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Huntndogs

Satellite tracker/SOS device

Which Satellite tracker/SOS device  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. What are you using?

    • Garmin In Reach Mini
      0
    • Other Garmin
      4
    • Spot Gen 3
      4
    • Spot X
      1
    • Other
      0
    • Matches and signal mirror
      3


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I am thinking I need one of these for peace of mind (both me and the wife) but there are so many options and plans. Just out of curiosity, what are you using and if you wish to comment, what made you choose that device? Cost? Plan flexibility?

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I have the old spot gen 3

The tracking works good and my wife could send info from the  last  location I was tracked if I don't show up back home when expected. Or not :)

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Bought the Spot X specifically for my long trip last year, to keep the lady a bit less concerned.  She paid attention to it for a week, then didn’t seem to care anymore.  I used the texting feature very little.  It had some teething issues at first, but firmware updates solved that.  I’m not into technology, so rarely use it and probably wouldn’t buy it again if I could go back in time.  

Then again, I didn’t need it.  If I were in a bad situation I suppose it would be worth ten times the cost.  Life is like that!  

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I'm using the Spot 3, which is the second generation Spot device that I've owned. Overall, I've been satisfied with Spot. However, I fully plan on changing to an In-Reach before my next big trip. The time has come for the ability to have two way communication.

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Huntndogs, I would be happy to show you and your gal the pieces and parts as I use them.  Specific to your question, my InReach costs $26 mth.  but I think I can turn it off and on as needed (but never have). I think it is called the recreation plan and has the following:

  • Unlimited SOS, 40 text messages/month, Unlimited Preset messages (predefined messages set up on the website), Unlimited tracking at 10-minute or longer intervals, $0.50 USD overage charge for each text message that exceeds the monthly plan allowance of 40 text messages., Text messages include free-form sent messages and received messages.
  • Make note that there is also an additional plan that some folks get on an annual basis ($30?) that helps cover the cost of a helicopter ride and other high cost emergency search and rescue issues. 

Inreach Garmin (some folks use SPOT): It has satellite tracking (a screen to use, but I have never yet used it because the interface is not nearly as nice as the GPSMAP 78, but might be used in a pinch). The tracking is for other primary reasons. Dependent upon your plan, you can choose 10 minute tracking increments free to send to others (but they need cell reception to see it, or another satellite device).  If I  don't return when I should, I can text some preprogrammed messages like, "all good, having fun", or  " a bit off track, or minor mechanical, late but all good", or something like that (or "I am a dummy to think I could have traveled those 100 miles on old jeep roads in 2 hours").  However, If down and out, I can ask for help by giving my location or GPS coordinates, or if I am unable to communicate, my device could be tracked to find me.  It is suggested that the device should be on your person or backpack in case you are tossed away from the bike.  You can also text back and forth.  And....a more pleasant thought....  if your friend/wife/other is tracking your return after a long hot ride, a cold one may be ready for you seconds before your return  :) so as the helmet comes off, there is something cold and refreshing immediately available... (depends upon your partner - haha)

 

Optional reading below that correlates to the "4 device" tech riding support:

Given a mix of solo outings where I like to feel safe, blended with outings with ridemates, who I want to support when they need help, to sharing remote travel info with others (so they can find comfort in knowing that explorations are going well, and if not, so I might be found more quickly), I use the following (not all of them all of the time but most or all of them most of the time) and most of them are used by many of the other SDAR riders I have met for day trips or longer trips:

Cell Phone: To use when I have reception to call buds or to find good food as I approach a new town  🍔  and to take pics.

Ham radio: to communicate with buds while riding at 50 mph on dirt roads within a few hundred yards of me, for trail warnings, mechanical concerns, turns, and to check if all ok on the fly so momentum can be kept and so we don't have to stop, yell and hope we know what's up every 15 minutes as stopping to gather (which seems to take a long time if a group of 6 is spread out over a quarter mile) , turn off bikes, take off helmets, etc... can make for much slower travel over rough terrain as a group.

GPSMap 78 on handlebars: to follow a route or track on a predetermined route or to return to starting point when out randomly wandering. I just met Royboys at a freeway offramp so he could use a BDR map, but when I ride a BDR, I only have the map as a backup because the route info is digitally on my dashboard, so no stopping, pulling out a map, finding north, (putting on my reading glasses B) ) etc...  (but there is other good info on those maps to pre-read to orient oneself to the route considerations)

And of course, the InReach mentioned above.  4 devices that support safer exploration.


