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I have a delorme inreach. Bought it over the spot because the reports I saw said the reception was better for our area. It's worked great for me, though I've never used the emergency functionality (thankfully). I do sometimes grump about seeing the monthly subscription bill come through when I haven't gotten to go fishing anywhere that doesn't have cell reception recently. But I just chalk it up as a form of insurance that I need for those days when I am out in the outback.
 

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I've had the DeLorme Inreach for several years. Works great....and two way communication, compared to the Spot system one way.

Spot wouldn't work for me... I recreate alone in the back country. Often change destinations or stay late if the fish are biting. I can let the OL know about changes in plans.

Note to InReach users...you can use the emergency system to have them call in for a tow in the back country. They don't mind you using it for non-life threatening situations.
 

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Krusty,

Have you done this? I broke down deep in the woods this summer and could have really used this option.

I've had the DeLorme Inreach for several years. Works great....and two way communication, compared to the Spot system one way.

Spot wouldn't work for me... I recreate alone in the back country. Often change destinations or stay late if the fish are biting. I can let the OL know about changes in plans.

Note to InReach users...you can use the emergency system to have them call in for a tow in the back country. They don't mind you using it for non-life threatening situations.
 

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Krusty,

Have you done this? I broke down deep in the woods this summer and could have really used this option.
I haven't used it that way, but Delorme used to (before they were purchased by Garmin) display a daily log of emergency calls they received each month...and I was surprised at the number of broken down vehicle SOS's they responded to.

When you send out an SOS a staff member at their 24/7 center responds by asking about the situation. They don't just start sending out search parties.

At a minimum you could just send text and/or email messages to someone to call you a tow truck. The recipient(s) can see exactly where you're at on google earth...and you can carry on a text conversation.

We carry the thing on car and motorcycle trips as well....as you know there are shitloads of places on highways in the western mountain states where cell coverage is unavailable. The device works anywhere outside....via several dozen Iridium communication satellites.
 

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A of mine used his delorme on the Illinois River in southern Oregon (Kalmiopsis Wilderness) last week to text his girlfriend and it worked great. Given the deep, rugged canyon and remoteness of the Illinois, I imagine if it works there it will work anywhere.
 

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I am considering getting the ACR ResQLink PLB, since I may only need to summon rescuers, and not necessarily need to communicate with friends/family, who most likely wouldn't be able to help me anyway..
 

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Problem with those is the lack of control over the type of response.

"satellite signaling devices of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted, where the situation is grave with imminent danger and the loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance."

You set one of those off and every search & rescue org in the area is mobilized. Maybe you just need a tow. They send a helicopter!:eek:

Units like this put a great deal of stress of our already over burdened SAR facilities. Having been on the other side of this, I'm just glad these things weren't around when I served.
 

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As for the Spot. The reason I choose not to go with that boiled down to two things.

One. Type of help needed.

Two. I read the article about the guy on Kodiak Island. He was hunting by himself. Fell and broke his leg. It took three days for a satellite to receive the signal. Three days laying there with a broken leg. In bear country. Not knowing that his signal hadn't been received.

The problem was the Spot transmitter uses a different satellite network. It has a greatly reduced coverage area the further north you go.

I know, most of us will never need that type of device. But if you do, you had better hope to hell it works.

Being able to text the wife every night means I don't have to face the "I was so worried about you" when I get back. Priceless!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Like a lot of things I think you have to use these types of devices responsibly. 25 years when I worked in the Yukon and EPIRBs first came out, the guys in one of our camps were bored so they activated the thing and 45 minutes later a helicopter was landing in the tent camp.

A guy in my crew went upriver in the boat and broke down. Figuring he'd just float back downstream to camp he started drifting. All good until he got hung up on a cottonwood sweeper. He had an EPIRB but knowing about the response the guys further north received when they activated theirs frivolously and were berated for their stupidity, he decided to wait. About 10 hours he waited. He waited until almost dark, or as dark as it gets on a summer night in that latitude, before activating it. About an hour later SAR were over top of him and soon one of the guys from a neighbouring camp was rounding the bend to help him out. Hoorah! Safe at last.

At the end of the season we dragged the old Smokercraft out of the water and flipped it over for winter storage and there was a noticeable wear mark where he had been hung up and the cottonwood had almost rubbed through the tin.

Right now up here north of Vancouver there's a couple of snowshoers they've been searching for since Christmas night. Carrying a device that costs a few hundred dollars may have helped. Regardless of what I eventually end up with it's a small price to pay to potentially save my life. I spend a lot more than what it costs each year to insure my pickup truck. Why shouldn't I spend comparatively little to potentially insure my life.
 

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Will this even be an issue once all the vehicles in WA have gubberment installed GPS? Perhaps that's a bonus, free feature they failed to mention in their search for more tax money.
 

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Problem with those is the lack of control over the type of response.

"satellite signaling devices of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted, where the situation is grave with imminent danger and the loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance."

You set one of those off and every search & rescue org in the area is mobilized. Maybe you just need a tow. They send a helicopter!:eek:

Units like this put a great deal of stress of our already over burdened SAR facilities. Having been on the other side of this, I'm just glad these things weren't around when I served.
You are, of course, referring to the 'one-way' systems like Spot. The DeLorme Inreach (now Garmin Inreach) allows easy two-way communication. Even if you activate the SOS initiation sequence (takes a couple of steps, which serves to prevent accidental initiation) it's just the start of the discussion with their emergency response center....so SARS air cav won't be risking their lives (and your bank account) coming out because your car broke down in the sticks.

My main use is letting the OL know I'm sitting in the middle of the lake, in the darkness, and I'm not leaving until until the big fish get tired of hitting my fly.
 

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We carry a spot and a GPS when we're elk hunting. Being pretty comfortable in the woods, we only use the message to say we're OK or we shot something. The SOS feature is only for if shit guess seriously sideways, broken leg or coug attack or something. Spending an unexpected night or two in the woods is something we pack for. The GPS sure helps in black timber though. Having no landmarks can be spooky.
 
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