Every now and then it’s good to get off the grid. Spending time in the great outdoors without constant social media notifications nagging you for attention or your boss wanting a reply to their ‘urgent’ email.
But being totally off-line brings its own problems. What if you get into trouble, what if you need to contact friends, family or emergency services, or just let them know every evening that you are safe?
Garmin has solved this problem. With their release of the inReach Explorer+ earlier this year, they have brought to market the first handheld satellite communicator and GPS navigator with 100% global Iridium satellite coverage. As the device uses satellites, no cellular coverage is necessary, but you can link to your own mobile device and still send text messages and e-mails (which have a link showing your location) to friends and family who can also see exactly where you are and live track you or even make an SOS call.
For hiking and backcountry skiing, the safety features are a must-have. In the event of an emergency, you can use inReach to trigger an SOS. You are then connected to GEOS, the world leader in emergency response solutions and monitoring. They’ve supported rescues in more than 140 countries, saving many lives in the process. And they’re standing by 24/7/365 to respond to your SOS, track your device and notify the proper contacts and emergency responders in your area.
And to keep you informed regarding the weather and conditions, the inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your device for your current location or any other waypoint or destination on your itinerary. It can also be used as a standard GPS device for planning routes and navigation.
Designed for the ruggedness of outdoor pursuits, the inReach+ is tough, durable, impact resistant, waterproof and built to keep you up and running – no matter what the elements throw at you.
At $400 it’s not cheap, but for the peace of mind for yourself and your family whilst you’re exploring the backcountry, it could prove priceless.