OK...finally time for the Inreach Explorer

robgendreau

Explorer
I've whined here a couple of times about issues with contacting emergency roadside services, something we as offroaders would be concerned with. I didn't want an Inreach because none of the ERS providers would dispatch from a user who texted (some will do so by app). I contacted some and it was crickets or "huh? what's text?" so I gave up. I also thought that if you contacted the GEOS emergency services included with Inreach (or SPOT I think) plans you'd need to have a REAL emergency, not just a vehicle failure out of cell range.

But then I saw a log indicating services supplied under conditions like this: "July 31, 2016: A vehicle blew a tire while driving in rural southern Wyoming. IRECC was able to contact AAA and coordinate a tow to the nearest service station." There was even one where someone ran out of gas near Arches (!).

So now I think I'm gonna go for it. Having been ravaged by voice calling rates up in Canada by ATT also is contributing to my decision; turns out you can get unlimited texting from them but it's pricey and I'd rather put that into the Inreach, which would be more useful.

I'm checking in to see if anyone has had any issues lately, since these units have been out quite a while, and AFAIK not updated. Still work with iPhones? Any deals out there?
 

Rando

Explorer
I would also consider a used Iridium sat phone. That way you can directly call the service provider of your choice and explain the situation so they can send appropriate aid. In a real emergency you also have two way interactive communications with the first responders, which can really speed up assistance and give you advice on what to do.
 

robgendreau

Explorer
I would also consider a used Iridium sat phone. That way you can directly call the service provider of your choice and explain the situation so they can send appropriate aid. In a real emergency you also have two way interactive communications with the first responders, which can really speed up assistance and give you advice on what to do.
Looked into that. WAY more expensive. If I went the sat phone route I'd rent. And with the Inreach you may not have voice, but do have two way via text. It can go direct, or via the service. In any case I have radios for near communication via 2M, etc should that be necessary. The GEOS service does the heavy lifting of finding the appropriate response, since if you are in someplace unfamiliar you wouldn't even know who to call other than 911, and I don't even know if that works with sat phones.
 

pugslyyy

Robinson Fuso
I've whined here a couple of times about issues with contacting emergency roadside services, something we as offroaders would be concerned with. I didn't want an Inreach because none of the ERS providers would dispatch from a user who texted (some will do so by app). I contacted some and it was crickets or "huh? what's text?" so I gave up. I also thought that if you contacted the GEOS emergency services included with Inreach (or SPOT I think) plans you'd need to have a REAL emergency, not just a vehicle failure out of cell range.

But then I saw a log indicating services supplied under conditions like this: "July 31, 2016: A vehicle blew a tire while driving in rural southern Wyoming. IRECC was able to contact AAA and coordinate a tow to the nearest service station." There was even one where someone ran out of gas near Arches (!).

So now I think I'm gonna go for it. Having been ravaged by voice calling rates up in Canada by ATT also is contributing to my decision; turns out you can get unlimited texting from them but it's pricey and I'd rather put that into the Inreach, which would be more useful.

I'm checking in to see if anyone has had any issues lately, since these units have been out quite a while, and AFAIK not updated. Still work with iPhones? Any deals out there?
In my experience the GEOS folks are extremely responsive and have no problem proactively working to mitigate a potential problem before it escalates. I've used them a couple of times, all for vehicle failure out of cell range (mostly to call for help for someone else I've come across who is stranded).

For example, we came across a young solo female traveler with a disabled vehicle deep in the black rock desert who had been stranded for a day. Used inReach to summon help for her (Sheriff's department and a tow), and they even called her Mom to let her know she was okay.
 

