12 FAQ’s: inReach SE+ & Explorer+ || Incl, Will old devices be serviced?

My earlier preview of the new Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+ prompted as many reader questions as it sought to answer. So I followed up with Garmin to dive deeper into technical matters, clarify product functionality, and discuss future product roll-outs. If you’re not yet familiar with the inReach+ units, read the preview first, then return here.

A special thanks to my readers and r/Ultralight for their questions, and to Maddie from Garmin for getting all the answers.

The new Garmin inReach SE+ (yellow) and Explorer+ (orange) are best described as conventional handheld GPS units with satellite text messaging.

Questions about the inReach SE+ and Explorer+

Does the SOS message function even if the device does not have an active subscription?

Important question! The SOS function will only work if the user has an active subscription! The inReach needs that subscription for the Iridium satellites to pass the message through to the server that connects the user to GEOS Search and Rescue.

Users should read the Quick Start Guide and follow all of the warning messages they will see in our packaging and in our user interface telling them to be sure their device is active. There is a Test page that will do a round-trip test of the system too, a good thing for people to do before they head out into the woods on a trip.

How does satellite reception compare between the current inReach and new inReach+ units? Has the signal strength been improved in this latest generation?

The inReach+ performs the same as the previous generation.

What is the weight of the inReach+ units?

The inReach SE+ and Explorer+ weigh 7.5 ounces (213 grams). This represents an increase of 0.6 ounces (17 grams) over the second-generation units. The increase is due to the larger screen, buttons, and battery.

Besides the TOPO North America maps, what other maps or imagery can be loaded onto the Explorer+? Can you load Garmin maps (which you might already own) onto it? Could this list be expanded in the future with a software update?

The user can view additional maps on their paired Earthmate app, but the inReach Explorer+ will only show the DeLorme Topo North America maps. The Earthmate app will let them view DeLorme Topo North America, USGS 7.5 minute Quads, Color Aerial Imagery, and NOAA Nautical Charts, along with several different hunting map types.

The user can’t load Garmin maps at this time. We are researching how to do this via the Earthmate app for the future but aren’t planning this for the inReach Explorer+. That doesn’t mean I won’t push for it though! Our public answer right now is that the inReach Explorer+ and Earthmate app don’t support the Garmin map engine at this time.

Will the inReach Explore portal and Garmin BaseCamp be merged, so that users do not need to copy their data from one to the other in order to use compatible devices?

We have a few things in the works, but nothing we can comment specifically on now.

Is the battery replaceable? I know it’s not field-replaceable, but over time it starts to lose its charge, and this service would improve the lifespan off the device.

Our battery is rated for 500 full recharges. That means you add up each partial recharge until it totals a full recharge and then you can do that 500 times. We’re estimating 2 years of continuous use but more likely 5 years of normal consumer use.

If the user has a battery that doesn’t keep a charge within the first year, it is covered under warranty and we’ll service it.

Has the operating system from the second-generation inReach units been carried forward to the inReach+ units? Does this O/S offer the same functionality as the Garmin GPSMAP 64, such as the ability to change the log interval, and to import and export data to an online platform?

Yes, the inReach+ units use the same O/S as the second-generation units. Data can be imported to and exported from the device from your account at https://inreach.garmin.com. The inReach+ units offer about ten log intervals, between 1 second and 10 minutes; the default is 1 minute.

Note that the log interval is different than the tracking interval. The latter specifies the frequency at which the inReach sends its GPS location to the Explore web portal and the user’s MapShare page. It defaults at 10 minutes; shorter intervals are available by upgrading to the Extreme service plan.

You may reduce the tracking interval to improve battery performance, using the Extended Tracking Mode. You can track continuously for a month if you reduce the interval to 30 minutes, and for 90 days if you only need to send one location update an hour! That’s a theoretical value, I’ve never been that excited about a one-hour interval… I go with the 2-minute Extreme Plan personally.

In terms of the physical build and components, are the inReach+ units best described as a second-generation inReach inside of a Garmin GPSMAP 64 case, or a GPSMAP 64 that has been tweaked some to get inReach functionality?

