Tell me about Garmin InReach

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redefined_cycles
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Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by redefined_cycles » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:31 pm

During the past few weeks of overspending :sad: I suddenly became the proud (and maybe useless as I'm not sure I've got a use for it yet as I've never even achieved a full set of BAMs and I probably wouldn't carry it on a BB200 event...

Anyway, i do know (from other threads) that its hopefully cheaper than a Spot in the long run and I did get it at a great price.

So the Q is, whats the cheapest way to get it up and running without spending excess waste(fully)... I hope to at least use it on any events where there's a spot tracker page thats live. Of which I'm only booked into the DalesDivide600 (plan to do half at least GodWilling) so far.

Maybe I should carry it on big-ish rides where I'm alone in the wild but thats extra expense of having the subscription running year round!.

Ovee to anyone that has a thought or owns one already. Any info is good info (please... thankyou)

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Richard G
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Richard G » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:47 pm

Also interested, though I've not bought one yet. My recent accident means that my wife is even more nervous when I'm out, and obviously I have first hand experience of having to be carted off a hill by the emergency services...

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Alpinum
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Alpinum » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:27 pm

Find a suitable data plan on protegear.

https://www.protegear.de/english/dataplans-for-inreach/

Incredibly responsive, superb service, extremely professional. I can very, very highly recommend them. Just be sure you stay within your data plan, or things get really expensive.

At the beginning it may look complicated, but in fact setting it up is dead easy. Don't forget to install Garmin Explore and Earthmate on your mobile phone to fully enjoy the benefits of the InReach. It's powerful equipment.

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Mart
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Mart » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:20 pm

I just went with the garmin subscription last year - might change but not looked at alternatives yet
Suspended for just now but will activate againin April before the longer summer trips
2924 miles per Gallon

Asposium
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Asposium » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:38 pm

Cheapest way is the freedom plan
Then the safety subscription each month when needed

However, the safety plan includes no tracking points, and only 10 messages.
A message in each direction counts towards the quota

Wouldn’t say the inReach is necessarily cheaper than a SPOT; however, it does appear more versatile.

I recently swapped from the Explorer+ to the mini; really should get my finger out and sell the Explorer+.

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Richard G
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Richard G » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:26 pm

What's the best option if you want tracking?

Asposium
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Asposium » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:34 am

https://explore.garmin.com/en-GB/inreach#personal

All plans have tracking and messaging; what varies is how much extra one pays.
On some plans tracking and messaging is included, in others one pays per unit (track point or message)
Decide what is is needed and purchase accordingly

I made the suggestion to Garmin there should be an unlimited messages and paid for tracking subscription.
One combination missing from those available
That would be my ideal.

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Mariner
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Mariner » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:25 am

From a practical point of view how much faff is there having to recharge rather than swap batteries out?
Can you charge and use at the same time?
Is it a send away job for battery replacement?

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Alpinum
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Alpinum » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:55 am

Richard G wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:26 pm
What's the best option if you want tracking?
https://www.protegear.de/english/dataplans-for-inreach/

I don't believe Garmin's data plans are the best option. Protegear has more to choose from and some other benefits making it more likely that they have a plan that suits your needs most.
Your question is 'what is the best option for me if I want tracking?'. Only you can know and you'll have to invest a few minutes to read through what Protegear (and Garmin) have on offer to find the ideal solution for yourself.
Mariner wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:25 am
From a practical point of view how much faff is there having to recharge rather than swap batteries out?
Can you charge and use at the same time?
Is it a send away job for battery replacement?
Ever thought pluging in your mobile was a faff? It's definately more faff to change batteries. Batteries that want to charged too...
And then you need a battery charger on long trips... and so on.

Yes, as with your mobile phone, the InReach Mini can be charged and used at the same time.

Changing the battery can't be done by the user.
But then I wonder how many users actually use the device until the battery has become so weak, that you feel it needs changing. Most will buy a new toy before that... Garmin is responsive in Switzerland. From what I know things take usually 2 week to be returned. With Garmin changing the battery, you get your device checked, serviced and can be sure to receive a device as good as new.

Usually it takes my batteries (head lamp, camera) about 5 - 7 years of regular use 'till they significantly loose capacity. The amount of charging done on the InReach is so small when you're not constantly chatting or tracking your everyday life, that renewing the battery is a once in a decade thing.
And how many electronical gadgets do you still use regularly that are older than a decade?

Asposium
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Asposium » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:50 am

Mariner wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:25 am
From a practical point of view how much faff is there having to recharge rather than swap batteries out?
Can you charge and use at the same time?
Is it a send away job for battery replacement?
inReach mini will last 24 ish hours of continuous use
Explorer+ longer
Both can be charged whilst in use
Battery is not user replaceable.

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Richard G
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Richard G » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:54 am

Hmm... that's not a great battery life on the mini. I guess I'd have to consider the explorer.

I'll have a look at those pages when I get a min. Cheers.

