Welcome, Guest.
Register Donate Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Welcome to the Offroad Passport Community Forum!

This is a community for planning and discussing offroad adventures. All makes and models of offroad vehicles are welcome! Multi-day expedition-style trips are our main focus, but there are plenty of day runs, clinics, and tech-days as well.

The forum is free for Basic Membership! Optional Premium Membership includes such perks as exclusive professionally organized trips and events. Please note that you may view the forum as a guest, but will need to register in order to post or to access certain areas of the site.

Note: If you are already a registered member, please login to remove this message.

View Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-26-2018
jgaz jgaz is offline
Premium Club Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Peoria AZ
Vehicle: 2006 LJ
Posts: 422
Reputation: jgaz is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Garmin InReach SE
I purchased the Garmin InReach SE from Costco a couple months ago for $248.16 shipped.
My wife had been strongly encouraging me to buy a Personal Locater Beacon (PLB) for more than a year.

I do a lot of off trail hiking here in AZ, looking for hill top Indian ruins. Most of those hikes I do with a buddy, but I do a fair amount of other, fairly remote, solo hiking during the course of the year. My wife never complains but I know she worries some times.

I really had myself convinced that all I wanted was an “awe shit” device. Push one button to call the cavalry. No subscription, no battery to charge.

My wife thought I was nuts not to consider a device that allowed two way communication. Now understand, she is not a person that expects a text every half hour from me.

Two things convinced me to purchase the Garmin.

First was this thread which is an excellent discussion of the pro and cons of each type of device. It includes excellent info from a current, Moab area, SAR professional. (Mobian)


Also in the above thread, there is a first hand usage report by a Grand Canyon hiker that talks about how useful two way communication was to his situation.

The second factor was a personal experience I had this summer volunteering in the Grand Canyon.
I work in the PSAR (preventive search and rescue) program, hiking the corridor trails, interacting with hikers, and trying to help them make smart decisions about their hiking plans. We also assist the professional SAR rangers when necessary and some times are their initial on scene eyes and ears. On this particular day I got a call from dispatch on my radio that a PLB had been activated approx. 1 1/2 miles below my location. I was asked to expedite down to the broadcast location and access the situation. Keep in mind, it’s summer, it’s about midday, it’s really hot and I have to climb back up about four miles now instead of two. But, that’s what we do, so I headed down.

Within about 10 min., dispatch called me back and said to disregard my previous instructions. I found out later that dispatch was able to establish two way communication with the distressed hikers thru the Garmin device and determine that, even though a helicopter was needed for the rescue, it was not a life threating situation. At that point, two way communication was priceless, and not just to me.

Given our almost year round hiking season here in AZ I elected to get a basic plan for $11.95 a month and keep it active all year. I don’t plan to use my InReach for GPS navigation so I think this plan will meet my needs. There is the ability to start and stop activation of the device.

With my plan I get unlimited use of three different preprogrammed messages delivered by text and /or email to who ever I select or better yet preprogram in. These three messages come already loaded but can be modified to read whatever you want. This free message includes a GPS location that is plotted for the recipient on google earth.

You also get 10 free messages a month that you compose, these also include the GPS location. Additional messages are .10 each. The inReach device also has the SOS button that starts the rescue. That one button is all that’s needed in case that’s all you’re capable of activating.

I’ve been fooling with and learning the device over the last couple months. I’ve found the GPS location to be extremely accurate. I’ve made it a point to send a preprogrammed, free, message from a location that is easily located on Google Earth such as an old cabin to verify this. I’ve also found battery life to be excellent but keep in mind I’m not using it to establish a GPS track for navigation.

This is my experience, YRMV, but if you’re considering a device I strongly encourage you to read thru the attached thread before you decide. It’s hands down the best real world overview of these devices I’ve come across.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2018
ehall's Avatar
ehall ehall is offline
Basic Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Buckeye, az
Vehicle: 03 tj rubicon
Posts: 317
Reputation: ehall is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Garmin InReach SE
I concur. I have used mine all over Baja with out a problem. Nice to message the wife occasionally. You can also Bluetooth it to an ipad and use it like a gps if your ipad doesn't have it built in.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018
Ladybug Ladybug is offline
(Karen) (KG7UHP)
Premium Club Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Phoenix
Vehicle: 2004 Jeep LJ Wrangler
Posts: 1,113
Reputation: Ladybug is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Garmin InReach SE
Wow! Great info Jim! We'll have to check into it further!
smiles, ladybug
Reply With Quote


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Terms of Service

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
the next thing from Garmin? theksmith GPS, Mapping & GeoCache 4 06-21-2013 06:50 AM
Garmin Montana dzJeepChic GPS, Mapping & GeoCache 45 10-04-2012 05:01 PM
garmin basecamp mbuckner GPS, Mapping & GeoCache 25 05-06-2012 08:21 PM
Garmin Nuvi w/ TOPOs Questions dzJeepChic GPS, Mapping & GeoCache 5 06-06-2011 05:06 PM
Garmin Nüvi 260 Don2222222 GPS, Mapping & GeoCache 4 12-24-2009 08:50 AM