Use cases for handheld GPS devices
Dec 6, 2023 at 10:36 am #3794720AK GranolaBPL Member
I haven’t used a Spot so hopefully someone will give a real life example. I recently had occasion to use my Garmin inReach Mini SOS function, and I was amazed and reassured by how incredibly easy and quick it was. Since I am frequently out of cell service when I hike and camp or even drive, knowing that I can summon assistance quickly (not that it will arrive quickly though) is wonderful and possibly life-saving.Dec 6, 2023 at 10:54 am #3794722Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
after you push the SOS button do they send you back a text?
Did you pair it with your phone because it has a “keyboard” which is easier to compose messages on than the inreach by itself?Dec 6, 2023 at 10:59 am #3794723Dec 6, 2023 at 11:09 am #3794724Albert HBPL Member
Chris, wouldn’t an InReach Mini2 fulfill all of those needs? It has emergency SOS, pre-defined simple check-in messages (or options for custom messages), and it reports coordinates in multiple formats. This support page lists the available formats:Dec 6, 2023 at 11:10 am #3794725Luke SchmidtBPL Member
Ben and I used Garmin on our packraft trips. We wanted a waterproof device in case we went swimming not a phone. As it turned out the toggle worked a lot better than a touch screen with wet fingers. Another advantage was the AAA batteries. I could steal from my headlamp if I needed to. On a river with waterfalls or rapids we wanted to avoid we wanted a good system. We had satellite maps downloaded on our phones for backup and because our GPS units didn’t do those (or did them poorly I don’t remember).
Lately I have not needed the GPS. For normal hiking a phone works fine.Dec 6, 2023 at 12:28 pm #3794730Robert MBPL Member
I use a Garmin 67i that combines inreach and gps. The combo saves some weight and it can be charged with a small solar panel to avoid battery carries. Most importantly is it adds a safety factor if the phone breaks. In my last trip I got locked out of my phone by Apple since I typed the password incorrectly and couldn’t unlock it until I got signal 3 days later. On another trip I fell into a stream and my gps went into the stream / lost. So I had the phone to navigate, redundacies cost weight but offer safety, many topics here are about risk analysis and this is a good example of that.
RobertJan 4, 2024 at 9:52 am #3800717John S.BPL Member
I would use a garmin gps for bikepacking or paddling trips.
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