JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
When venturing the wild safety and communication should be your top priority. There are two types of communications that you need to be prepared for. Long distance communication and short distance communication. We will be discussing long distance communication today and that is where the Garmin inReach comes to the rescue.
How many of you have been out exploring only to have no reception on your phone? Heck I can’t even really get reception in my home. What do you do in an emergency? The Garmin inReach can give you peace of mind that you will always be connected to help and your loved ones no matter where you are in the world. The Garmin inReach uses the Iridium satellite system which guarantees 100% global coverage with no fringe zones or blackout areas unlike other products such as SPOT that uses the Globalstar satellite system and does not guarantee 100% global coverage. The following paragraphs will go a little bit more into detail on why I chose the Garmin inReach over it’s competition for my go to long distance communication tool in my overland rig.
While most satellite communication devices on the market allow only one-way communication the Garmin inReach always for two-way communications. The SPOT allows you to push an SOS button in an emergency but will not let you communicate what your emergency is. In an emergency situation every second counts and being able to let your rescuers know exactly what the problem is will expedite the process. With the SPOT you have an SOS button but you can not send any more information about your problem and you can program a pre-written message incase of a non emergency for example to let your family know you made it to your destination or that your car broke down but there is no further communication once that message is sent. With the Garmin inReach you can create pre-written messages for convenience but you can send texts messages and emails to continue the conversation. The Garmin inReach connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet to allow full use of your keyboard, contacts and to use your device as a giant map. I currently have mine connected to a Samsung Galaxy Tab A which is a perfect size to use as a map and keyboard.
An awesome feature of the Garmin inReach is its ability to plan and track your trip, share your location, and let others ping your device or follow your journey via MapShare. Recently we ran The Arizona Peace Trail which brought us out of the state for a couple days. I created a MapShare so loved ones at home could following along and see how we were doing and if they needed to get a hold of us in an emergency situation they could simple send us a message. When you get back from your adventure you can log into your account and look at all the data from your trip and share your route with others.
Garmin inReach uses the 24/7 monitoring center called GEOS. Once you trigger the SOS you will receive a delivery confirmation (SPOT does not let you know if your SOS has been received) that help is on the way and a maintained 2-way text conversation with the GEOS emergency monitoring center. They track your location and notify the most appropriate emergency response for your situation. The GEOS team will stay in communication with you until the situation is resolved.
Weather has a funny way of changing drastically at any given moment. Even if you researched your weather conditions before you left there is nothing stopping a freak storm to head your way. With the Garmin inReach you can receive weather forecasts for your location with a click of a button.
With all satellite communication devices there are subscriptions so please visit their website https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/ to see which one fits your needs and to read more about all the awesome features.
When traveling off the beaten path you owe it to you loved ones and first responders to have the proper communication tools.
Stay safe and prepared my friends.