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Rescue devices


topgun2
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A number of years ago I purchased a Garmin InReach Mini satellite communications device to use primarily while I'm in the Western US and out of cell phone range.

Certainly the Garmin is not the only one of these devices but they recently published a statistical analysis of where, who and why various "SOS" calls have been made.  Actually I had never considered at least a couple of the possibilities  as reasons or situations to use the Mini.

While I found the commentary to be a bit self-serving at times, the general nature of the report can probably be applied to many of us that spend a bunch of time exploring the great out doors.

HERE is a link to that report.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Very interesting, I wouldn't have expected nearly as many driving incidents nor calls for a third party.  I suppose this is a good argument to get one of these or the new iPhone 14 which in theory can also hit a satellite network. 

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Mike & Marianne Hermann, Scottsdale AZ

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Thanks for posting, the charts are educational. Garmin offers the option of cancelling your subscription at any time, and restarting it again without any extra fees. That can save a considerable amount of money in your “off” season. But I have resisted the temptation to do this, simply because so many places I drive have poor or no cell signal. The inReach is always very close by, in my bugout backpack.  Just in case I crash or have a medical emergency, or I encounter somebody else who is in distress. Because it isn’t just for back country hikers.

Sat comm, don’t leave home without it!

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

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27 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

Thanks for posting, the charts are educational. Garmin offers the option of cancelling your subscription at any time, and restarting it again without any extra fees. That can save a considerable amount of money in your “off” season. But I have resisted the temptation to do this, simply because so many places I drive have poor or no cell signal. The inReach is always very close by, in my bugout backpack.  Just in case I crash or have a medical emergency, or I encounter somebody else who is in distress. Because it isn’t just for back country hikers.

Sat comm, don’t leave home without it!

John Davies

Spokane WA

John, that looks very useful especially out west where we both live.

John

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We use SPOT when we are sailing.  Two years ago we took the Light Beyond, our 35' sailboat, from Washington to Glacier Bay in Alaska.  Cell coverage was limited to near a very few towns & even then was poor.  Have done the Alcan 8 times and found cell coverage spotty at best ( & expensive as a Canadian plan is necessary )  SPOT or Garmin allows different levels of anywhere communication depending on hardware & plan.  Money well spent.

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2 hours ago, MnM said:

I wouldn't have expected nearly as many driving incidents nor calls for a third party.

Yes, this is basically what I meant by my comment about never considering at least a couple of the possibilities.

These devices are not "cheap" but at least for me the potential downside of not having one is or could be VERY expensive.  In addition I've found that there are several features of the Garmin Mini that are very helpful and/or entertaining.  You can track where you have been in virtual real-time and share it with others and you can save these tracks and/or places such that you can either go back again or re-trace your steps in order to get back to the trailhead.  My point is that these are not just "rescue devices" - they can be very useful for all sorts of activities.

Bill

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I have an older SPOT locator and also a new SPOT tracker which is hidden between the hulls of The Wonder Egg.  I recently purchased a PLB1, by rexcueME  -Ocean Signal,  and sometime later this year, my iPhone 14 Pro should also function via satellites for emergencies.  After the initial expense of the PLB1 there are no further expenses other than changing the very long lasting battery.

PLB1.jpg

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3 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Garmin offers the option of cancelling your subscription at any time, and restarting it again without any extra fees.

 

29 minutes ago, snakeriveridaho said:

I have tended to cancel it periodically.

The "subscription plans" that Garmin offers can be found HERE.  

I normally use what Garmin calls the "Recreation" plan.  If you calculate the "breakeven point" of this plan versus the other two if comes out to right at 5 months.  So, if you plan to use the InReach for at least the 5 months it becomes the least expensive out of the three available.  Normally I keep my device "active" for about 6 to 7 months paying the monthly fees during that time and then when we are not traveling and/or hiking/fishing as much I inactivate it unless we decide to hit the road.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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My wife and I fly paragliders and I too use the Garmin Mini 2.  For the past several years have served as the Applegate Open National Championship meet in Oregon.  As the event Safety and Rescue Director, we require all pilots to have a Garmin or Spot Satellite Communicator/Locator to participate in the comp.  When we have pilots hanging in 200 foot tall pines or injured on top of a remote mountain, these devices make the difference in a bad day or a really bad day.  But beyond these outliers (Bad pun)... they also serve in other less urgent ways.

For example, as part of our requirements, all pilots program into their devices my cell phone number and a number of pre-typed and saved messages.  A few samples:  LOK = Landed OK, PUP = Picked up Pilot, AID = Need Help.  For most cases we use the text messages and their GPS location that comes to me with their GPS location.  We then vector mountain rescue runners, and when possible RAZR's as first responders.  Behind them rescue teams with more gear are sent if needed. 

The locators along with GAIA Trail Maps, Google Maps with high power radios and cell phones are the tools we use.  Our teams are effective enough that in the past four years or so we have not actually needed the SOS capability despite competing several responses/rescues a day for the competitions.  

I for sure had ours with us during our Alaska/Canada voyage this past summer.  BTW, they were on sale at COSTCO recently!  

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