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Old 08-25-2018, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Garmin In Reach Explorer

If I understand it correctly, the In Reach Explorer allows one to send and receive texts and emails via satellite, in addition to its GPS/navigation features. I'm interested in strategies for using it to get roadside help where there's no cellphone coverage.

How would you guys who have the device use it to summon help? Contacting a friend or relative immediately comes to mind, but do any of the roadside assistance services (AAA, Coachnet, FMCA, etc) monitor texts or emails? Are there other strategies that you might use?

TIA,
Larry Mittell
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:34 AM   #2
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I can't answer your question BUT would also like to know that info. Used the Garmin throughout my trip to Glacier for routine contact with family in areas where there was no service. My guess is that you'd have to call the various insurance companies that you're considering and ask them directly. I haven't done that yet but plan to before my next outing. It would be easy to setup a preset text message for help but I'm sure that they would need more information as to the nature of your problem before they'd send help. Let me
know if you find out anything on your own. I'll do the same.
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:07 AM   #3
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Its a little hard to find but the answer seems to be yes. This comes from a product manager at Garmin so I suppose its a fairly reliable answer.


https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions..._ql_psf_ql_hza


Yes, the SOS feature in the inReach SE+ and Explorer+ will connect you directly to GEOS Search and Rescue, our 24/7 emergency response partner. They regularly offer roadside assistance to users who are experiencing difficulties in remote locations and have no cellular coverage. The inReach is a beneficial tool any time you are outside of cellular coverage and need to communicate, whether you are climbing a mountain or driving on a country road!

Chip Noble
Product Manager
Garmin International
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:51 AM   #4
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If you are not going to use the navigation feature, rather Google Maps for example, you might want to consider something like 'SPOT' also.

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Old 08-26-2018, 04:41 AM   #5
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I have the InReach model with the built in GPS but I have never used the GPS. It has only hiker navigation, no turn-by-turn or routing on the roads.

I like Giaia GPS on the iphone for hiking. Im spoiled by the big touch screen.
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Old 08-26-2018, 05:19 AM   #6
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I'm actually beginning to lean in favor of a used satellite phone in good condition. The purchase price is comparable to that for the InReach, and one doesn't necessarily pay a monthly fee.

I'd appreciate it if someone corrects me if I'm wrong, but you can evidently buy a (SIM?) card that entitles you to the number of days and minutes of talk time of your choosing. Once the days or the talk time is used up, you can choose to recharge the card for a fee or just let it lie until you next need it.

This would work well for me, because I only need the phone for the odd month here and there. Also, I think voice communication would probably be more effective in getting roadside help. The GPS features of the InReach would just duplicate what I've already got.

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Old 08-26-2018, 05:48 AM   #7
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Garmin now has the Inreach mini that does not have the navigation but has the communication features. Can link with your cell/tablet to use with Earthmate navigation app.

There is a monthly fee though.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:24 PM   #8
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If I was buying one today I would get the mini, barring a really good deal on he older models.

I pay 11.95 a month, 12.68 with all taxes and fees included.

The basic plan is really all you need. Emergency traffic is included no matter what plan you are on.

You set up a group of preset messages in your account. Things that you send on a regular basis. “Check in all OK”. “Camped here for the night” “Delayed 30 mins all OK”. These preset messages arrive at the email and/or text message locations that you designate in the account. An unlimited number of presets are included.

I get 10 non-preset messages in or out per month included, 50 cents per for each additional. You can compose these on the phone using a clumsy keypad with arrows or you can use a phone. Messages are 160 characters.

You have to school people on your message list not to respond. Every LOL and WFT costs you 50 cents.

I use it when I am hiking alone to keep my wife informed of my progress and location. I have a niece that does a lot of hard core hiking. The unit has been to Nepal and on the Pacific Crest Trail.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:43 PM   #9
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I thought about a phone as well but felt the Garmin would be best for no service areas. I do a lot of hiking and, for me, roadside assistance was the least of my concerns. More like broken ankle, partner with heart attack, bear attack, etc. Have, thankfully, only used it for texting and in that respect it's been flawless. There are 2 different plan types. One, you pay a yearly subscription and an annual fee. The other you pay an annual fee and can do a month here and there with no reactivation fee. As was mentioned, the monthly/annual fee depends on, like a cell phone, the features. You want 10 texts/month.....or unlimited? So, for example, I pay $25 annual fee plus $15/month for every month that I want. I don't have the yearly contract. That one would cost me a $20 annual fee and $12 month.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GallenH View Post
I thought about a phone as well but felt the Garmin would be best for no service areas. I do a lot of hiking.
For hiking, the InReach wins hands-down. There's no way I'd want to lug a sat phone while afoot.

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