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Garmin inReach Mini or Similar
Giving serious thought to adding a Garmin inReach mini or similar to my big day out pack just incase…
Anyone got experience with them or a similar distress beacon setup?
Also, am I right in saying month subscription is £12.99 for the UKmarcusbrodyFree Member
I have the Inreaxh Mini and the cheapest subscription. I’ve used it to send reassuring texts to the wife, but that about it. I spend a lot of time outside of cell phone range hiking and biking – often with my five year old – so it seemed to be prudent to have something to be able to call for help if necessary.
So far it’s been good. Doesn’t take up much room in my pack and is easy enough to use. I have a bit of trouble connecting to my phone with bluetooth, but my phone seems to be finickier than average with bluetooth. I just use the preset messages anyway.
Can just echo what marcusbrody said above. Perfectly happy with mine although it’s not had much use over the last 12 months. Used it all over the world.
It won’t give you your coordinates in OS Grid but if you’re relying on it for that then you have other problems.
Expensive to pause the subscription in the first year.
If you trigger an SOS a *lot* of messages get sent to your emergency contacts. If you contact GEOS they’ll help you coordinate a practice event so you and your contacts can see the messages and phone calls that go flying around when you hit SOS.
^^ this is useful to know because if you send an SOS for someone else (for example you come across someone injured), your contacts may get a fright.bikesandbootsFull Member
Thought a few times about one of these for hiking and biking. My normal precaution is to let someone know my route, start and expected end times, and send a text every now and again if/when I happen to have signal. Many hours’ unknown time with that approach in some places. I guess the device is useful for any emergency where time is of the essence but you’re still capable of getting to the device and using it. If I lived in the Highlands, I’d have one. And a Deviate Highlander too.scotroutesFull Member
I’ve had a Spot Gen 3 for a few years. Works fine. I canned the subscription last year as it was becoming too expensive for my occasional usage but started up again this year as I got it half price on an offer. Just need to get out and use it now.
Compared to the Inreach: no custom text message, massively increased battery life.aberdeenluneFree Member
Just reviewing options for SOS satellite messaging when out of mobile phone coverage for biking adventures this summer. First thought was an Inreach but the monthly subscription costs put me off. I now see that the IPhone 14 has emergency SOS with no additional subscription cost other than your normal monthly mobile sim cost.
Looks like a better option as I will be carrying my phone anyway. Saves having a Garmin bike computer a Spot Gen or In reach and a phone.
Only trouble is the cost of trading up to an IPhone 14 (current phone is a 12). Anyone went with that option? It’s only been live in the UK since December.Fat-boy-fatFull Member
I’ve been havering over thus for years. Currently thinking the inreach messenger. I’ll have a phone anyway, so….juliansFree Member
I keep toying with getting either an in reach mini or messenger, but the subscription costs put me off, it really would only get used in a genuine emergency.
I have one, intended purely for emergencies so it only gets switched on if it is needed. I did a first aid + forestry course and my MTB leader development weekend and figured it would be sensible to have for trailbuilding, out in the hills and for coaching.
Subscription cost is sore as I don’t use it – in the sense, no need to. However, as a coach and a lead trailbuilder, I think it is sensible to have, but it isn’t something I’m going to ask bike club or trailbuilding group to pay for it.
Think the monthly sub is 13 quid, but despite paying it, it hasn’t been used yet, so about 15 months sub not used (to be fair it isn’t something I’m wanting to be using regularly anyway).
There is a UK company launching something similar and Motorola is about to launch something – Defy or something, I think the monthly cost is lower and the purchase price suggests it will be cheaper as well…found the link – https://motorolarugged.com/en-gb/motorola-defy-satellite-link/ – Motorola sounds good, but would also depend on which satellite’s it used – Garmin has a (I think) dedicated system for the system, but I’m not sure other systems do…but I can’t recall the detail (so I could be completely wrong!).
I think it uses the user phone for the messaging and then uses the device to send via satellites.
I suspect I’ll sell my first gen InReach and jump on this as it will be cheaper (I hope).
My InReach sits in my pack next to my first aid kit, so it is with me when I’m out, but it will only be turned on if it is needed.
Motorolaare looking to launch a personal satellite tracker
Subscription fee likely to be a fiver a month.daverhpFull Member
I have a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) for sea kayaking and they can also be used on land. They are registered to the individual and are satellite based so don’t need mobile signal. Mine is a RescueME PLB1 which is pretty small – a third of the size of a smartphone. I take it on big solo rides and overseas trips (and sea kayaking of course). Down side is when you activate it there is no two way text communication like an InReach so you just have to trust the message has been received and the cavalry called. There is no subscription charge. Cost is about £250. Never had to use it so can’t comment on effectiveness (fingers crossed touching wood).
I had a Spot Gen3 for a few years but they’re a joke of a company to deal with – big hike is subscription fees annually and then you have to call the US and threaten to leave before they offer a decent price. Last time I had to get my credit card to do a chargeback on an unauthorised payment as they wouldn’t haggle.austyFree Member
Bene looking at these lately but still struggling with the cost and subscriptions as I don’t think I’ll get good value for money from it.
I have seen the ACR Bivi Stick which appears a bit cheaper that the InReach and the subscription fees are cheaper and able to be stopped and started much easier and cheaper. No idea how the company operates or not but something people could look into.
I have both. IMHO, if you’re in a situation where you think that the Inreach will be useful, then it’s worth the money. You can pause and restart the subscription (or at least I can on my v1).
Tested the emergency SOS mode on the iPhone and it certainly seemed to work. The issue is that it’s fragile. Crack the screen and you might not be able to access the SOS function. Cold kills the battery. Fall on the phone awkwardly and the antenna is broken.
Also the iPhone is location tracking and full emergency or nothing. The Inreach lets you send unlimited free messages with your location attached (ok, so you have to preselect them to be free but “I’m still alive, here I am!” works fine.BruceFull Member
I also carry a PLB. Bought for sea kayaking but also taken for big days out in Scotland.
Mine is a Mc Murdo 220.
Bit more info on the Motorola Defy Satellite Messenger thing (which seems to be built by Bullit) – https://bullitt-group.com/motorola-defy-satellite-link-unveiled-at-mwc-2023/richmarsFull Member
The Motorola system is now available, see5labFull Member
my wife’s got a motorola defy 1 (no sat phone or anything on it, just a rugged phone) and its not been great.. quite a few software issues – so just a heads up that it might be a compromise
I’m selling my Garmin InReach Mini as I’ve got it but never used so an expensive thing to be sitting doing nothing. Mate just got the Motorola Defy Satellite and it seems very good. Far better pricing for something that I would only use in emergencies.nickcFull Member
My normal precaution is to let someone know my route, start and expected end times, and send a text every now and again
Mine is live track invite that’s sent to my wife’s email (via Garmin) which is fine – all automated, don’t need to think about it etc etc but does it for everything, including the commute if I record it.
Yeah, live tracking is great until you don’t have a mobile signal…
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