By Dan Kidder
Getting lost can be fun. It can be a great way to leave all of the worries and troubles of the civilized world behind and drop off the grid for a few days or weeks. Getting lost when you aren’t planning on it isn’t nearly as much fun. In fact, it isn’t fun at all. As a member of our county Search and Rescue team, it has been my experience that a few unexpected events can turn a leisurely stroll through the great outdoors into a life and death struggle in moments.
Having a reliable means to signal help in an emergency when there is no cell service, as well as providing SAR with your exact coordinates, can relieve some of the anxiety some people feel about getting off the grid.
The inReach from Delorme, not only gives you the piece of mind of knowing that you can transmit a distress call with your location in the middle of nowhere, but it also allows you to stay in touch with family and friends back home by allowing you to use your smartphone to send and receive text messages from anywhere on the globe.
The inReach uses Bluetooth technology to pair with your smartphone, enabling you to both send and receive text messages, share your GPS coordinates, and even allow others in front of a computer to track your progress on a map. You can even post to Facebook and Twitter. DeLorme offers two inReach models with similar capabilities, but the new SE version comes with a color screen and virtual keyboard.
The easy to use unit, is small and lightweight, but is packed with features that make it a powerhouse for those desiring to get away without staying away.
In spite of all of its high tech gadgetry and capabilities, it also contains an easy-to-use SOS button that broadcasts your location and automatically spools up the local Search and Rescue organization to come save you in an emergency.
All of this is backed by one of the world’s most trusted network of satellites, the Iridium Network. This network is supplemented by GEOS, a 24/7 global emergency monitoring service, to ensure that rescuers are quickly dispatched to your location anywhere in the world.
Whether you are in need of a rescue, or just want to let your buddies watch your progress as you through-hike the Appalachian Trail, the inReach from DeLorme gives you a box of tools that will allow you to keep in touch from anywhere.
On a recent trip to Texas, Sportsman’s News Publisher Michael Deming took the inReach with him and was able to stay connected to the office via text while he hunted Aoudad. The DeLorme website allowed us to observe his progress, and the free smart phone app with unlimited access to downloadable topographic maps and NOAA charts let him keep up to date by receiving texts from home. It even let him know that his daughter’s team won their soccer game.
A variety of subscription plans are available, starting at $9.95 per month . There are even convenient four-month seasonal options. If you like to get off the grid, but your life doesn’t allow you to completely unplug, the inReach from DeLorme is a tool you can’t be without. Check out the inReach at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse store gift counter.