Satellite communication


Are Garmin’s inReach Units Accidentally Calling SAR?

By Andrew Skurka / April 2, 2018 /

By applying normal pressure to the SOS button on my inReach, I can initiate a SOS message despite the lock switch being properly engaged. Can you?

Garmin inReach deep dive: Default & downloadable maps & imagery

By Andrew Skurka / March 28, 2018 /

Overnight I received this question from reader Bob B.: This question — and just about any other that you can imagine — has been answered previously in my previous posts about the Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+: Preview: New Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+ 12 FAQ’s: inReach SE+ & Explorer+ || Incl, Will old devices…

Garmin responds: S.O.S. lock switch failure on inReach SE & Explorer

By Andrew Skurka / October 8, 2017 /

Last month on Roman’s blog you may have read a report by and plea for help from Nathan Shoutis, about his experience with faulty S.O.S. lock switches on the DeLorme inReach SE and Explorer. He also shared his experience in a comment on this blog. The short story is that while on an 18-day packrafting…

inReach+ U/I and features || Topo NA, test tool, quick type & weather

By Andrew Skurka / February 2, 2017 /

The $400 and $450 retail prices on the new Garmin inReach SE+ and Garmin inReach Explorer+ probably causes many prospective customers to balk. Like the second-generation inReach units, the inReach+ models can send and receive text messages and emergency signals even if outside of cellular range. But the inReach+ units are more than just that. They…

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

By Andrew Skurka / January 31, 2017 /

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…

Preview: New Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+

By Andrew Skurka / January 15, 2017 /

Garmin announced two new inReach devices shortly after the New Year, immediately prior to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES): inReach SE+ inReach Explorer+ Last week I was able to inspect them first-hand and discuss them with representatives at Outdoor Retailer (OR). The original manufacturer of the inReach, DeLorme, was purchased by Garmin a year ago. So the inReach+…

Best practices: Definitions & protocols for SPOT messages

By Andrew Skurka / December 31, 2015 /

The SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger can send three preset messages (OK, Help, and SOS) and one Custom message that can only be modified through SPOT’s website. Communication is one-way: it cannot receive messages from family and friends, emergency response teams, or SPOT. In this regard, the Gen3 is most similar to a personal locator…

FREE: SPOT Gen3 Messenger & SPOT Global Phone

By Andrew Skurka / November 3, 2015 /

Through December 31, the SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger, SPOT Trace, and SPOT Global Phone are FREE after mail-in rebate. These devices normally retail for $150, $100, and $500, respectively. Product commentary For starters, read my in-depth comparison of PLB’s, satellite messengers, and satellite phones. Last month I published a long-term review of the Gen3 Messenger. It’s ideal…

Long-term Review: SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger

By Andrew Skurka / October 6, 2015 /

My mother has requested only once that I buy an outdoor product. It wasn’t an uber warm sleeping bag, a highly engineered stove, or a rain jacket that was guaranteed to keep me dry. No, it was a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger. She was not shy about her motivations. While a messenger would allow me…

Pros, cons, & my picks: PLB’s, satellite messengers, & phones

By Andrew Skurka / October 4, 2015 /

Beyond the reliable range of cell phones, there are three types of satellite communicators that can make or maintain contact with family, friends, and — God forbid — emergency response teams: Personal locator beacons (PLB) Satellite phones Satellite messengers In this post, I will detail each device, identify its pros and cons, and share my buying…