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DeLorme InReach SE

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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby rlown » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:26 pm

guessing that pokemon go might be problematic with the phone/delorme setup :D Add walking off a cliff while staring at your phone is probably unhealthy..



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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby Rockyroad » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:52 pm

Great timing for this thread as I’m at a bit of a crossroads for deciding on my next satelite communication device.

My requirements:
1. Maps. I started using Gaia on my iPhone and find it is exponentially better than my old Garmin etrex. I also carry some paper maps and even digital images of my maps in my camera that I can view and zoom up on. Yep, triple redundancy. Actually, quadruple since I have not ditched my Garmin yet. I also have screen captures from Google Earth.
2. GPS. Again, Gaia on my phone is excellent for this. No redundancy if I ditch my Garmin though.
3. Device for checking in/device for SOS. I carry an old SPOT that I turn on when I reach the day’s destination to let my wife know I’m ok. As some of you already know, I’ve also used the SOS feature recently on a recent mishap. I can attest that the SOS function works. However, since I don’t actually recall my fall, I am certain that I was unconscious for a period.
4. Tracking for family. This will let family members know if I am potentially unconscious and have not moved for hours. My old SPOT has this feature but will drain the batteries. I may upgrade to the 3rd Gen SPOT as it is more energy efficient. 10 min tracking intervals seems reasonable and possibly doable for multi-day trips on the 3rd gen SPOT. How energy efficient is the InReach for this? Will SAR respond to a family member’s report that tracking shows I have not moved?
5. Confirmation of sent messages. I don’t have this with my SPOT but my wife is aware that not all messages are sent. She may be nervous for a day.
6. GPS tracking for post trip analyses. I’ve been carrying my Garmin etrex mainly for this purpose but am ready to give it up for the weight savings. Plus, I could use the SPOT tracking data although it leaves a lot to be desired. Gaia will track but I don’t want to drain my phone for this.
7. External and spare batteries for phone and SPOT. Looking at solar chargers but using externals/spares for now.
8. Taking photos, videos. I carry a small DSLR and GoPro as luxury items and realize I can replace the functionality with my phone. I’m not willing to do that yet. In fact, on my last trip, I also brought a single-axis gimbal to steady the GoPro. It was a small weight penalty as I left the GoPro case at home.
9. Texting and 2-way communication. I currently do not have this capability and not sure I need it. The only time I could think I might need it is if I need to activate my SPOT for someone else and I need to let others know I’m ok. I have a pre-made custom SPOT message that says I will be delayed but am ok.
10. Weather forecasts. Nice to have but not a deal breaker for me.

So, moving forward, I am definitely taking my phone and external batteries and either a 3rd gen SPOT or InReach. Still deciding.
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby Buford » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:11 pm

Short version:
I have an InReach SE and like it.

Long version:

I use the InReach SE as well. I have had it for 3 years now and like it. My phone is my camera on trips and if needed is used to sync up with the InReach to make typing messages easier. Most of my backpacking and some of my day hikes are solo.

I also considered a Sat phone, PLB, and SPOT. The InReach best fit my needs. The greatest strength is of the InReach for me is combining 2 way communication with tracking. I don't care about digital maps or GPS functions.

For trips, I fill out a Reconn form with an itinerary. I also let people know that if the InReach does break, gets dropped, lost, etc. that the drop dead time listed on the Reconn form is the time to call SAR if I have not checked in. I will not cut the trip short just because the electronic gizmo broke or I lost it.

While backpacking I only have the InReach powered on during the daytime. Each morning I turn it on and start tracking when I wake up, and stop tracking and power off when I reach camp for the night. I have it track at 4 hour intervals during the day. I don't need to map my trip. If something were to happen and I am incapacitated and unable to activate the SOS, this would still send out tracking updates that would allow people at home to give my location to SAR. This also saves battery. I can do a 4 day trip and use only small part of the battery this way. I do not bring any other battery chargers. People that do have my InReach info know not to send me a message unless it is critical, or a response to one of my messages. InReach people can also send messages to each other on the trail. I have never used this. When I hike with other people it is usually powered off in my pack, but I make sure they are aware I have it and that it can be used for SOS.

I have never had a tracking point or message fail to deliver yet. When in a deep canyon or under heavy trees it might take a while for the message/tracking to send, but so far it always gets messages out. I like that it confirms the message got out. The ultimate confirmation is when someone at home replies back. I will not deviate from a trip itinerary unless I send a message home telling them what the change in plans is, and I get a message back saying they got it.

I hope to never use SOS, but I think it is important to be able to specify the emergency situation. Being immobile due to a broken ankle but otherwise having food, water and shelter is totally different from having a compound fracture and needing help in a more timely manner. Is this information actually helpful to SAR? I also understand rescue may take over a day depending on weather and location. Another advantage is I am probably more likely to activate SOS for someone other than myself, and the messaging will allow me to give people at home that information.

Other than SOS, the most important function to me is the ability to message people at home that I am late in returning but otherwise OK. This way they don't call SAR unnecessarily. I have used it for this once.

The ability to get a live weather forecast based on location is awesome. Especially on a longer trip, or when forecasts change suddenly.
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby longri » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:37 pm

rlown wrote:https://www.lowergear.com/product.php/id/510

just one of many places to rent from..

