Question on Garmin Inreach

allyncooper

Observer
Planning on driving the Highway up to Denali perhaps in 2019 and looking at the Garmin InReach for communication emergency contact. Does this work that far north? In general any limitations on satellite hookup anywhere on the planet?
 

Low_Sky

Member
Planning on driving the Highway up to Denali perhaps in 2019 and looking at the Garmin InReach for communication emergency contact. Does this work that far north? In general any limitations on satellite hookup anywhere on the planet?
Yes, it will work. Normal sat comm limitations apply. Doesn’t get great signal with dense cloud cover, thick forest, around very high, close mountains.

The difference between InReach and a sat phone is that the IR will keep trying until it gets enough signal to push the message out. With sat phone, if you don’t have enough signal to make the call, you’re out of luck.

I live in AK and the InReach is the device I count on for backcountry communication.

If you have a smartphone, Bluetooth pair it with the InReach, and get the vehicle mount/power adapter. You’ll be able to leave the InReach plugged in on the dash board and message with your phone almost like normal texting. On vehicle power, you’ll be able to leave the InReach on continuous monitoring (looking for incoming messages continuously instead of on user-determined intervals for battery management).


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allyncooper

Observer
Thanks for the info guys. Good to know there are no limitations geographically speaking. @LoSky good info on how to set it up in a vehicle. That's prolly how I'll do my setup.
 

Chris Boyd

Explorer
InReach is based on the iridium satellite network and has global operational footprint, which makes it more reliable than Spot.

As others have said, sometimes getting a signal out in dense forest or deep valleys can take longer, but it’s just a matter of getting the next satellite to fly over. Eventually, one will pass directly overhead and get a signal from even the most difficult places.
 

BigDaveZJ

Adventurer
If you have a smartphone, Bluetooth pair it with the InReach, and get the vehicle mount/power adapter. You’ll be able to leave the InReach plugged in on the dash board and message with your phone almost like normal texting. On vehicle power, you’ll be able to leave the InReach on continuous monitoring (looking for incoming messages continuously instead of on user-determined intervals for battery management).
This is what I do with my InReach as well. The InReach battery is pretty good on its own, but if you can run vehicle power that's even better. I mount the InReach to the windshield with a Ram mount with built in power adapter. I also keep the paired cell phone plugged in and mounted with a ProClip mount to the dash.

Having been an early Spot user and now having the InReach, I really like the increased capability and reliability of the InReach.
 

J!m

Active member
The more I read the more I’m liking the inreach.

So, who/where is the best place to shop for one? I assume there are a couple variations with added bells and whistles that increase price? Any particular model to avoid for any reason? Maybe there is only one model and I just wasted typing on a micro keypad on my phone?

Where the heck did I leave my beer?
 

mmp3823

Observer
The more I read the more I’m liking the inreach.

So, who/where is the best place to shop for one? I assume there are a couple variations with added bells and whistles that increase price? Any particular model to avoid for any reason? Maybe there is only one model and I just wasted typing on a micro keypad on my phone?

Where the heck did I leave my beer?
If you are a Costco member they have them on sale right now.
 

Low_Sky

Member
Cabelas and other big retailers put them on sale once or twice a year.

If you will always have it Bluetooth paired to a phone, get the mini.

If you may need to use the device on its own, get the SE (Screen Edition).

I personally would pass on the Explorer model. It’s the most expensive model and it adds handheld GPS/mapping functionality to the SE. I already use my phone and an app I like as GPS handheld and that works much better and has a higher resolution touch screen.

If I was buying one today, I’d buy the mini as I always use my older Delorme InReach SE in combination with my phone.


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J!m

Active member
I was just in Cabelas the other day and didn’t think to seek one out... Grabbed some .308 and a Twix bar for lunch.

I guess I’ll look them up and figure out what’s right for me. In general I like simple. Less stuff means less to fail and/or interfere with the core purpose.

I imagine my old garmin will be retired- it’s a nice boat model for the dust/water rating. I’ve made a custom mount with an articulated arm on a piece of aluminum I bent and mounted in the dash above the center gages.

I think now I’ll go with a toughbook based system. So the inreach can be simple but the Bluetooth pairing sounds good so I can continue to bask in the frustration of typing on my phone!
 

Low_Sky

Member
I was just in Cabelas the other day and didn’t think to seek one out... Grabbed some .308 and a Twix bar for lunch.

I guess I’ll look them up and figure out what’s right for me. In general I like simple. Less stuff means less to fail and/or interfere with the core purpose.

I imagine my old garmin will be retired- it’s a nice boat model for the dust/water rating. I’ve made a custom mount with an articulated arm on a piece of aluminum I bent and mounted in the dash above the center gages.

I think now I’ll go with a toughbook based system. So the inreach can be simple but the Bluetooth pairing sounds good so I can continue to bask in the frustration of typing on my phone!
Typing on the phone is a hell of a lot less frustrating than trying to type on the InReach SE or Explorer.

As far as functionality goes, any of the models will give you your GPS coordinates, so they are great to pair with backup paper maps. Only the Explorer has mapping functionality in the unit. The Garmin Earthmate app (how you use the InReach via mobile) even has basic map functions, available with any of the models, but it doesn’t hold a candle to a dedicated mapping app like Gaia.


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I picked up an InReach SE+ a few months back for travelling into areas of the rockies without cellular coverage and was very impressed with it's capability even with just the basic subscription to the Garmin service.
 

kb1ejh

Member
Been using the inReach Explorer+ for several years now and happy with it. The BT connection is great for maps and texting. The Explorer+ is a pain to text with until you try using gloves on the phone, then the Explorer is the way to go as it has old fashioned buttons... Customer service has been great with Garmin too, something that the cell phone companies lack.
 
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