Rando

Explorer
Looked into that. WAY more expensive. If I went the sat phone route I'd rent. And with the Inreach you may not have voice, but do have two way via text. It can go direct, or via the service. In any case I have radios for near communication via 2M, etc should that be necessary. The GEOS service does the heavy lifting of finding the appropriate response, since if you are in someplace unfamiliar you wouldn't even know who to call other than 911, and I don't even know if that works with sat phones.
Agreed, it is more expensive, but not necessarily WAY more expensive. I use the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) cards on my phone which gets you 200 minutes anywhere in the world (or 500 in the ME or N. Africa), or 600 out bound text message for a year. These are around $350 per year - which is comparable to the InReach 'recreation plan'. The handset was around $400 4 years ago. To offset this, I rent the phone out to friends when I am not using it, which is a good deal for them and usually pays for half my airtime.
 

robgendreau

Explorer
Agreed, it is more expensive, but not necessarily WAY more expensive. I use the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) cards on my phone which gets you 200 minutes anywhere in the world (or 500 in the ME or N. Africa), or 600 out bound text message for a year. These are around $350 per year - which is comparable to the InReach 'recreation plan'. The handset was around $400 4 years ago. To offset this, I rent the phone out to friends when I am not using it, which is a good deal for them and usually pays for half my airtime.
The key thing about the Inreach plans is that they are pay-as-you-go. I only need a couple/three months a year max, and with the Freedom Plans that's a max $100.

But with that idea to AirBNB it...hmm. Might be worth it with some rafting buddies of mine; we could share the cost. The prepaids seemed to run $200-250/six months for US/Canada. Used phones as low as $450 or so now. So you're right, not as expensive if I could share.
 

Chris Boyd

Explorer
I have the InReach plan with unlimited tracking points and messages and it runs me 25 per month. We do a trip or two each month, so for me, having the ability to have automated tracking, text with family and the venerable SOS button available, I think it's hard to beat the InReach.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

1Louder

Explorer
I have the InReach plan with unlimited tracking points and messages and it runs me 25 per month. We do a trip or two each month, so for me, having the ability to have automated tracking, text with family and the venerable SOS button available, I think it's hard to beat the InReach.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have the lowest plan available. I figure if in a given situation if I need to spend a little more money I can. Mine is around $13/month. No live tracking but I use the 3 free preset messages wisely. One says safe in camp, one says starting our day and one is breadcrumb. If a family member needs to track me down they still can. For me the only reason to have a higher plan is of you want/need to send a lot of text messages. Great device. I just wish you could pair it with more than one device at a time as I use it with my iPad for GPS but would like to text via my iPhone.
 

Chris Boyd

Explorer
You can break the pairing and re-pair without causing to many issues. I do it occasionally when I just want to take it on a long MTN bike ride.


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robgendreau

Explorer
A question for those that have the Inreach: you can send emails, correct? are you limited in how long they can be? Also, can family and/or friends access the web page where your location updates get posted, or do you have to use FB or Twitter?
 

pugslyyy

Robinson Fuso
A question for those that have the Inreach: you can send emails, correct? are you limited in how long they can be? Also, can family and/or friends access the web page where your location updates get posted, or do you have to use FB or Twitter?
Family and friends can access, and send you messages directly from your page. You decide whether it is secret or public.

If you originate a message to someone, they can reply to it. If they want to send you a message (v. replying to one you sent them) they have to do it from your inreach page.
 

unplannedbbq

Adventurer
Reviving the most recent InReach thread.

I'm heading to Peru in a couple weeks & looking at the (now Garmin) InReach for SMS and GPS. Plan to pair an Explorer unit w/ my iPhone & the iOS app. Pay per month as you go, unlimited text plan.

I'll be spending time in the south, Arequipa->Cusco.

Anyone with feedback on how Garmin/Delorme connects with support folks in South America?

Thanks!
 

unplannedbbq

Adventurer
eSWoof -

Thanks for the cellphone info; Machu Picchu is capping the trip + Inca trail w/ pack llamas. I'll share info on inReach functionality when I get back.
 

unplannedbbq

Adventurer
Got my inReach SE set up & paired w/ my iPhone. $250 for the base unit w/o nav function.

Seems pretty slick - 2-way text messaging worked great w/ test recipients on different carriers here in the states.

2-way messaging worked direct from device and when paired with phone.

Recipient receives link to my coordinates & altitude along w/ message.

Garmin website site plots & tracks bread crumbs and time/location of sent messages.

$65 per month, pay as you, go for unlimited 2-way messaging. Heading south this Friday - will share experiences when I return.
 
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