While the inReach+ is a handheld GPS like the GPSMAP64, it is definitely a separate model and shouldn’t be described as part of the GPSMAP line. That device uses different maps and has different activity pages. We are exploring ways to incorporate this into future products.


Official product photos for the Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+

Questions about older inReach units and other Garmin products

For how long will Garmin offer subscription service (e.g. Freedom or Annual Plan) and product support (e.g. warranty claims and repairs) for the original DeLorme inReach, and the second-generation inReach SE and inReach Explorer?

We have no plans to end subscription support for previous inReach products. All of our hardware devices come with documented warranty claims so I would defer to those for how long they will be honored. No changes there either though.

I’ll have to check on repairs, I think some of that might be driven by availability of parts.

Obviously the inReach+ units will replace the current inReach units. But will they also replace the Garmin 60/62/64 GPS units, or will those continue to be available?

The inReach+ unit is a separate product line from the GPSMAP60 series and will not replace that popular handheld GPS line.

When will DeLorme offer an inReach Nano, similar to the original inReach. This screen-less device would be smaller and less expensive than the current units, and rely mostly on the smartphones that most of us already carry into the backcountry (because we use it for navigation and entertainment, and because we don’t want to leave it in the car).

We can’t comment on any specifics now, but stay tuned!

General product questions

What differentiates the inReach from the functionality of a PLB and of a combination smartphone/PLB?

The inReach and a PLB can both be used to signal for help in an emergency, using worldwide satellite coverage. The inReach relies on the Iridium network; a PLB, on the Cospas-Sarsat networ, using a very specific (406Mhz) frequency to broadcast messages.

The functional similarities mostly stop there. An inReach can be used to send customized non-emergency messages (“Hi honey. I’m fine but I took a wrong turn today and will exit a few hours later tomorrow than I expected.”), using the virtual keypad or using the Earthmate app on a smartphone. The inReach can also receive incoming messages, and broadcast a periodic track (e.g. every 10 minutes) so that family, friends, and SAR teams know your location between messages.

A PLB is for emergencies only, and it cannot receive incoming messages. Moreover, it cannot be paired with a smartphone. So, if you carry a smartphone in the backcountry, its usefulness is depending on having cellular reception for phone calls, text messaging, and data.

Can text messages be composed on a smartphone and then sent?

There are three ways to compose text messages on the inReach+. This is unchanged from the current inReach.

First, you can use preset messages, which you create in your online inReach account. To send, navigate to the preset messages in the inReach screen, and select the message.

Second, you can pair a smartphone to the inReach using Bluetooth and the Earthmate app. Essentially, you use the phone like a keyboard and the inReach like a satellite modem.

Third, you can use the inReach’s virtual keyboard. This is relatively tedious, but it’s better than a smartphone in harsh weather conditions like rain and cold, when the touchscreen and battery of a smartphone do not functional as well. We’ve also worked hard to create predictive text and word suggestions so that as you type a possible word will be suggested so you can enter your text faster.

The inReach virtual keyboard is tedious, but does not require a paired smartphone and is more user-friendly in cold and rain than a smartphone screen & battery.

Suggestions for improvement

Fix the character limit. Currently, 10 characters are used to include the recipient, and more characters for the ad at the end. Full use of the character limit by the user would be preferred.

There are options in the Account section of the Explore Web Portal that allow the user to control what is included in their SMS message. From the website:

Add GLONASS support for those in the higher latitudes.

Good request, we don’t have this for the inReach+ but it is something we’re looking at for future products

The screen size and resolution poorly represents the inReach brand. It looks like it has not been updated since the 1990’s.

We chose the best screen we could, given our target BOM and need to keep the cost of the inReach accessible to the consumer outdoor recreation user. Keep in mind that our screens use sunlight-readable transflective displays for easy viewing outdoors, unlike LCD/LED displays (like in an iPhone) that get terrible glares when in direct sunlight.

