and then replaced it with the inReach when it came out. Iíve never used either for any emergency but would not consider backpacking without my inReach.

Good information on the topic via both of the links below.

https://www.adventurealan.com/best-satellite-messenger-inreach-vs-spot/

https://andrewskurka.com/section/how-to/gear/satellite-communication/



Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: presidio on August 14, 2019, 05:57:02 PM
Does anyone have any thing to say about this?

Not specifically, but be sure what you are signing up for.

The first gen Spot had a user obligation that was artfully buried way down in the tiny text of the agreement that hooked users to an auto-renewing contract.

Therefore, if users didn't renew (either due to the credit card being rejected or you just didn't want to continue the use), Spot embarked on a dunning campaign, calling and emailing lapsed users. If the user did not respond, Spot threatened legal action and credit reporting hits.

So, instead of service simply ending when the subscription period expired, Spot's idea was to obligate users to affirmatively call (not email, not online) to cancel.

There's examples of this business techniques (thankfully rare) in other consumer products, and it bespeaks poor service.

Has Spot changed its approach? No idea.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Casa Grande on August 14, 2019, 06:17:41 PM
Does anyone have any thing to say about this?

So, instead of service simply ending when the subscription period expired, Spot's idea was to obligate users to affirmatively call (not email, not online) to cancel.

I loath this practice. Alarm companies are notorious for this.



Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: mbender on August 15, 2019, 06:07:30 PM
I too did all the research a few years ago, and the Inreach won hands-down.

I purchased mine about a year before the Inreach Mini came out. Dangit. I'd rather have the Mini because the "Maxi" is rather large.

REI sold me a returned-and-repackaged unit. I could not register it, because the prior user registered it; and not even Garmin could un-register it. The original user has to un-register it, which may never happen. I took it back to REI and exchanged it for an actual new unit, and all was well.

One feature of the Inreach I didn't see mentioned was the ability to track in near real-time your actual GPS tracked trip. When you start your trip, you send a message to interested parties that you're starting the trip, and the message includes a link to a website that they can go to and monitor your progress. That way if you stop moving for say... two weeks, then something just maybe could have gone wrong!  :willynilly:
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: Casa Grande on August 15, 2019, 06:55:33 PM
Inreach it is. Now where did I put that $400?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: austin gorpchomper on August 15, 2019, 09:03:08 PM
I've had a Spot Gen 3 for a couple of years. There are issues (not related to my confidence in the SOS feature) that had about convinced me to junk it in favor of an inReach; namely, a nearly total lack of indicated continued support. It seemed as if 90% of the company's $$ were being spent on marketing; the phone app was abysmal and went years without an update, the website has an attractive presence, but website functionality is limited and the UI is totally confusing and in many cases nonsensical.

My opinions were shared by others. In the past few weeks, out of the blue, their CEO sent an email addressing these issues, also the somewhat underhanded subscription issue (being replaced).  So we'll see, I guess.

*I had a long talk with the GUMO Dog Canyon ranger about the chain of communication if I had to push the SOS, and he said it would get to the sherriff's office, thence to NPS pretty quick.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: DesertRatShorty on August 19, 2019, 02:25:35 PM
My only negative experience with my InReach (with 5 trips under my belt) occurred last week. I sent an "All is well" to my wife at the end of a day, and it did not get to her for about 16 hours which caused her some anxiety. In just about every other case, with an open sky messages seem to be delivered in a minute or two.
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: presidio on August 19, 2019, 04:25:41 PM
I sent an "All is well" to my wife at the end of a day, and it did not get to her for about 16 hours which caused her some anxiety.

Did Garmin have anything to say about that? Or, is such an issue covered in the tiny print?
Title: Re: Inreach and other PLBs
Post by: ghysdulkc on August 19, 2019, 10:37:40 PM
Happened upon this article by chance. Interesting read, sheds some light on the differences between a PLB and an inReach and also on what specifically happens when you push the SOS button.

https://www.adventure-journal.com/2019/08/hit-sos-on-your-sat-messenger-or-plb-heres-how-the-rescue-happens/?fbclid=IwAR1tzDfXp4ViHOD60xptfYoNLzIqigUYvwzPZDaBE5T56OOS7tVUxVLBc8I