Tell me about your personal location beacon

bucky

Old Fart
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SoCal/North Dakota/ N Az
I’m planning a trip to Ely Nv next June for a week or so. I’ve driven thought and stayed over night several times in the last 2 yrs. Cell service is non existent once you leave town but my iPhone does go into SOS mode in some locations. This is a good opportunity for me to buy a personal location beacon of some sort. I also do a lot of solo riding in the local mountains and desert. I’ve done some research and it looks like there are 2 types of devices. Ones that just send out a emergency signal and others that allow text communication which requires a subscription. Also it appears that some emergency only option devices can only be used once and then need to be serviced before they can be used again. This is an expensive purchase and want to get it right the first time. What do you have and have you needed to use it?
 
I have the Garmin inreach2. I have used it to text my wife while hiking and off shore fishing. Other that that I have not had to use the sos feature. Subscription is about $12/mo for minimal texting.
 
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Since 2008, I have had the first generation Spot device, the second generation Spot device (sold as a package with a Delorme GPS receiver), and currently have the Delorme InReach Explorer SE+ (prior to Garmin buying Delorme). All of these are satellite devices, and all have SOS capabilities and the ability for a loved one to track your location. The InReach can send messages, too. I did not consider a personal locator beacon because the ability to send and receive messages and location data in non-emergency situations was important to me.

No, I've never used the SOS function, but I've used the tracking and messaging on every trip. Sometimes just for my wife's piece of mind. Other times to communicate vital information to others in the backcountry. For instance, I'm a backcountry hunter (though, my old joints have slowed me down considerably in recent years), and I've been able to communicate with other hunters in my party. Once, on a southeast Alaskan bear hunt, my hunting buddy and I were boat-based. He'd drop me off on land and pick me up later. Our inReaches worked great for communicating position changes (I was still-hunting).
 
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Since 2008, I have had the first generation Spot device, the second generation Spot device (sold as a package with a Delorme GPS receiver), and currently have the Delorme InReach Explorer SE+ (prior to Garmin buying Delorme). All of these are satellite devices, and all have SOS capabilities and the ability for a loved one to track your location. The InReach can send messages, too. I did not consider a personal locator beacon because the ability to send and receive messages and location data in non-emergency situations was important to me.

No, I've never used the SOS function, but I've used the tracking and messaging on every trip. Sometimes just for my wife's piece of mind. Other times to communicate vital information to others in the backcountry. For instance, I'm a backcountry hunter (though, my old joints have slowed me down considerably in recent years), and I've been able to communicate with other hunters in my party. Once, on a southeast Alaskan bear hunt, my hunting buddy and I were boat-based. He'd drop me off on land and pick me up later. Our inReaches worked great for communicating position changes (I was still-hunting).

I too had a spot and upgraded to the InReach, mounted inside my jeep. I have never used the SOS but its nice knowing that if something happened I could get help. I also use to communicate with the wife, I text her when I hit the trail and again when I get back to the highway. It a great piece of mind for her. One time a guy broke down blocking the tail which added about 4 hours to our day. I was able to text her and let her know we were safe and why we would be late getting back, which was a big relief to her.

If I was getting a new one I would go with the InReach Mini 2

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I am surprised it works through that dirty windshield. :ROFLMAO:

The miracles of technology.

I believe we had just unloaded it off the trailer after a straight shot drive from the Rubicon when I took that. 2500 miles can do that.
 
Didn’t want a subscription or 2 way comms, so I have a PLB1. Nothing to charge, always ready to go. Thankfully, I haven’t had to use it.
 
I’m looking at the ireach mini2 or inreach messenger. From what I’ve read you can use the keyboard on a smart phone to type and send messages with them. Is this the case? I don’t care about weather reports or maps I just want SOS and to be able to have the ability to have contact with others for important communications. How do others get a message to you if needed?
 
I’m looking at the ireach mini2 or inreach messenger. From what I’ve read you can use the keyboard on a smart phone to type and send messages with them. Is this the case? I don’t care about weather reports or maps I just want SOS and to be able to have the ability to have contact with others for important communications. How do others get a message to you if needed?

I picked up a used inreach mini, ~200 or less. I paid $30 for the annual rescue insurance and before each trip I reactivate the service plan. Paired with my iPhone, relatively easy to text the wife status/eta etc. for occasional use, get a used mini, if you’re using several times a year, get the current version.
 
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Short version, your Garmin gets a dedicated # and that’s what your texts show up as. You can also use the live track update feature and post updates and locations to your “trip” website that anyone with the link can see. It’s more popular with multi day treks

I share a map with a family member when we travel. They can log in and see where we are at any time.
 
.......as AndyG peruses the forum, willing to share his vast insight and wit, he spots the ploy of another member. A lonely man, dejected, filled with guilt and shame who only seeks to have a laugh at Andy’s expense.

Andy chuckles and doesn’t take the bait.....maybe there’s a Death Wobble thread going ....he likes to mention tire balance and bushing quality in those threads. He might throw in @Jerry Bransford s name, just to hit them a little harder.

Meanwhile Triton is back on PornHub......