Disclosure. I strive to offer field-tested and trustworthy information, insights, and advice. I have no financial affiliations with or interests in any brands or products, and I do not publish sponsored content

This website is supported by affiliate marketing, whereby for referral traffic I receive a small commission from select vendors like Amazon or REI, at no cost to the reader. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Posted in on January 31, 2017


  1. Don on February 1, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Super helpful information here, Andrew. Thank you very much. I especially appreciate the specifics about loading good, detailed topo maps directly to the device. I’m not interested in using my phone for this capability. I’ll gladly buy an Explorer+ when they enable this. Until then, I guess I’ll be replacing my dead Oregon with a 64s.

  2. Dan Durston on February 1, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    It would be really nice if the GPS functionality of these units still functioned, even if the satellite subscription isn’t active.

    Once I tried to activate my InReach online. It looked like it worked but actually the online process glitched. I didn’t sync directly to the computer because I had to run, so I tried to do it en route. When it wouldn’t activate after an hour in the sun, I realized something was up.

    It wasn’t a big deal, since it wasn’t a crazy trip or anything, but I was skiing into a cabin that is pretty hard to find in the dense bush so I was hoping use get my UTM co-ordinates from the DeLorme to find the cabin.

    Everything turned out fine, but I was disappointed that you’re locked out from using the other functionality if you haven’t paid for the satellite functionality.

    • Andrew Skurka on February 1, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      With the inReach+ devices the GPS nav is always on, even if the subscription is inactive. The device must be activated still, after you purchase it, and you must pay the annual fee if your subscription is inactive, but the GPS functions should work. Per my Garmin contact:

      “The navigation features in the inReach Explorer+ and SE+ will continue to work even if you suspend your subscription. Users will still need to set up their account in order to gain access to the Explore web portal, activate their inReach, and use the Earthmate mobile app. Once they do this they will be free to suspend their subscription and continue to use the device as a handheld GPS. Obviously I’m going to try very hard to entice customers to keep their plan active with exciting Iridium messaging, tracking, and safety features, but the option will be there.”

      Edit: Updated info

      • Dan on February 1, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        Thanks Andrew. It would be great if they updated the software to allow this on the older models also.

    • Andrew Skurka on February 2, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Dan – Updated my original comment with confirmation from Garmin.

      • Dan on February 2, 2017 at 8:48 am

        Thanks. Helpful.

  3. spelt on February 3, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Suggestion: create customizable or adaptive predictive text. If I always end “ca” with “r,” I should be able to program the unit to suggest “r” instead of “ll,” whether by the software itself keeping track, or having the predictive dictionary on the web portal so users can edit it.

  4. Bob S. on February 3, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Do you know if both the Garmin SE+ and Explorer+ have on-board GPS chips now? In the previous versions, I believe only the Explorer had a GPS chip.

    • Andrew Skurka on February 3, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Both of the inReach+ devices have GPS chips.

      The primary hardware difference between the SE+ and Explorer+ is that the latter has a barometer, accelerometer, and digital compass. This makes it more accurate than the SE+, because it’s getting data from multiple instruments instead of just the GPS chip.

  5. Dirk Ellsworth on February 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Andrew – thank you for both of the reviews on the new Garmin version of the Inreach Explorer + – Great job!!

    My understanding of any of the service plans – annual or freedom is they all support unlimited preset messages and you can create as many of these as you like on line – are those 2 understandings correct?

    Thank you,
    Dirk Ellsworth

    • Andrew Skurka on February 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Yes, unlimited sending of preset messages. You can have 3 of them, I think. Mine: I’m fine. I’m at camp. And a forecast request to WX2inReach (which is no longer needed now that the new inReach units have built-in forecasting).

      You can also pre-program a bunch of messages, but those do not count as preset.

  6. Clayton Cammack on March 14, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Thank you for all the information. I just got mine yesterday mostly for trips photographing mustangs, where there is rarely cell phone service. The information allowed me to be confident enough to make the purchase.

    • Andrew Skurka on March 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

      Sure thing. Thanks for leaving a message.

  7. PC on March 28, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Can’t subscribe an Explorer in Australia. Garmin US won’t allow an Australian user to subscribe, it points to a dead web link http://www.alwaysinreach.com.au Disappointing start with the new toy.

  8. Wendel on March 28, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I see that with all plans there is unlimited preset text messages. I assume that means that you can send unlimited SMS messages as long as the messages are preset/already existing in the device. Is it really that simple? I feel like there is a catch. What if someone responds to a preset message? Does that count as a regular message?