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Richard G
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Richard G » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:48 am

Asposium wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:50 am
inReach mini will last 24 ish hours of continuous use
Is that personal experience with the mini telling you that? I ask, because the site says 90 hours on 10 minute tracking... which is a pretty big difference!

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:21 pm

https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp ... E898F.html

Looks like tracking and logging intervals make a big difference. I guess logging is only required if you're not using another device for that so could maybe be switched off?

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Richard G
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Richard G » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:43 pm

Yeah, the 90 hours they state is 10 minute tracking with no logging... which is almost certainly what I'd be using most of the time. Garmin would handle logging activities as usual.

I assume if you go to their 2 minute tracking then the battery life would tank. Odd that they don't list any numbers for that anywhere.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:55 pm

Interesting numbers. Spot quote 17 days constant use at 10 minute tracking intervals. There's a power-save function that reduces tracking when stationary too. Does the inreach not have that?

I guess 90 hours would be sufficient for most uses, assuming it was being switched off when not riding/walking. And, unlike Spot, you'd have a full charge before each trip rather than speculating on how much power was left in the batteries.

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Richard G
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Richard G » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:23 pm

No need for speculation, just do what I do and throw a freshly charged set of Eneloops in there. Job done.

Looking at the pricing... there's actually not that much of a difference for me between them for my particular needs.

For the realistic amount I'd need, I'd be looking at:

Spot: €144
Inreach: €175
ProteGear: €191

Though that's not apples to apples as such, as that would be 10 minute tracking on the Garmin, and 5 minute tracking on the Spot (plus, obviously you can't send messages on the Spot). Shame, I was hoping for better with the Garmin as I like the message functionality.

Given the difference between the 5 months worth of Spot I'd want and the entire year is only €50, I'd arguably be better just going with that anyway. At least I could just throw it on my camelbak and know it's always there just in case then. Garmins are definitely not a sensible option if you wanted an entire year! Eye-wateringly expensive.

Asposium
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Asposium » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:48 pm

Richard G wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:48 am
Asposium wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:50 am
inReach mini will last 24 ish hours of continuous use
Is that personal experience with the mini telling you that? I ask, because the site says 90 hours on 10 minute tracking... which is a pretty big difference!
Yes, personal experience.
I swapped from an InReach Explorer+ to an inReach mini
Don't recall what features were on
Will keep a better watch of use when in New Zealand

redefined_cycles
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by redefined_cycles » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:07 pm

Thanks for all the input everyone. Looks like the general feel (for my needs at least) is that its an expensive option. I'd probably only use for 1 or 2 events in the years and battery draining down, in tracking 10 min intevals, I reckon its gonna be an expensive option in terms of weight of extra powerbank stuff...

Oh well, will dwell on it all and decide whether its worth keeping for just the 1 (or 2) events per year...

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Jurassic pusher
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Jurassic pusher » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:37 pm

Asposium wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:50 am
Mariner wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:25 am
From a practical point of view how much faff is there having to recharge rather than swap batteries out?
Can you charge and use at the same time?
Is it a send away job for battery replacement?
inReach mini will last 24 ish hours of continuous use
Explorer+ longer
Both can be charged whilst in use
Battery is not user replaceable.
My Inreach Mini lasts way longer on 10 min tracking, at least double that.
Come in, she said "I`ll give you shelter from the Storm"
Bob Dylan.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:28 am

Do you use it for logging too though?

Asposium
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Asposium » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:17 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:28 am
Do you use it for logging too though?
I have in the past
Recently I'm not so sure

Either way, the Explorer+ is far better for battery life
Though the mini makes up for the lack of battery life in terms of size and convenience
Did consider the 66i

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Richard G
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Richard G » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:54 pm

I'd consider the explorer for hiking, but it's way too big for riding with in my opinion. I'm a bit of a weight weenie though. You could carry the mini and a battery pack (which obviously has multiple purposes) for less weight than the explorer.

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Jurassic pusher
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Jurassic pusher » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:27 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:28 am
Do you use it for logging too though?
Got a chainsaw for that
Come in, she said "I`ll give you shelter from the Storm"
Bob Dylan.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:57 pm

Jurassic pusher wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:27 pm
ScotRoutes wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:28 am
Do you use it for logging too though?
Got a chainsaw for that
LOL - that thought actually went through my mind when I posted :-)

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Jurassic pusher
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Re: Tell me about Garmin InReach

Post by Jurassic pusher » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:14 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:57 pm
Jurassic pusher wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:27 pm
ScotRoutes wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:28 am
Do you use it for logging too though?
Got a chainsaw for that
LOL - that thought actually went through my mind when I posted :-)
Sorry, I couldn`t resist the flippant answer!
I did have the Logging turned off, excuse my ignorance but I dont really know what the logging is for or how I would use it.
Come in, she said "I`ll give you shelter from the Storm"
Bob Dylan.

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