Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-08-2019, 01:06 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
rk06382's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Alaska
Posts: 913
Garmin inReach Satellite Communicator: Does anyone use them?

When Boondocking out of cell service, what do you use for communications?

A friend recommended Garmin inReach® to send & receive text messages when out of cell service. In Alaska there is a lot boondock sites without cell service. I also heard cell service is poor on the Alcan in Canada.

Amazon: Garmin inReach Mini

__________________

__________________
Robert
2018 FR3 28DS
Samlex EVO-2212 Inverter/Charger| 400ah Battle Born LiFePO4 | Victron BMV-712 & MPPT 100/50 | 800W Renogy Solar | Fan-Tastic Fans | Blue Ox TruCenter | Dometic 320 | SnapPads |
My Samlex EVO-2212 Inverter/Charger install
rk06382 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2019, 02:40 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: N. CA
Posts: 242
I carry a spotx...
__________________

Dp26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2019, 12:39 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,620
Yes, cell service outside of villages and towns tends to be non-existent in Alaska. The same is true for southern Utah, parts of Colorado and much of Wyoming (that I have experienced).

Satellite communications in Alaska will not be consistent either, assuming use of geo-stationary satellites. Horizon angles are too low, leading to atmospheric interference at times and tree and hill blockage of signal. Things I learned being a communications engineer in Alaska. You also get twice a year when the sun gets behind a satellite for about an hour a day, swamping any signal from that satellite.

In the old days, camping meant no comms for the duration of the trip. Enjoy the solitude - that's why you live in Alaska (many times I wish I still lived there).

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
pgandw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2019, 08:13 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Warsaw,NC
Posts: 7,184
In Canada we took Highway 37 and for two days we didn’t have phone service
spock123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2019, 02:18 PM   #5
Member
 
Hi Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Montana
Posts: 67
Send a message via AIM to Hi Rider
Garmin inReach Satellite Communicator: Does anyone use them?

My son. He just returned from a week long trip kayaking trip in the Sea of Cortez near Isla San Jose. A member of the trip had a Garmin Satellite Communicator and once or twice a day sent a brief message to family and friends of the kayakers to let them know the party was doing OK and either kayaking or camping. As a father I was happy to receive the messages and know that all was fine with the kayakers.
__________________
Hi Rider
Jack and his dog, Annie
2016 Forester 2401W MBS pulling 2006 Jeep Wrangler
2017 - 189 Days and 8,857 Miles
2018 - 193 Days and 7,024 Miles
2019 - 134 Days and 5,486 Miles
Hi Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2019, 02:19 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1
InReach

I used the InReach last year when biking through Banff, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. It works well and I had no problems sending text messages to my wife and other friends. Replies from them came back with no difficulties either.

You may already know this, but you can set up group texts, let others follow you by providing your location, etc.

I think it is a great tool to have along, especially with the SOS feature should you run into difficulties.
BlueBruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2019, 02:40 PM   #7
Motorhome newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: MT & CA
Posts: 42
Thumbs up

I do a lot of solo hiking and had a Spot for many years to give my wife peace of mind when I'm out. It could send a few canned messages (like "all OK, just checking in" or "I'm camping here") or an SOS to "dispatch." I never used the SOS, just those informative messages to my wife. I liked it but there was no way to know if my signal got through.

I now have the Garmin inReach (which adds to the Spot abilities) and love it for these reasons:
  • If your signal gets to dispatch a return signal will be sent to you so you'll know for sure that you got through.
  • 2-way texting is possible, so you can tell dispatch what the problem is.
  • 2-way texting is also possible with a 3rd party, like a relative.
  • Yearly subscription cost was less than Spot.
  • Satellite acquisition time seems to be a lot quicker.
My experience has been between the US Rockies and the Pacific.
__________________
John, KA6CHX
2018 FR Berkshire 39A
DogFather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2019, 03:06 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: anchorage
Posts: 29
We live in Alaska and my wife does a lot of backcountry backpacking. I bought her the Garmin InReach Explorer in case she or her hiking friends have an emergency. We also did a lot of driving in remote areas, snowmachining miles from anyone, and skiing great distances. She can use it to enter a route they plan to take to make sure she is on track and text me that everything is ok. Has great battery life and has the best coverage using the Iridium satellite network. I doubt you would find an area you would be in that would be completely out of touch. My understanding is that Spot uses a different satellite system and does not have the broad coverage of the Garmin. We have been very satisfied.
hilfikerkg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2019, 08:11 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,290
Garmin inReach Satellite Communicator: Does anyone use them?

I have thought of this since I too hike alone. I will check into this. My hiking gps has been invaluable, in finding my way back after a wrong turn.
AbdRahim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2019, 08:54 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 613
We have 2 an older one I bought my sons cause they do some serious backcountry hiking and mountain biking. I bought mine specifically for hiking and when I’m out of cell service out west. It works excellent. It hooks up with your phone also and you can download the section maps where you are hiking and it also has a pretty good base map. Should I should never be lost!
__________________

MikeRP is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cat, lite, satellite

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:47 AM.