    • Andrew Skurka on March 28, 2017 at 11:20 am

      You can preset 3 messages and send them as often as you want.

      If someone responds to a preset, that counts as a regular message.

  9. Todor Tihomirov on April 2, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Your articles are great,but i think Garmin havent done enough,probably most people will not buy it(rhe older one is abkut the same),but when its embeded in 64 for example it will be great

  10. mikus on May 8, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I really hoped to see the full GPS functionality in this device, so I could replace 2 devices in one. Yet, until the maps cover basically only The North America it doesnt really make any sense. Given growing competition, Garmin may need to speed up the development here a bit to keep up.

  11. Hunter on May 21, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I have an older orange inreach explorer – in service for 2 years mostly during hunting season. It quit working with an error message of invalid IMEI number. From settings I can view the IMEI number and it’s all zeros – not the number printed on the back of the device. I would guess if that number could just be edited then I would have a working device again but Delormne (and now Garmin) refuse to service it. It makes me very reluctant to purchase a new one both from a device service standpoint as well as from a reliability standpoint. Anyone have a similar experience?

  12. J Thompson on July 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Although Garmin still honors the old inreach units and plans, it has dropped all updates and syncing of old units. This applies to the older inreach units and the PN60w SE. I have confirmed this through emails with their tech people.

    • Scott on November 21, 2017 at 3:58 am

      Is that why I can’t update my firmware? They’re still taking my money every month though.

  13. Josh on August 6, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Suggestion; allow functionality with small stand alone blue tooth key boards. I would rather not bring my phone along (fragile, don’t want to lose, and it’s a power hog) but typing messages through the device is exceedingly tedious. A small keyboard (perhaps powered by an aaa battery) would be better. Maybe a keyboard could be offered as an accessory?

  14. Jemmy Otis on September 4, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Thanks for the site, I’ve learned and enjoyed for years.

    What’s troubling is the increasing number of complaints and bad reviews at sites like Amazon since Garmin’s purchase. I understand you have to sift these reviews carefully but many of the negative reviews are long and detailed. The complaints are occasionally about the inReach itself–coverage, etc.–but the more troubling ones are about support and service plan “scams”. I appreciate these FAQ / info posts but too often they stay away from reputation and community feedback. Giving Garmin a voice here is useful, I would have loved to see respond to some of the dissatisfaction. I realize that’s asking for journalism versus blog posts. This isn’t idle criticism–I was prepared to buy an inReach but I’m a hyper-researcher and couldn’t help but notice the uptick in unhappy customers for what had been a very well-reviewed product for many years. I don’t doubt the product but I’m starting to wonder about the service.

    • Andrew Skurka on September 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      I think it’s probably like your cable company. Everything is good until you want cancel or modify your service, or you want to be credited for service that was promised (so you thought) but not delivered.

  15. Mike A Fisher on October 4, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Has anyone tried loading a public lands hunting map onto the explorer+? Does it cost extra and does it work well for showing public and private land boundaries?

  16. Hunter on October 4, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    I did. It’s terrible, buggy, and you can’t view the maps on your computer. Don’t waste your money. I was hopefully that this would be an alternative to carrying a gps or reduce the reliance on my battery hungry phone. Nope. Next generation, new company and still the device is useless for anything other than messaging.

  17. Rickyb013 on October 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I was just in Northern Ontario (Red Lake area) using my new InReach Explorer+ and have never been so frustrated with a product. The Topo Maps supplied with the Explorer contained less than 50% of the detail on my buddies’ Handheld Garmin GPS’s. We were on Power Line cuts, Trails and Logging Roads and Waterways that clearly all showed on their GPS’s, but were not displayed on my InReach. If I was using the InReach, and comparing the Topo Map to what I was visually observing, I would be lost because there was no clear correlation. I spoke with InReach Support today for 30 minutes and he could offer nothing more. I need to basically carry the InReach for Sat Comms and then a 2nd GPS to actually see where I am. Truly, very disappointed. I hope they come up with a solution soon that would allow my Topo Maps on InReach to be of equal quality and detail as Garmin’s own Topo Maps on other hand-held technology

    • Andrew Skurka on October 13, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      I recommend using inReach for sat comm, as you suggested. But rather than a dedicated GPS, use a smartphone app like Gaia. You probably already have your smartphone with you. And the imagery layers on Gaia are far superior to the Garmin/DeLorme maps — for example, you can download Landsat and USGS quads.

