Which Garmin InReach

Ive used a Delorme InReach in the past: Garmin brought the company out and now have three units. (well 5, but 2 I’m interested in.)

I do some hikes and travel out the range of mobile communication and don’t want to pay for a Satellite phone, SMS will suffice for me for emergency comms and feeding back to the Tour Operators and Travel Agents that all is good.
Last year I had an incident in Hoanib river bed, where comms were a cock up and don’t need a repeat of that. Ultimately all was sorted and the back and forth of SMS messages may not have been anything but a costly exercise and slower than Satellite phone.

So whats peoples Ideas: In Reach mini or the in reach Explorer+

My thoughts are that the explorer has longer battery life, and is also GPS (can you load Tracks 4Africa onto them?) but its more expensive.
Once its all gone wrong and you’re walking out, at least the InReach has a GPS on it, and is mildly better for typing out messages once your phone battery’s died, or am I just over thinking things? where the mini will suffice?

Grateful for peoples opinions and feedback.

Get yourself the new Garmin GPSMAP 66i. It sounds like it will be better suited to your requirements. If weight is an issue, and you don’t need the features of the 66i, then get the Mini. The Explorer+ and the SE+ are old technology.

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Guys, maybe the pros can give us some more advice on this topic?

I am happily corrected if misinformed or uninformed but I simply could not understand the reason behind a hand-held GPS device in the last 10 years?

Battery life? Specialised maps?

Arno, a gazillion reasons:

  1. If you’re unfamiliar with the area - a sense check against maps and features that don’t look like you imagine them to be. particularly on valleys or desert environments.
    1a) Nothing worse than being lost in Atlantis Sand dunes and trying to find your way out following the tracks on the stupid GPS

  2. On multi day trips with guests I like having a trip log to cross reference where we went if I get questioned I can prove that we did go there.

  3. If you’re not as fit as others Its great to have a reality of time and distance covered so as to comprehend how things are going.

  4. When the weather changes, direction finding can become impossible to do accurately, also when you’re tired, hungry and cold You make mistakes, a GPS can keep you focused.

  5. One of my Tour Operators insist I have one.

Back to my question re the Mini vs the explorer - the GPSMap66i seems like the solution, but is expensive. the mini is my way forwards.

In case you missed it, the InReacha re communication tools, ie they send SMS messages via Satellites and are independent of mobile phone networks
So:
6) Reliable communication with the outside world.

Hey Graham. Drop me an email (kemitche at gmail dot com). I am a dealer for InReach products, and can probably get you a Mini at the old price - there will be local Garmin price hikes on May 1st.