Contributors to this thread:
I need a new beacon. I want something small. I want what works best in the event of a dire life of death emergency. Years ago when I got my spot plb it notified the most important people for rescue and the spot did not. Is this still the case? I want to get a new device from cabelas. Here are my requirements: 1. Small and light, long lasting battery 2. Notifies the most important people, search and rescue, 911, army, navy, marines, seals, you get the picture. I could care less about notifying family and friends. 3. Available at Cabelas 4. I am considering text capabilities. I would use it to send 2-10 messages a year at the most. I would prefer not to pay any subscription fee if possible. I am not set on texting if it involves a yearly fee over $50 or the unit does notify the most important rescue personnel.
Having family and friends be able to track me is nice but not necessary.
What do you recommend?
From a pure PLB, rescue me from a hell hole, perspective, I prefer and own the ACR. It's a seriously tough unit with long battery life and I can validate its got strong transmission capability, even when accidently turned on then thrown in the bottom of a pack...
Will second Ambush. Garmin In Reach Mini
x3 inreach mini. I also have mine paired with my garmin watch and can send an sos from that as well. Proven effective many times over judging from the testimonials on it.
Inreach mini x4. I’m not good with tech stuff and got this unit paired with my phone for texts too. Decent acceptable price. Look to buy at Costco they have service membership discounts
Significantly more expensive initially and requires a subscription. I am not against that but it is not my ideal. What is the cheapest subscription?
Cheapest I saw was $20/mo, that is $240 a year, $1,200 for 5 years plus $300 for the mini is $1,500
ACR is $290 total for 5 years, 5x less.
It is likely cheaper for me to rent one. I use it maybe a month a year. I really need it only about 2 weeks a year.
You can activate it only for the months you use it (InReach Mini)
September ends up costing me around 50 bucks per year, plus the 25 dollar annual fee.
Elkmthgear- +2. And as we all get older, and some of us lose partners or have people back out last minute, It’s nice for the wife to be put at ease. I know one bowsiter this year that was glad he came across someone that had one after an accident and needed medical attention
Two way texting besides the SHTF button are great on the InReach. I'd buy a Mini today, but have the larger SE model as the the Mini wasn't out 3-1/2 yrs ago. Great battery life too.
We are on a plan that can be changed 12 times a year. Most years I go to an unlimited texting plan for long hunts up north, then go back to a very limited plan where I pay by the text. The SHTF button works too. Note that when you change the plan, you pay starting that day, until you change it. FYI, If I go N for 2 weeks, I only have to pay for 14 days of the higher 30 day monthly charge for unlimited texting as long as I remember to reduce the plan when I return to civilization. Also remember to check function before you leave for the back country. Occasionally you have to update the operating system...easy but needs to done for it to work.
I have a spot as well. The Garmin is way better! Spot has not been used in several years now.
InReach Mini worked great for me this past september - luckily didn't have to use the SOS side of it, but the texting was great to keep in touch with the wife back home.
Inreach Mini for me as well. They do allow you to turn the subscription on/off, it's not 240$/year. I only have mine activated for September and go with the unlimited text plan and it ends up being like 75$'s, which is well worth it to check in on my 2-year old everyday.
You can even text in-reach to inreach with gps coordinates. I was packing my elk out and I got a message from my buddy that he killed one and needed help, he would've been flying solo without those little devices, I love it. Same thing for backcountry hunting and you want to let someone coming in later know where camp is.
Don K's Link
Thanks! With InReachmini if you hit sos does it notify the same people the acr does?
Whats nice about the Inreach is you have two way communication with those people and can let them know what your situation is
If you're smart you'll buy the Garmin InReach, a friend got injured and had to use his this past Sunday to get a SAR ride out of the woods.
You can text back and forth with the in reach from your phone. When you send a text, it sends a point for your location. Really cool!
Also, the farming worked in more places than the spot. Seemed like the spot couldn’t get out in thicker trees or if there was any mountains blocking to the south.
The people you keep in contact with can locate your position instantly on a map...nice feature!
Not sure exactly who is notified if you hit the "SOS" button, but I'm sure they make sure the closest, best search and rescue crews are notified.
Thanks! Has anyone changed the battery in their ACR PLB? I might just do that.