  18. james barrett on November 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    wife is planning an inreach for me for Christmas, due my search and rescue activities, was wondering if inreach could be used for urban security, ie. home invasion, car jackings, events that could be life threating and unable to communicate via normal means.

    • Andrew Skurka on November 26, 2017 at 8:17 am

      I’ve never heard of it being used in this capacity, but I suppose that it could be a backup to normal communication, i.e. cell and landline.

    • mikolaj on November 26, 2017 at 9:59 am

      james, you can communicate with whoever you want, just notice that starting the device and sending any communication actually takes some time.
      As for using the SOS function, bear in mind that they may charge you some operational fee is you used it with no apparent reason. The guy with first call you and the emergency numbers you have provided, if they confirm there might be a serious situation, they will ask the local authorities to act. That’s it, no additional magic happens.

  19. nino cabrini on December 17, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Good morning Andrew,

    I’m thinking in buy an inreach SE+ ( i had a bad accident in brazilian jungle years ago and I was alone). I have some doubts, the first is: in the safety plan tracking points and or location pings are required? In few words if you don’t use any garmin function you will pay only the reported monthly charge? Also, when you send a text message or a preset message, you receive a confirmation they were delivered?

    • Andrew Skurka on December 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      1. I don’t remember the in’s and out’s of the plans, but each plan includes a level of service. If you don’t use other services (e.g. tracking, if your plan does not include tracking) or more than your allocated services (e.g. 20 custom messages, when your plan only includes 10), then you’ll only incur the base cost.

      Yes, when you send a message (custom or preset) the device confirms that the message was received by the sat system.

      • Nino Cabrini on December 19, 2017 at 11:36 am

        Thanks Andrew!

  20. Mel on December 27, 2017 at 1:04 pm


    Thank you input on the InReach. I have one of the original InReach units coupled with a DeLorme PN-60w. Overall happy with this but would be nice to upgrade to the newest version for convenience, etc.

    You responded to one of the FAQ’s about battery replacement stating:

    “Our battery is rated for 500 full recharges. That means you add up each partial recharge until it totals a full recharge and then you can do that 500 times. We’re estimating 2 years of continuous use but more likely 5 years of normal consumer use.
    If the user has a battery that doesn’t keep a charge within the first year, it is covered under warranty and we’ll service it.”

    My question is does the InReach become obsolete once the battery will no longer hold a charge (“..5 years normal consumer use”) and turn into a paperweight?

    If so perhaps I’m better off just plugging along with what I have. Any comments?

    Thank you!

    • Andrew Skurka on December 28, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      The inReach has a lithium battery, just like smartsphones and laptops. Over time, the battery is able to hold less and less of a charge. It does not suddenly turn into a paperweight — you’ll notice that it doesn’t last as long as it used to.

  21. Mel on December 28, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you Andrew. I realize that lithium batteries gradually loose their ability to retain a charge. I guess my thought is that when it will no longer hold a charge and since the battery cannot be replaced then the unit becomes useless. Seems like the option will be to buy a new inReach and that seems like a pretty expensive battery over the course of several years. Probably a small price to pay for the security of it all, but just seems like such a waste. BTW, the lithium battery on my smart phone can be replaced by me at anytime for less than $40.

    Thanks again for your insight on the Explorer. All of your comments have been helpful.

  22. Gileu Lopez on January 23, 2018 at 7:09 am

    I’m shopping for a GPS with less than 3m accuracy from locating the point on the ground. Does Garmin manufactured such a gadget yet? I’ve used the old Montana GPS and was not adequate for my purpose. I understand that relating to the GPS accuracy, the precision gets closer to target as more reference satellites are involve from the sky. Thanks for you anticipated reply.

    • geekonabike on February 23, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      If you need the accuracy for a waypoint, just use the averaging function before saving the waypoint. Holding the button for 20 pts should get you withina few cm.

