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The InReach we rent has some neat features for outdoors adventurers that want to stay in touch with folks back home. Before you order, you will want to read through this product description, and be sure to read the setup instructions we send with it. For worried Moms everywhere, just make Junior or Hubby take one of these on his next wilderness trip so you can reach him while you're holding down the fort back home. It's also a great add-on for your trip to Europe to avoid expensive cell service - just text! Peace of mind is well worth the rental cost.
We rent several products related to satellite-based, GPS navigation and communication. Good quality GPS units - to keep from getting lost; our long-time pal Spot Messenger that allows you to transmit your location and preset messages back home, and now this InReach SE from DeLorme (now Garmin). The InReach takes communication to a higher level, by allowing custom texting - not just preset messages - back and forth between you in the wilderness and friends and family back home. It is in effect a super-light satellite phone, for texting instead of voice communication, that also serves as an emergency rescue device.
Please note there are additional required costs to you for data usage - it's inexpensive and is available in a bundle of 1000 bytes for $5 when purchased in advance; $10 per bundle if after the fact.
We subscribe to the texting service for each unit, and the unit is active and ready to use when you get it. We just pass along the costs of the data you use while renting it. If you hate the prospect of add-on charges, rent the SPOT instead; there are no added usage charges for that device, although it doesn't have the 2-way communication feature and other benefits. See further below for a comparison between this device and the SPOT.
While there can be wide variances, here are some typical data byte usages:
Send a preset message - 13 bytes
Send or receive a custom message - 80 bytes
Check for incoming messages - 13 bytes
Each tracking signal - 13 bytes
Example - Let's assume you're out on a trip for 5 days, sending 2 preset messages you've added to your profile (such as "I'm OK; wish you were here") each day; plus you send three custom text messages and receive two during the trip; and then you check for incoming messages twice a day. That's a fairly common routine, and you would likely use less than a single bundle of bytes for your entire trip. But you need to run the math for your needs - if you're really "talkative" with folks back home, or you're out for more than a week, you'll probably need more. Nothing will run out on you if you don't buy enough in advance; we'll back-bill it after the fact if you're over your allotment, but it's more expensive - $10 a bundle instead of $5 if bought ahead of time. If there is any back-billing, we'll send you a list of each message placed while in your possession. See more information about usage rates.
We've been renting the SPOT for a long time, and still like it a lot. However, this InReach does have some bonus features to consider:
1)The two-way communication option is the biggest feature difference. Send AND receive messages to and from home.
2) The satellite system used by InReach covers a broader part of the world - just about all of it. There are some gaps outside the US with the SPOT coverage
3) Tracking pings can be sent as frequently as one-minute intervals; it's 5 or 10 minutes with the SPOT models we carry.
4) Send custom texts on the fly from the field with Inreach; you're not limited to the preset messages prepared in advance online.
5) Bluetooth connect to your phone, and using a free app, you can use your phone for maps and easier texting. However, due to the many variables with each phone in the marketplace, please note we do not support use of the app or the Bluetooth connecting process. You can contact Garmin for that assistance if needed.
To most effectively use the InReach, you'll need access to a computer to setup your profile online - emergency and personal contacts, preset messages, etc. If you want to then sync the device to your online profile, you'll need to download some free software from the InReach web site when prompted to do so. That will be easier on your own computer than a public one along the way, so you should get the device well ahead of your departure date. If no computer is available to you, you can manually enter contacts, etc on your rented device. Here's the step-by-step process of setting up this profile, (there's been some changes since we recorded this, but the concepts remain the same); see the updated instructions we send with the device as well.
We also have a couple of the InReach "Explorer" models, which have full navigation features - basically a combination of the InReach SE and a fully-featured handheld GPS. You can choose that upgrade option through the 'drop-down' box above. Or if a trail map paired with the SE model works out better for you, we have those as well. See more photos and usage tips and suggestions for our rental InReach devices.
Rent which device best suits your needs for the money. Feel free to give us a call to discuss in more detail at 480-348-8917.