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Best Comm Option for Remote Hunts
Guys, Planning to be on a remote mountain hunt later this year and really need to have email access for work, but I understand that may not exist. Anyone have experience? What is the best, most effective way to communicate if not? Are only options satellite phone and InReach?
First you need to provide a bit of info about where you will be. Regardless, most canyons will not have cell. Neither will remote areas with little population.
InReach and look no further. No better option on the planet.....and your texts and email will go through no matter where you are.
Sheep hunting in a canyon N of the Brooks. My spot did not work. There are places you can't get satellites.
Geoff, I spent a little more than a month in a remote part of the NWT a little more than a year ago. The InReach functioned perfectly. Connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone, it is very easy to use. Kept it charged by using a very small solar panel connected to a battery pack, on the brief occasions it wasn't raining.
Larry, the Spot uses Globalstar satellites which are notorious for spotty service the further north you go (pun intended). Inreach uses Iridium satellites which are far more reliable up north.
I have an Iridium Sat Phone as well as a Garmin inreach mini. I plan to sell the phone this year, I rarely use it now that I pack an inreach around everywhere. Texts are quicker, easier, and unlimited on my current plan. Voice calls are just not necessary for 95% of my hunts.
TEmbry has it right. As I said above, InReach and there is no other good option. The Iridium sat network is the best. Globalstar isn’t even close. Iridium locks on 98% of the time and those very rare times it won’t only take a moment or two or a few yards to get the message in or out.
Spot also has a really expensive activation fee that you have to pay every year. Same with the inreach but not as much money. Make sure you look into activation fees. That's where they get you.
InReach . I have used it in several areas of the NWT’s and not far from the north pole with no issues. Also had an iridium sat phone with me. Get the InReach
Are you not going to be on vacation? Are you not trying to relax. Is the company going to fall of the edge of the world? That's my question?????????????????
I'm not sure what your point is Boris...?
And btw, the world doesn't have an "edge"...
InReach is about the only decent option for sending/receiving email via iridium satellite. Just be aware it is not the same as regular email in that the maximum message file size is quite small and text only. And you can only access messages sent directly to your InReach address. I've found that the best way to communicate with a variety of recipients using InReach is via SMS (text messaging) to their phones. BTW, be sure and get the unlimited plan!
I am always in a similar situation and decided to go with the IridiumGo. I bought a unit and set up unlimited text and air time. I can’t send emails or don’t know how to with mine but I am fortunate to have someone in my office brief me and text me what I need to know. I then respond and they take care of what needs to be done.
Great info guys. Really appreciate it.
Any difference between Garmin or Delorme? Is one better/preferred over the other?
Back to the OP question regarding EMAIL. I was not aware that Inreach could do email? Are you saying the Inreach can act like a wifi hotspot when paired to your smart phone so you can send/receive emails? First I've ever heard of this if so...
Smarba, it uses Bluetooth and it only lets your smartphone serve as the input/reading device (much easier) . You have to receive text and email to specific addresses for your InReach.
Garmin is the latest version, DeLorme was the original InReach (IR) before Garmin bought them up. I'd get a Garmin Mini, quarter the size and half weight of the regular IR and pair it with your iPhone with Bluetooth and be happy. IR texts are limited to 160 characters including the address (email or phone #). More than 160 characters go or come in as two (or more messages), and not always in the correct order and can be confusing to read.
I always instruct my wife to limit a text to a single question if she wants a concise answer, otherwise it gets confusing. That said, I really like the IR and haven't had a single issue with them going out or incoming, whether in the NWT, Nunavut, Northern BC or around home. I do "query" the IR when I fire it up at lunch, back in camp or when I wake up for new messages as I leave it shut off otherwise. Battery life is great on them....about 20% of what an iPhone uses in my case with both shut off except when used. Get a light-weight battery jump pack. My 6,700 mah $19 unit from Walmart has worked great for a couple of seasons and gets me by on 10 day hunts charging up the iPhone, and topping the IR...although the IR wouldn't require a charge with my usage. YMMV if you are "working" a lot on the units.
Good luck on your hunt, Geoff!....another Dall adventure?
Thank you, again....additional great info.
Kurt- I will be a non-hunting companion of my friend for Dall, but I will be hunting Mtn Caribou.
Haven't activated my Spot for a few years and at my age, may not again.
Went on my first sheep hunt when 49. Got dropped off high and ended up being in 14 days due to weather.
My emergency signal was a space blanket that I was to spread silver side up if in trouble.
I bought the Garmin Mini a year ago after using a Spot for many years. Paired with a phone, it's convenient and reliable. Without the phone, it takes longer to send messages and read incoming. Since I use my phone for mapping (Gaia) and large screen GPS anyway, it's not an issue carrying both, plus one backs up the other. Can't see a downside to the Mini at all. But being old school, I carry a good compass too :-)
And you don't need cell service for the phone mapping or communication to work. And Garmin also has weather for the closest station.
After an activation fee, can you just pay for say one month's of service with the Garmin when you need it rather than the whole year?
Yes Mertyman and you can have different levels of service as well.
I’ve thought about getting the full size Inreach, to have the bigger screen for navigating maps.
Would you all think it would be better to have the mini and link to my phone for larger navigation screen?
I’m going to have my phone for backup anyway.
Phone is much better for as a GPS with a whole variety of Goggle Earth type aerial photos, topo maps, etc than the InReach. And you can type a lot faster on a phone than on the IR "keyboard".
Do you still have to pre-download the maps to your phone?
Or, does the map transpose from the IR to the phone?
I down load maps on GAIA over WiFi on my phone or occasionally over cellular data. My WiFi is much faster than the cellular data around these parts. That said GAIA will work without downloaded aerials or maps, just as a basic gps like a Garmin Etrex 10 where points show up on a blank screen. Also GAIA has some very basic background of low resolution aerials over some areas I’ve used it without downloading anything.