      • Helpful user on May 21, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        The positional errors you get when using that approach will tend to be highly correlated. (look up how differential GPS works for an example of how this can be used constructively).

    • Mel on February 23, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      I am a land surveyor and use surveying grade GPS equipment on a daily basis. I have always been taught that single frequency handheld GPS units will never provide cm accuracy. It has to do with the length of the radio wave in a single frequency unit. To obtain cm accuracy a dual frequency system is required at a minimum. I’ve used the DeLorme PN60 (predecessor and basis for the new Garmin Explorer) and have averaged the position for one or two minutes with results that were within 4-5 feet of the position determined with GNSS equipment. These comparisons were done in ideal conditions in a wide open area for several miles in every direction with absolutely no obstructions to the sky. I thought that was pretty good and certainly happy with that. You are correct that more satellites help, but again, I don’t believe that reliable cm accuracy can be determined with a single frequency unit, particularly if observations are done over a relatively short period of time. The NGS website https://www.ngs.noaa.gov/ may offer some valuable info on this topic.

  23. Dingo Camps on February 18, 2018 at 4:15 am

    my InReach SE has a cracked external screen.

    Do you know if I can purchase a replacement?


    • Andrew Skurka on February 18, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Bummer for you, probably.

      Start by calling Garmin, to see if they’re willing to repair it. When they purchased DeLorme they said they would, but only for as long as they had spare parts. I don’t know if that policy has changed or if they still have parts.

      Someone recently contacted me who needed a new battery in their inReach, and Garmin told him they would repair it for $250, which is essentially the cost of a new unit. Hope you have a better experience than that.

      • Bob S. on February 23, 2018 at 7:56 pm

        Bummer is correct. If my inReach took an impact hard enough to break the screen I’m not sure I would want to have it repaired then bet my life that it’s going to work when I need it to.

        I have a couple ACR PLBs with expired batteries. It cost about $150 to replace the battery and around $250 to buy a new PLB. My thinking is the battery would be new but the rest of the components would be over 5 years old so I shelved them – Again, it’s not worth betting my life on something that may or may not work especially with a device that can only do a finite number of tests so I just buy a new PLB and use the old ones as paperweights. I’m not sure how to properly dispose of them other than sending them back to ACR.

        • Arthur Wright on July 16, 2018 at 4:39 pm

          There are factory approved repair facilities that will replace PLB batteries for under $100. One for ACR is in Seattle. Not all places charge the same so it pays to shop around. That includes servicing the unit and ensuring it meets original factory specs.

  24. Mike Bolte on March 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Lots of good information here. Thanks. I’m still confused about a few things.

    What I have inferred is that the SE+ map display is simply a rectangular grid, but you can use the Earthmate app to display positions on a topo or street map or satellite view map on (in my case) an iPhone? Is that correct?

    I’m looking for primarily the ability to send texts while off the cell grid when on small islands in the Bahamas while on fishing trips. Does anyone know if the Explorer+ built-in “North America” maps include the Bahamas?

    Thanks, Mike

    • Andrew Skurka on March 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      So long as you have downloaded some map tiles beforehand, you can use the Earthmate app the way you described.

      Explorer+ maps, per Garmin customer service:
      Topo 24K for the US and Canada (Made by DeLorme)
      Topo 125K for Mexico (Made by DeLorme)
      World Wide BaseMap (Made by DeLorme)

      I would not think this includes the Bahamas, but you could call to confirm.

  25. Mike Bolte on March 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks Andrew – in the end, I got the Explorer+. It is easy to get good maps of Bahamas Island via Earthmate.


  26. Dirk Flachbart on March 27, 2018 at 5:23 pm


    is there any way to send a ‘preset message’ from the MapShare app?

    • Andrew Skurka on March 27, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Do you mean the Earthmate app?

      If so, yes, you can send your presets in the app, so long as the phone and inReach are talking to each other.

