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Backcountry Comms

Where's Bruce?

Well-known member
I've always been a fan of PLBs for treks through areas devoid of cell service however, there are ever-emerging technologies that improve satellite communications and it seems some of the newer items like those from DeLorme inReach may be a better choice than the traditional PBL. It makes sense that 2 way communication with SAR could be life saving (helo rescue for venomous snake bite, heart attack, head injury, etc) versus a SAR team search on foot and horseback. Has anyone here done any in-depth research on these newer products that combine Sat Phone and PLB technologies that can offer some educated recommendations? I will be venturing further off the grid in the coming years and would like to be able to communicate with hunting buddies (should we become separated), family (for long trips just to let em know I'm okay) and SAR (with locator beacon in case I am alone and losing consciousness). These seem like cheap insurance to me, don't weigh much and since the first rule of any backcountry trip is to return in one piece...seems like a logical precaution. Would prefer a unit that can be used on the ocean or in the Grand Canyon and in pretty much any situation. Long battery life is a plus and an affordable service fee would be nice. Anyone got any advice?
 

Bubblehide

Well-known member
A friend of mine has the InReach, he hunted with me in the Sierras this year. I was in the back country for 2 weeks. I used it to text my wife. It worked perfectly. You can text directly from the unit, or through your smartphone, if you connect to it. A small solar charger keeps it charged. I'll be looking to purchase one soon.
 

Sparky of SoCal

Active member
I use an InReach also and will recommend it to friends who also agree. I Bluetooth it to my cellphone and if I need help my whole contact list will know.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

goldenarrow49

Well-known member
I went cheap and bought a spot last summer. I think the In-Reach is better but I couldn't justify the extra cost.
 

dustin ray

Well-known member
Good choice Bruce i have two units i bought last year we used them in the Nevada backcountry, Arizona and on the water 100 miles out of San Diego they worked great.
The battery life is not bad i used 7800mah battery pack that i left on a solar charger during the day and at night recharged things at night.
Being able to communicate with another inreach uint and whats going on back home is worth every $ spent.
 

jimmmb

Well-known member
Think I'm gonna pick one up this week...been doing some solo trips lately into new areas and it will be worth the peace of mind for both me and the family. Bruce any feedback on yours yet? Dustin is that an aftermarket battery if so where did you get it?
 

dustin ray

Well-known member
Think I'm gonna pick one up this week...been doing some solo trips lately into new areas and it will be worth the peace of mind for both me and the family. Bruce any feedback on yours yet? Dustin is that an aftermarket battery if so where did you get it?
radio shack
 

signguy

Well-known member
Bruce- I have been looking at these as well but the write ups I have read are either great or terrible.
Please share your opinion once you get it and have chance to review.
It appears to be an economical way to send a message to the ladies and get help in an emergency- but only if it works. :)
 

signguy

Well-known member
Bruce- I have been looking at these as well but the write ups I have read are either great or terrible.<br>Please share your opinion once you get it and have chance to review.<br>It appears to be an economical way to send a message to the ladies and get help in an emergency- but only if it works. :)
 

jimmmb

Well-known member
Picked mine up today. Setting it up and playing with it this week, I will put it to the test next week in Mendocino Natl Forest. I'll post my thoughts on it after that.
 

Where's Bruce?

Well-known member
Got mine for 1/2 price through a guy on rokslide who saw one in his local Cabelas. Got the floor model. Had an aftermarket charger and was missing the belt clip which the mfr is sending me gratis. <g>
 

weto

Well-known member
I got the inReach, I liked that you could do 2 way messaging without havng an iphone or android phone (which I have neither) also I can suspend service during the non backpacking/ hunting months.

saved my bacon this year when My wife and I were on a 8 day backpacking trip in the sierras, and I forgot to pack my shotgun to the vacation house for Dove season, I was able to message my brother and have him bring it up for me.
 

jimmmb

Well-known member
So far so good...not terribly difficult to setup. Gf is happy she can login to website and see exactly where I am. Only complaint so far is that you can't download topo maps directly onto the DeLorme device, at least I haven't found a way to yet. To use topo maps you need to pair it with a smartphone or another device via bluetooth. Not the end of the world but that's more to carry on a backpacking trip and kinda defeats the purpose. Their literature on the InReach was kinda misleading, never mentions that.
 

signguy

Well-known member
It would be nice to use just the one device for sure- However, so long as it works I am down with getting one. Let us know how it does in the mountains next week.C
 

signguy

Well-known member
I went ahead and just bought one this morning- so far pretty easy to set-up...
The son and I are headed to the desert this weekend to ride from the Salton Sea to the Colorado River and back on the dirt bikes- Should be a pretty good shake down of the unit. Won't have a lot of cover to test it in but the map feature and texting will get used. I will let you know what I learn.
C
 


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