Communications in the backcountry

11–13 of 13

  • Adding another device a hassle though. Ideally you want to bring a more light-weight satellite dish or antenna or so, connect that via usb cable, and use an app on the phone you brought already. Haven't seen that solution yet.
  • inreach devices allow connecting to mobile phones for texting
  • A few updates on my experience with inreach. The smartphone app that goes with it has become somewhat buggy since garmin took over from delorme. Had it fail a few times over the last 2 years and only work again after a uninstall/reinstall. Id strongly recommend using an app backup & restore app to get a locally saved copy of the apk (install files) for the earthmate app to allow a reinstall in the backcountry. Support suggest these issues only affect the old 1.5 version of the inreach ... but a glance on the support forums suggests otherwise. Issues I've seen include the app being unable to retrieve incoming messages from the inreach, and outgoing messages going to the wrong contact. The latter came close to triggering a SAR callout. I've not replaced my old unit with the latest hardware 'inreach explorer' because the new ones have a sealed internal battery. The older units take 2xAA so carrying spares is simple. With the new unit you'd need an external battery pack and leads to recharge to unit in the bush. So factor in another 2-300g for something that will give you a couple of charges. All that said, the inreach still far outperforms the spot for coverage and reliability of getting a message out. We use spot at work & it is ok as a tracker in open tussockland but no use in the bush or mountains and I'm not convinced by the 'send & pray' technology it uses with no way of knowing if a message got out or not.
    This post has been edited by the author on 21 April 2018 at 08:19.
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11–13 of 13

Forum Gear talk
Started by Cabbage
On 18 April 2018
Replies 12
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