Battery charge for In-reach mini

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Wandering Daisy
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Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:58 am

I just bought an In-reach mini, and plan to only use it as an emergency device, turned off, maximum pre-set message sending once a day and not using any GPS functions. How long can I use it before recharging. Does it still send a location (safety only) when turned off? Are there any settings that maximize battery life? It is linked to my phone, but I am not taking my phone, so is the mini bluetooth then turned off? My maximum trip length is about 11 days.








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rlown
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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by rlown » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:04 am

I don't have a mini.. SE. But mine lasts for about 5 months. I charge my gear when necessary. Right before the trip. If you have it off, it won't send.
You'll probably be good for 11 days. I like OldRanger's approach. Turn it on at dusk and send your OK message.
Is your mini on your pack strap and easy to reach? SOS button is easier to hit if you can reach it. I like the GPS function. I don't carry a phone backpacking.

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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by bobby49 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:14 am

Without any linked phone present, the emergency SOS is the only thing that it can do, and only if it is powered on.

I carry a normal inReach SE, and I send out a routine preset message of "I'm OK" every evening when I am out on the trail. I've never run the battery down on that sucker. After about a week, I still had more than 90% battery left.

Leaving the thing hanging on a strap is sort of OK, but it is also a good way for it to be lost. I put mine in a bright orange bag and tether that to the main rear pocket on my pack. That way, it is still easy to reach, but it is more difficult to get it lost.

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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by MichaelRPetrick » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:10 pm

bobby49 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:14 am
Without any linked phone present, the emergency SOS is the only thing that it can do, and only if it is powered on.
Huh? Do you mean a linked cell phone of your own on the trip, or a linked contact cell number to send to?

A linked cellphone means you can Bluetooth connect to your phone and type messages faster with the Earthmate app downloaded.

But even without a smartphone, you can still text custom messages directly from the InReach.

I was texting my boyfriend, mountaineering buddy, and folks on and off directly from my InReach Mini alone over an 8 day trip just now. If you link and sync the contacts, you can manually type text directly from the InReach, though the typing method is a pain in the butt and makes old flipphones look efficient...

To WD's question: Had the Mini on maybe an hour or two a day to send and receive messages - used up about 30% of the battery. Given what limited use yours is getting, it might still be >90% after your trip.

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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by mschnaidt » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:56 pm

WD, I have a new InReach Mini also. The group I backpack with went in together on it. We figure being safe in our 60's is a good idea.

There is a chapter in the manual for maximizing battery life (excerpt below). With the way you have described your use you shouldn't need to recharge it on an 11 day trip. If you do, a small battery pack like this would be cheap and fairly light insurance. https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore- ... 214&sr=8-3

Maximizing Battery Life
• Turn on the Extended TrackingExt. Tracking setting
(Tracking Settings, page 5).
• Reduce the backlight timeout (Display Settings, page 5).
• Reduce the value of the tracking Log Interval and Send
Interval settings (Tracking Settings, page 5).
• Turn off Bluetooth wireless technology (Bluetooth Settings,
page 5).
• Turn off ANT+ wireless technology (ANT+Sensor Settings,
page 5

The unit will not send a location when turned off.

You can send custom messages from the unit but it's a real pain. You can configure custom "Quick Text" messages on the Garmin Explore website and synch them with your unit. These messages save you time by letting you select complete, commonly used messages. Depending on your plan there might be a charge for these.

I've set up my 3 free preset messages (which you may easily send direct from the device) like this. Message 1 is "We are hitting the trail. Here is where the car is parked". Message 2 is "We are at camp and everything is great. This is where we will be tonight". Message 3 is "We have finished our hike and are back at the car. Headed home soon". Each message is set to go to our significant others. The messages have a GPS tag and the recipient can view your location on a map and respond to you. The can be sent by text, email or both.

