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Thread: Garmin InReach Mini or PLB

  1. #1
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    Garmin InReach Mini or PLB

    Hi all

    Iím considering the Garmin InReach mini for its ability to send messages, call for help and connect to phone for gps navigation.
    A few weeks ago I used my iPhone 6s in the bush along with MapToaster app. I purchased the North Island topo on it.
    The app has a tracking function which I trialed on a short walk. I was in canopy cover the entire time and only used the phoneís internal GPS with it set on Airplane mode. I had a Garmin Glo with me as backup in case the phoneís GPS was not strong enough. It worked great and tracked my whereabouts along the way.

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    Long story short, Iím considering the Mini I reach as I donít have a PLB and would be good to be able to message the wife if things have gone south but not quite emergency. I then also want it for its SOS feature. Happy to pay subscription.

    Also have a 20 000 mah Powerbank so plenty of juice for a weekender.

    Anyone been running it in a similar manner? Should I rather look at just a PLB and if so which one?

  2. #2
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Whatever you choose, make sure it's waterproof, and can take a reasonable kicking and still keep going.
    r87mm likes this.
    RIP Garry S. 23/08/19

  3. #3
    ebf
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    @thatguy, use the search feature on here, there was a good discussion about this a couple months ago...
    Viva la Howa ! R.I.P. Toby
    Black rifles matter...

  4. #4
    LOC
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    Inreach. not much more expensive and more versatile. slight risk of EPIRB failure if battery is flat but my in reach battery lasts for donkeys if not using it much.

    if you do fly in trips and the weather packs in you can call the chopper in early, or find out if he is going to leave you there for a night or two. plus weather reports etc.
    For that reason the guys we flew in with for the roar (Hamner Helicopters) have bought a few to effectively just loan to hunters on fly ins with them, saves them time and money to have open comms.

    Subscription is easy enough to suspend if you are taking some time out.

    The bigger inreach is not much heavier and gives you a backup GPS incase your phone drowns.

    I reckon the next in reach model they release will be much better than the current models which are lagging behind their other products in some ways
    199p and thatguy like this.

  5. #5
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    I have used a phone with topomaps app without any problems in the north up until the roar this year. Easter in Kaimanawas lost two phones that just fell out of my pocket. One was a work phone. 😤They really need a lanyard or someway of attaching it to yourself. Second had all day bush bash in shitty weather to get out using mates touch screen GPS. Touch screen is crap in the wet. Pretty sure i will get garmin 66, carabina lanyard and good old fashion buttons.
    thatguy likes this.

  6. #6
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    Thanks @LOC.
    @Max Headroom ,I have a waterproof case for my phone which works alright.
    @ebf, thanks just saw that.

  7. #7
    Member Goosebayhunter's Avatar
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    Hey man we use the garmen inreach explorer SE I think is the model. they are the full Size GPS Unit. It has weather, all messaging and can connect with pilots and different companies if you connect it up with Tony from SpotNZ based out of chch he gives you a great deal on the units and he has good priced plans.

    Battery will last 4 days or so


    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Garmin have just released the 66i which is basically there best rugged GPS with all the inreach communication functions. It's on the Garmin ozzy site.
    thatguy likes this.

  9. #9
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    The kti Plb off trademe is the cheapest and works well. It is from an aussie vendor but is registered with nz sar.

    They cost 300 bucks.

    I have never used it but so far am happy with it.
    thatguy likes this.

  10. #10
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    Definitely wouldnt recommend an inreach over a PLB.
    The inreach does not home and the responce time is slower. They do run out of battery and all it takes is accidentally forgetting to bring a power pack or turn it off or charge it enough and its useless. They are supposed to have atleast 25% remaining for the SOS function. I wouldn't bother with the GPS version as to be fair if you are using is for maps you will run it flat very quickly.

    A PLB is foolproof. It is a homing signal and is setup direct to emergency response and moves with you in real time. And only requires a battery change every couple of years whereas the Inreach is once every minute for 10 minutes then is once every 10 minutes. I brought a PLB first.

    After borrowing @Ryan_Songhurst inreach I realised they are pretty handy but 100% not necessary. Whereas the plb I think is. I brought a mini and just turn it on a few times a day.
    thatguy likes this.

  11. #11
    Member scotty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stocky View Post
    Definitely wouldnt recommend an inreach over a PLB.
    The inreach does not home and the responce time is slower. They do run out of battery and all it takes is accidentally forgetting to bring a power pack or turn it off or charge it enough and its useless. They are supposed to have atleast 25% remaining for the SOS function. I wouldn't bother with the GPS version as to be fair if you are using is for maps you will run it flat very quickly.

    A PLB is foolproof. It is a homing signal and is setup direct to emergency response and moves with you in real time. And only requires a battery change every couple of years whereas the Inreach is once every minute for 10 minutes then is once every 10 minutes. I brought a PLB first.

    After borrowing @Ryan_Songhurst inreach I realised they are pretty handy but 100% not necessary. Whereas the plb I think is. I brought a mini and just turn it on a few times a day.
    what he said but hey choice is a good thing ..... on the other thread about this i mentioned a comparison test done ....the frequency used on a PLB is much more reliable and accurate for searchers (lower frequency i think cuts thru foliage and cloud cover more efficiently) which is what you need when you need it.i go to the bush to avoid contact with the outside world so txting is not a thing for me .....a PLB for if and when i need it is much more my thing. not bagging the in reach as it has its place for a number of people that is it suits their needs . either one is better than none ! bit like the old calibre debate people get what suits them and the places they hunt.
    rugerman and Micky Duck like this.

  12. #12
    LOC
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    Hi Stocky, can you please explain your comment that it doesnít home and response time is slow. Keen to hear.
    I havenít noticed any accuracy problems on the GPS vs other GPS such as phones, other Garmins etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Stocky View Post
    Definitely wouldnt recommend an inreach over a PLB.
    The inreach does not home and the responce time is slower. They do run out of battery and all it takes is accidentally forgetting to bring a power pack or turn it off or charge it enough and its useless. They are supposed to have atleast 25% remaining for the SOS function. I wouldn't bother with the GPS version as to be fair if you are using is for maps you will run it flat very quickly.

    A PLB is foolproof. It is a homing signal and is setup direct to emergency response and moves with you in real time. And only requires a battery change every couple of years whereas the Inreach is once every minute for 10 minutes then is once every 10 minutes. I brought a PLB first.

    After borrowing @Ryan_Songhurst inreach I realised they are pretty handy but 100% not necessary. Whereas the plb I think is. I brought a mini and just turn it on a few times a day.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Inreach Mini. (I also have a standard PLB with me at all times)

    I also use my Samsung Galaxy 10 with Topmaps and the satellite live tracking when necessary, this works amazing. I have a Garmin 64 as a backup if my phone fails and then a inReach mini for emergency contact.
    thatguy likes this.

  14. #14
    Member Tahr's Avatar
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    The latest InReach model just released:

    https://www.rei.com/blog/news/first-...min-gpsmap-66i

  15. #15
    Member rugerman's Avatar
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    I see they use the Iridium satellite network. I would hope there is a few in geosynchronous orbit over NZ. No problem if you just want to send a text saying all is well, but in an emergency you would want to use the most system with the most satellites for a speedy rescue.
    I haven't dug into it, so maybe in an emergency the inreach uses any available satellite like gps or glossnus ( or whatever the Russian system is called).

 

 

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