By Dan Kidder
Managing Editor

Getting off the beaten path can be a lot of fun. There are millions of acres of wild lands in the United States, which includes BLM land, protected wilderness areas, national forests, and state and national parks, all waiting to be explored.

Carrying peace of mind with you and the ability to stay in touch while you explore the great outdoors is now possible thanks to the DeLorme inReach SE.

As a member of our county Search and Rescue team, I can tell you that it is seldom a single event that necessitates a rescue, but usually a series of things going wrong.

inReach uses the Iridium satellite network for 100% coverage and GEOS, a 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center to notify rescuers of your emergency.

In an emergency, Search and Rescue professionals will be mobilized. And because inReach gives GEOS your exact location — anywhere on the planet — rescue teams know exactly where you are for rapid deployment.

When rescuers are on their way, the two way texting capability of inReach means that GEOS can give you an ETA, determine the exact nature of your emergency, and keep in contact until help arrives, even in the most remote locations.

The ability to receive help in an emergency makes the price of this device worth every penny, but inReach SE does so much more.

The inReach SE allows you to track your trip as you roam through the wilderness, and send GPS coordinates on a map to friends and family back home. It also allows you to post updates to popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

You have the ability to send either pre-selected text messages or use the virtual keyboard to send whatever message you want, up to 160 characters. The unit can also receive texts letting you know of a change of plans, or just to keep in touch and catch up with folks back at home. inReach is a much cheaper alternative versus a satellite phone for those who want to stay in touch off the grid.

And if all these features aren’t enough, all you need to do is pair inReach via Bluetooth with your smart phone or tablet, to transform your mobile device into a global messaging and navigation partner.

Download the free Earthmate app for unlimited access to download DeLorme’s best-selling topographic maps and NOAA charts. Just turn on tracking in the app, and you will be able to see your GPS coordinates, breadcrumb trail, and your exact location on the map, along with your speed, heading, and elevation.

The Earthmate app also allows you to accesses your mobile device’s address book for convenient texting to your existing contacts and easier typing with your own device’s keyboard.

We have all used the power of satellites to navigate with a GPS, but inReach gives you mapping capabilities plus so much more. The unit is rugged, waterproof and dust proof, will run for about 100 hours of continuous tracking on a single charge, and it charges via a USB plug so it can be connected to one of the many small solar panels available on the market today.

It feels great to wander off, but make sure you take along the peace of mind of knowing that help is never farther away than a push of a button, with the Delorme inReach SE. Monthly and seasonal plans are available to fit your needs. Check them out at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse gift bar and Always be inReach.