      • Dirk Flachbart on March 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm

        Thanks for the reply Andrew. Yeah sorry, meant Earthmate app…

        So where in the app do you do this? I do have the Explorer connected to the app via Bluetooth. Under ‘Messages’ I only see options for ‘MapShare’ and ‘Twitter’, and under ‘New Message’ I can only type in a new message, or select a ‘Quick Text’ (which are not preset messages)…

        • Andrew Skurka on March 28, 2018 at 9:59 am

          Sorry, bad information. I just double-checked my Earthmate app to be certain. In the app, you can only send custom messages. You must use the device for presets.

          • Dirk Flachbart on March 29, 2018 at 6:58 pm

            Thanks Andrew, that’s what I thought. Too bad that they don’t provide this functionality (probably would be easy to implement). I usually only use start/stop tracking and sending preset messages on my hikes, and with this I could have done everything on my phone, without even having to take the Explorer out of its case. Oh well…

  27. Junyi on May 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I sent my inReach Explorer in for servicing at my local distributor some time ago; the distributor subsequently sent it to Garmin for repair. Garmin got back to them and said they don’t have parts anymore. The issue I had was that my device was unable to send or receive messages. It’s pretty frustrating that they would run out of parts so soon, but oh well.

    Maybe it’s just my particular device being wonky and needing special parts, who knows. But this is frustrating.

  28. Kelly on June 17, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Does anyone know if this works in any southern African countries? Gps for Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia.

    • Andrew Skurka on June 17, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      The Iridium network is truly global, so yes.

  29. Dan Shirey on August 17, 2018 at 10:41 am

    This really sucks! I spent $400 for a good GPS device with texting capability and SOS and now no support. My first trip the unit broke at the exact time I would have needed it after a fall while hiking. I was not hurt only a skinned elbow however the Inreach Explorer hanging around my neck broke…completely dead. Had I been injured the Inreach would have been completely useless. BTW, not a mark on the inreach…no visible damage. I had to cancel the remainder of my trip thru very remote terrain because i did not have the SOS support I needed. I called Delorme/Garmin and they had no experience with an Inreach failing in that manner but replace my broken unit with a refurbished one. The refurburshed unit had some issues with jumping all over the display when trying to select options but I could manage with some patience.

    Two weeks ago I spent 8 days in a remote region again with no cell phone or internet connectivity. Somehow I cracked of punctured the screen protector. The unit still work just has a damaged screen protector and of course is no longer waterproof. Where do Yoiu find Inreach Repair service? Not on the internet or on the InReach/Garmin site. No mention of repair anywhere and chat is not available or you have to wait an hour for a response. Email takes 3-5 days.

    I like the device but if it is not dependable and the company does not support it then WHAT GOOD IS IT? Right now options are few but I will be looking for anything that will be dependable and working when I want to go hiking.

    Delorme was GREAT but Garmin…not so much.

  30. Mel March on August 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Are you saying that there is no support or repair service for the latest and greatest inReach Explorer?

  31. Phillip B. on August 26, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Hmmm…just about to purchase the SE+…but this nonsense about battery replacement cost and parts availability or dependability issues may nix my purchase..

    I do a lot of solo out in deep BFE and carry an ACR/PLB [7 year battery] for dire emergencies if my self-rescues fail. Only want an infrequent communication device I can count on.

    Dependable satellite messages in and out are all I want from an inReach SE+.

    Lastly trying to decipher the least expensive monthly plan and the associated fees is damn near impossible. The Freedom Plan…what is the start up fee? If you cancel is there another fee? Re-start fee? I find the Garmin website less than acceptable either for the SE+ or my 680T..

    Any answers out there to resolve these seeming issues? Thanks for any input.


  32. keith bryan on January 20, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    When the battery in the inreach unit has reached the end of its service life can the unit be serviced by Garmin or do they want you to buy another unit?

  33. Phillip Buttolph on January 25, 2019 at 9:27 am

    I called Garmin about how long I could expect the Inreach SE battery to still take a charge…he said he had never heard of a battery not taking a charge regardless of age..Hmmmm..

    Also said that for a mere $200 they will exchange a none working SE for a rebuilt one..battery dead or etc.

    Still I have to believe you can purchase a Li battery and replace it in a Garmin SE…

  34. Phillip Buttolph on January 25, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Also…can anyone point me to a power cord that I can plug into my 12v outlet on my dirt bike to recharge the SE? Same for truck ..thanks.

