Sitka Mountain Gear
Mini or Explorer Inreach?
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Mike-TN 02-Apr-19
Ambush 02-Apr-19
Nick Muche 02-Apr-19
midwest 02-Apr-19
Panther Bone 02-Apr-19
Gus 02-Apr-19
Kurt 02-Apr-19
Forest bows 02-Apr-19
Mark Watkins 02-Apr-19
midwest 03-Apr-19
leftee 03-Apr-19
Trial153 03-Apr-19
Mike-TN 03-Apr-19
Panther Bone 03-Apr-19
ELKMAN 03-Apr-19
cnelk 03-Apr-19
Trial153 03-Apr-19
Jethro 03-Apr-19
Brotsky 03-Apr-19
Kurt 03-Apr-19
Brotsky 03-Apr-19
cnelk 03-Apr-19
Mark Watkins 03-Apr-19
Ambush 03-Apr-19
From: Mike-TN
02-Apr-19
Looking to purchase and not sure which one. Thoughts and experiences would be appreciated..... thanks

Mike

From: Ambush
02-Apr-19
I have the Mini. Very happy with the size, weight, battery life and function. Plans are quite flexible.

From: Nick Muche
02-Apr-19
I wish I didn't have the regular sized one, because I'd love to have the mini.

From: midwest
02-Apr-19
I gave my regular sized InReach to a young hunter friend last season. I intend to buy the mini later this summer.

02-Apr-19
I bought the Mini last week and used it backcountry turkey hunting in the mountains over the weekend. Loved it.

From: Gus
02-Apr-19
I'm also considering purchasing one or the other so I appreciate the comments. Thanks.

From: Kurt
02-Apr-19
I've got the Explorer SE+ and wish it was the Mini...just for the size and weight savings in the pack. Explorer is great though with no complaints at all. Great tool to have with you and my wife really appreciates it!

From: Forest bows
02-Apr-19
I got the mini

From: Mark Watkins
02-Apr-19
Have the Explorer and love it. Have never had the mini.

They do need to figure out group text and group response whatever size you get.

And the ability to send pics would be monumental!

Mark

From: midwest
03-Apr-19
I'm hearing on the other thread the mini has a MUCH shorter battery life.

From: leftee
03-Apr-19
I have the Explorer,wife the mini.Like both but prefer the Explorer.

From: Trial153
03-Apr-19
I have both, prefer the explorer.

From: Mike-TN
03-Apr-19
Can you guys expand a little on why you prefer the explorer Thanks

03-Apr-19
The only two things you gain with the explorer are as ff.: 1) Longer Battery life; and, 2) Larger screen for navigation, if using the unit itself for navigation.

I carry my phone anyway, so point 2 is moot. If I'm out for long enough to worry about battery life on the mini, I'm gonna have my Goal Zero Venture charger already anyhow. This makes point 1 moot as well.

The battery life on the mini is still stellar, especially if you are only doing 10 minute interval tracking checks. Look at the Garmin's website and compare for the complete run down.

From: ELKMAN
03-Apr-19
I wouldn't own/carry the regular size one.

From: cnelk
03-Apr-19
"I wouldn't own/carry the regular size one."

^^^^ Why is that?

From: Trial153
03-Apr-19
I used them both for over 30 days last fall and have decent handle on them.The battery life should be about ( I ma being generous here) 50 hours . The website is incorrect. Side by side the Explorer will last 2/3 or longer running it on the same setting in the same locations. If I am on a day or two, trip I take the mini. If am going to be out longer I take the Explorer. The weight is wash with the extra battery supplies needed for the mini. I use my phone for navigation, however if you looking for redundency in case of a failure the Explorer is the way to go for useful interface in navigation. If am using the unit for vital communication for say brush flights ect ..the explorer will be with me for sure. They both work excellent however they do not have the same battery life nor user interface

From: Jethro
03-Apr-19
I got the regular before there was a mini model. I would not buy a mini now just to save 4oz. I'm happy with it. Works great, is my backup navigation. It hangs on my pack by the carabiner. I turn it on in the morning, off at night, and top off the charge every few days. Other than that I don't notice it or even think about it.

From: Brotsky
03-Apr-19
You guys that are charging these off battery packs, how many charges can you get out of say a 10,000 mAh charge pack? Will need to figure out how much juice I need in my pack for that and my phone for navigation for 7-8 days.

From: Kurt
03-Apr-19
My iPhone 7 uses about 5X as much power as the explorer based on % drop on each unit. I used them paired on a hunt in Nunavut for 11 days and other hunts in the NWT and N BC for slightly shorter periods. I’d shut them both totally off when not navigating with GAIA, taking pictures or sending texts. My 6,700 Mah chargepack ($20 from Walmart) Is adequate to keep both in good shape...charging the phone everyday and the Explorer zero or one time on 8-11 day excursions.

From: Brotsky
03-Apr-19
Thanks Kurt, the 15k mAh one I'm running should be more than sufficient for both in that case!

From: cnelk
03-Apr-19
I bought my Delorme InReach back in 2016 - before the mini.

I did a battery life test on it before I took to Alaska that year.

I fully charged the unit, and then left it on.

Each day I would 'wake it' and send one Pre-set Text, and let it go back to 'sleep'. Each day it lost ~13% battery life and 7 days later, it had ~10% remaining.

I did not have the Bluetooth on as I did not pair it with my iPhone at that time.

What Jethro posted above is spot on and exactly what I do.

From: Mark Watkins
03-Apr-19
If I do my job and manage the Explorer (reasonable useage) I get 10 days off of it on sheep hunts and this is pairing it to my I phone with Bluetooth....the only way to roll!

Amazing devices for sure!

Mark

From: Ambush
03-Apr-19
For the guys that do, what are the reasons for leaving the unit on all day?

I turn mine on in the morning to send a text home to let my wife know to put a happy face on the calendar for not pee'ing the bed. (if applicable)

I might check for messages mid morning and mid afternoon. Then again at night and to send the OK message.

If hunting partners, on a remote hunt, also have an Inreach (or new Spot) I will check in to see how their day is going. I got help packing out a caribou late in the last day of a hunt last fall ( thanks Kurt ) using unit to unit messaging.

I probably have less than two hours of operation per day and over ten days would still have fifty percent battery. I do have a small (from Costco) battery pack that will charge my phone from twenty percent to full about five times. I turn the phone on for Gaia maps and to bluetooth to the Mini as a keyboard and contacts list. Being able to use the phone for contacts saves a tremendous amount time entering them into your unit.

If you're never out of cell range or only hunt the "backyard" where someone can walk out and check if you don't come home after dark, then you probably don't need anything other than a simple ELB incase you get hurt bad.

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