I found the paper manual that came with the unit too small to read. Here is a link to the manual in pdf. https://static.garmin.com/pumac/inReach_mini_OM_EN.pdf

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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by bobby49 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:01 pm

MichaelRPetrick wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:10 pm
bobby49 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:14 am
Without any linked phone present, the emergency SOS is the only thing that it can do, and only if it is powered on.
Huh? Do you mean a linked cell phone of your own on the trip, or a linked contact cell number to send to?

A linked cellphone means you can Bluetooth connect to your phone and type messages faster with the Earthmate app downloaded.

But even without a smartphone, you can still text custom messages directly from the InReach.

I was texting my boyfriend, mountaineering buddy, and folks on and off directly from my InReach Mini alone over an 8 day trip just now. If you link and sync the contacts, you can manually type text directly from the InReach, though the typing method is a pain in the butt and makes old flipphones look efficient...

To WD's question: Had the Mini on maybe an hour or two a day to send and receive messages - used up about 30% of the battery. Given what limited use yours is getting, it might still be >90% after your trip.
She said that she was not carrying any phone.

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MichaelRPetrick
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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by MichaelRPetrick » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:08 pm

bobby49 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:01 pm
MichaelRPetrick wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:10 pm
bobby49 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:14 am
Without any linked phone present, the emergency SOS is the only thing that it can do, and only if it is powered on.
Huh? Do you mean a linked cell phone of your own on the trip, or a linked contact cell number to send to?

A linked cellphone means you can Bluetooth connect to your phone and type messages faster with the Earthmate app downloaded.

But even without a smartphone, you can still text custom messages directly from the InReach.

I was texting my boyfriend, mountaineering buddy, and folks on and off directly from my InReach Mini alone over an 8 day trip just now. If you link and sync the contacts, you can manually type text directly from the InReach, though the typing method is a pain in the butt and makes old flipphones look efficient...

To WD's question: Had the Mini on maybe an hour or two a day to send and receive messages - used up about 30% of the battery. Given what limited use yours is getting, it might still be >90% after your trip.
She said that she was not carrying any phone.
I know - but you can still do other things than send the preset SOS without your personal cell phone on the trip???

Your very first comment makes it sound like texting isn't possible with the Mini only: "Without any linked phone present, the emergency SOS is the only thing that it can do."

But the Mini does have a native built-in texting feature that lets you write messages -- no cell phone needed.

(I'm basically trying to figure out if you mis-spoke, or if you are confused about the functionality of the Mini. O:)
Last edited by MichaelRPetrick on Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by rlown » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:19 pm

SE has a texting feature as well. Very useful if running late. Load your contacts before you leave.
Tell your contacts as the address it comes from might be confused as spam. I include a codeword so they know it is me..
Still trying to teach my dog where the SOS button is :)

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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by bobby49 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:59 pm

rlown wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:19 pm
Load your contacts before you leave. Tell your contacts as the address it comes from might be confused as spam.
Yes, the inReach web site has all of the tools to automate this loading and telling. Then you Sync the device so that it knows.

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Re: Battery charge for In-reach mini

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:52 pm

I have printed out the on-line manual. Maybe it is me, but I am terrible at figuring out electronic stuff; my experience has been that once I figure it out it is easy, but figuring it out is hard. I have never even used a GPS! As for messaging, I do not even want to message much. I may carry my phone on short trips where the extra weight is no big deal. Normally I do not carry the phone on long trips. One of my pre-set messages is "at trailhead with dead car, call in AAA" . Second one is "I am delayed but fine". The third is "I am good, camped here for the night". I think I am going to use two of the additional messages to be "I am injured" and another "I am sick" since I would think that distinction is important to rescue people. I am not sure about what I really need in the way of tracking.

It appears that the battery life will be fine for my needs. Thanks for the input.

I have an small zippered camera case that I can put it in and then attach the case to my pack strap. Does the antena still work if inside a cloth case? Or do I have to have it sticking out?

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