Anthony Galluscio Hiking Gear Review #8: Satellite Communicator

Anthony Galluscio Satellite Communicator Review

  • Item: Satellite Communicator
  • Quantity: 1
  • Make: Garmin (DeLorme)
  • Model: AG-009871-201 inReach SE
  • Cost: $264.00
  • Weight: 7.75 oz
  • Rating: Good
  • Notes: Before I left on my Foothills Trail thru-hike, a friend of mine who is an outdoor recreation lover from the great state of Wisconsin, convinced me that I should bring a satellite communicator. She said that if not for my peace of mind, then I should do it for the peace of mind of my friends and family.  I really can’t argue with that.

When you set up the device you can invite people to follow you on the map. So, I invited members of my family and close friends to track my progress. I set the device to send a ping every 10 minutes. It seemed to work well as long as I had a clear view of the sky. If I was on a trail in dense forest there would be a longer time between pings. However, my friends and family were able to track my general progress.

Another feature of the device, and the associated paid plan, is that you can send an unlimited number of up to three different static text messages. Those are messages that you design in advance.   My three messages were, “Getting started,” Doing okay,” and “Stopping for the day.” I also had a max of 50 free form text messages that I could send. I went way over that limit communicating with my wife, Becca, and ended up paying fees.  You can get all of the information on plans and pricing on the Garmin website. The device is text only with no voice capability.

One very important feature of the device is what I call the “come get me” feature. If you unlock the safety and press the button, the nearest emergency rescue team will be alerted that you are in trouble. Luckily, I did not need that!

I really did not want to take this unit along, but I am glad I did if it gave others peace of mind. The pros are that it is light, has good battery life, and allows you to stay in touch with friends and family. The cons are that if you don’t have a clear sky, not sending pings may alarm folks back home. Overall, I would rate the device as “good.”


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