Thanks... I could have googled myself, I know.

$116 for two weeks isn't bad. For a solo winter trip I like the idea of a PLB and the ability to track is a big bonus. SPOT has a bad record for reliability and IIRC isn't cheap to rent either.

I've noticed a lot of InReach devices recently in the backcountry. It seemed like way more than last year and SPOTs seemed a lot fewer. Just a casual "survey". Someone gave me a WX forecast with their InReach. Quite handy. It predicted rain to an oddly precise POP -- to the nearest percentage. That's more precise than NOAA attempts in their forecasts.
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby sambieni » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:19 pm

Buford wrote:Short version:


The ability to get a live weather forecast based on location is awesome. Especially on a longer trip, or when forecasts change suddenly.


Wait, how are you using it to get weather reports? Folks texting you? Or am I somehow missing out on utilizing my InReach to its fullest?

Even though this thread is about the InReach, lots GPS going on in here so thought would post this link that has been amazing help to use my IPhone as a GPS:
http://www.adventurealan.com/iphone-gps ... ckpacking/ Great info. I too love the GAIA GPS on IPhone - just gotta be sure to preload a map before hitting the trail, I have failed to do that and got burned w fuzzy maps rendering it useless.
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby robow8 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:46 pm

sambieni wrote:
Buford wrote:Short version:


The ability to get a live weather forecast based on location is awesome. Especially on a longer trip, or when forecasts change suddenly.


Wait, how are you using it to get weather reports? Folks texting you? Or am I somehow missing out on utilizing my InReach to its fullest?

Even though this thread is about the InReach, lots GPS going on in here so thought would post this link that has been amazing help to use my IPhone as a GPS:
http://www.adventurealan.com/iphone-gps ... ckpacking/ Great info. I too love the GAIA GPS on IPhone - just gotta be sure to preload a map before hitting the trail, I have failed to do that and got burned w fuzzy maps rendering it useless.


http://wx2inreach.weebly.com/details.html

Also, Delorme recently added this function to their firmware.
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:20 am

Buford wrote:

Other than SOS, the most important function to me is the ability to message people at home that I am late in returning but otherwise OK. This way they don't call SAR unnecessarily. I have used it for this once.


Except for when they don't get a message, and panic.

This happened to me. Get a message saying "we lost X." Don't get the message they sent ten minutes later, telling me they found X and are on the way home, for HOUUUUUUURRRRRRRSSSSSSS, long after they actually got home....

Everything works unless it does not. You'll never catch me with any of the two way devices...
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby sambieni » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:27 am

robow8 wrote:
sambieni wrote:
Buford wrote:Short version:


The ability to get a live weather forecast based on location is awesome. Especially on a longer trip, or when forecasts change suddenly.


Wait, how are you using it to get weather reports? Folks texting you? Or am I somehow missing out on utilizing my InReach to its fullest?

Even though this thread is about the InReach, lots GPS going on in here so thought would post this link that has been amazing help to use my IPhone as a GPS:
http://www.adventurealan.com/iphone-gps ... ckpacking/ Great info. I too love the GAIA GPS on IPhone - just gotta be sure to preload a map before hitting the trail, I have failed to do that and got burned w fuzzy maps rendering it useless.


http://wx2inreach.weebly.com/details.html

Also, Delorme recently added this function to their firmware.


Nice! This is awesome.
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby overheadx2 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:29 pm

I like my Delorme for several reasons. First, it syncs with my phone and I no longer have to text messages on tiny buttons with my huge thumbs. It used to take me a while to get out a short message. Secondly, what I really like is the fact that you can text an SOS and they can message you back to understand the nature of the emergency. This way SAR isn't guessing about the emergency and mobilizing troops because of a sprained ankle. On the other hand, if it was something more significant like an appendicitis, significant fracture or heart attack for example, all hands on deck and some communication would be appreciated. Thirdly, while I always leave a detailed map and itinerary with my hiking partners and my wife, sometimes I change things up on the fly. If I veer off my itinerary, I always text them all and let them know what I am doing through Delorme.
My wife and Mom have been told not to expect messages every day and look at my tracks if they want to check on me. I will purposely miss a night or two just so they get used to not getting a message every night.
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby longri » Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:43 pm

Another question I could google and figure out for myself, but sometimes asking is quicker and you get more information.

Here's the question:

If you don't have a cellphone with you, just the InReach itself, how much functionality do you lose?
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby robow8 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:03 pm

longri wrote:Another question I could google and figure out for myself, but sometimes asking is quicker and you get more information.

Here's the question:

If you don't have a cellphone with you, just the InReach itself, how much functionality do you lose?


Not much, IMO. It takes longer to write a message, and the Delorme weather forecasts look better on a phone. Can't think of anything else.
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Re: DeLorme InReach SE

Postby zacjust32 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:46 pm

I was looking at the SE vs the Explorer, and it makes it sound like the Explorer also acts like a GPS. What exactly does the SE do in that regard? I've heard that it only provides your current GPS location, but can you also add maps to it, or is all that done on the app?
Hiker, adventurer, fabricator, tinkerer, theologian, and occasional student. http://www.zacjust.blogspot.com
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