  35. keith bryan on January 25, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Garmin are you listening your buyers want a replaceable battery not a unit with built-in obsolescence I know profit is King but you can’t have profit without customers

  36. Larry W on March 17, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Andrew are you still out there? Any news on integrating InReach with BaseCamp?

    • Andrew Skurka on March 17, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      I don’t know the answer for sure, but I don’t recall this being discussed when Garmin launched the Mini last year. And if they didn’t integrate the Mini by rollout, I doubt this is something they will do retroactively. I bet the platforms (i.e. BaseCamp and Explore) are not easily compatible.

  37. Rick on March 18, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Still wondering if Garmin has plans to upgrade the “Detailed” maps for my InReach Explorer+. The current ones, com old Delorme Technology are garbage and have less than 50% of the detail that any normal handheld GPS has. I expected Garmin to rectify this issue after purchasing InReach. To have real Maps to navigate by, as well as having Sat Comms and SOS, you really need to carry an InReach plus another GPS. If they don’t upgrade the Top Maps soon for InReach, I will sell my Explorer+ and purchase a Spot-X which has the text and SOS capability for 1/2 The subscription fee of the InReach

    • Andrew Skurka on March 18, 2019 at 8:05 am

      InReach uses an old DeLorme map series, Topo North America, as its base map. I don’t know if or how often this product is updated. I do know that it’s not updated once you buy the inReach.

      I agree that Topo NA is crap relative to other mapping layers like USGS 7.5-min or FSTopo. It’d be great if the inReach allowed you to toggle these layers, but it doesn’t, and that’s not going to change. You can at least access these layers with the Earthmate app, however, which is included with your inReach. More reading, https://andrewskurka.com/2018/garmin-inreach-se-explorer-default-downloadable-topo-maps-imagery/

  38. Matt on May 14, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Hello. Active duty, stationed in Kodiak, AK. I have had my InReach Explorer+ since summer 2017, and it has been through several back country hunts, deployments, and expeditions, with no issues. I love it. However, this past weekend, I went on a back country ATV excursion and everything got super muddy, including my InReach. The mud had a fine gritty texture, and has abrasively worn scratches into my screen, to the point that my screen looks sandblasted, and is unreadable now. Do I have any options for screen repair/replacement? I have emailed Garmin support, still awaiting a response. Figured I would start here. Thank you-

    • Andrew Skurka on May 16, 2019 at 8:36 am

      There is no option to replace the screen. My bet is that Garmin will offer you some kind of discount on a newer unit.

  39. Jim West on August 19, 2019 at 8:55 am

    If I am backpacking in a wilderness area, away from cell phone towers, and I have my Smart Phone Bluetooth connected to my Garmin InReach Explorer+, Can I still use my Smart Phone as a Keyboard to send a text message on my Garmin InReach Explorer+, or does Syncing my new typed message into my Garmin require an internet connection ?, or Does the capability to Bluetooth sync my smart phone with my Garmin only work with internet access ?? Does Garmin support any external Bluetooth Keyboards for the Garmin InReach Explorer+ ?

    • Andrew Skurka on August 19, 2019 at 9:23 am

      Your phone does not need cell service to be used as a keyboard for the inReach or to connect with the inReach. However, the two devices need to be initially paired and synched when you have cell service.

  40. solange van Loo on November 11, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Tried to send a text message from my paired iPhone with the Garmin InReach Mini at 20F. Phone battery died before completing message due to cold. Any thoughts on protecting phone from freezing? (Found using the keyboard on the Garmin itself way to frustrating with numb frozen fingers.)

    • Andrew Skurka on November 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm

      Keep the phone warm, like by keeping it in a coat pocket. Bluetooth has a better range than you’d think, and being 15 feet away is not a big deal.

  41. solange van Loo on November 12, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Problem happens as soon as I take phone out of coat pocket. Dies within seconds. Been researching insulating cases like the PHOOZY and LANDER. Not sure if they work. And typing a text message on the Garmin itself is just excruciating. Also the Garmin website says the Mini is only good to 10F. Ha I actually hate the cold but have found myself in colder situations!

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