 

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Wow, great response MacD!  I have the last four items mentioned and just want that last bit of safety. That plan sounds exactly like what I am interested in.  I am leaning towards the In Reach Mini for it’s size when attached to the backpack.  Thanks for taking the time.

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13 hours ago, Huntndogs said:

Wow, great response MacD!  I have the last four items mentioned and just want that last bit of safety. That plan sounds exactly like what I am interested in.  I am leaning towards the In Reach Mini for it’s size when attached to the backpack.  Thanks for taking the time.

I use an InReach SE+ which rides in my backpack. I keep it Bluetooth connected to an IPhone that rides in a pouch attached to my chest protector.  Costco used to carry the SE+ and occasionally had it on sale for $230 but unfortunately it appears they no longer carry them.

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3 hours ago, PbdBlue said:

I use an InReach SE+ which rides in my backpack. I keep it Bluetooth connected to an IPhone that rides in a pouch attached to my chest protector.  Costco used to carry the SE+ and occasionally had it on sale for $230 but unfortunately it appears they no longer carry them.

I looked up Garmin at Costco yesterday and they do have it, but not on sale. 

$290

 

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6 hours ago, Wierdrider said:

I looked up Garmin at Costco yesterday and they do have it, but not on sale. 

$290

 

The Mini is $350 everywhere. Maybe I’ll wait and see if there is a Black Friday sale.

 

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8 hours ago, Wierdrider said:

I looked up Garmin at Costco yesterday and they do have it, but not on sale. 

$290

 

Cool they’re back. Even $289 is a very good price.

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2 hours ago, Bagstr said:

https://gardinerfamilyadventures.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/personal-locator-beacon-july-2016/

This was linked above.

Be Aware that is an Event where you need to have repeated interaction with Rescue, you will need to have a means of keeping your Mini and the associated Smart Phone charged

I’ve never had the InReach die on a ride but then I do try to charge it every night on multi-way rides. I also carry a small lion usb charge module that can charge either the inReach or the iPhone if need be. 

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Downgrade Fee Removed

 
GARMIN®
Connext Billing Update
 

We’ve Removed Annual Plan Downgrade Fees

 

Good news! Garmin no longer charges fees for downgrades of an annual subscription plan.

Effective immediately, subscribers may now upgrade or downgrade between annual inReach® satellite subscription plans without additional fees.

Previously, a $24.95 fee applied to a downgrade.


How does it work?
Any upgrade or downgrade of an annual inReach subscription plan will take effect immediately, and your account will be credited or charged on a prorated basis for any applicable monthly fee price difference within 24 hours of the plan change. Your monthly bill date and your annual plan renewal date will not change.

Do I need to make any changes?
If you don’t wish to change your inReach subscription plan, no action is required. No changes have been made to your current subscription plan or active services.

Still have questions?
If you have questions about your inReach subscription service plan, visit support.garmin.com, or contact Garmin billing support at inreach.billing@garmin.com, or call 1-800-511-2459 (U.S.) or 1-207-846-8900 (Canada), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.


Thank you for being an inReach subscriber.

 
 
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I use the older style DeLorme InReach SE.  Works very well (especially when bluetooth paired with your phone) and is nice to be able to have two way communications with home.

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Switched from SPOT to InReach a few years back due to a head to head with the InReach getting better transmissions in difficult terrain and faster in other terrain. I don't know what current tech comparo's find. I do the survival(?) plan at $15ish per month which offers plenty of texting, etc. I pay extra for tracking if on a multi-day. My Dad followed along on my abbreviated ID BDR and was able to zoom in on the track and see great detail from Google Earth.

Experience: Std InReach SE and Mini (ridin' buddy in ID). Both paired - bluetooth - using the Earthmate App. 2 way texting with spouses was flawless. No EMER activation, thank goodness. We charged them each night but they were holding pretty well. I do carry a mini jump charger I could power them up with if needed while camping. Also, as mentioned, USB port on the bike.

I did accidently activate the EMER on Otay TT 2 years ago and those who needed a call got it. I did ask InReach why they didn't just call me, especially since the signal was moving. We straightened out the calling protocol and all was well. My fault as it was a selection.

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