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What is every one using for emergency communication when there is no cell service? I am looking at a Garmin Explorer. Was thinking of a Sat phone as well.
 

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Spot X. Costs approx. $250.00 and $140.00 a year for the emergency service.
We go waaaay out in the desert, sometimes alone.
Hope like hell I never have to use it.
 

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I hope I never have to use it as well! Was out about 10 miles out in the desert and a guy on a bike had a flat. Lucky I stopped by, strapped the bike on the Rzr and got him back to his truck. If i use it, i want it to help some one else!
 

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Mr. & Mrs. PewPewPew
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I hope I never have to use it as well! Was out about 10 miles out in the desert and a guy on a bike had a flat. Lucky I stopped by, strapped the bike on the Rzr and got him back to his truck. If i use it, i want it to help some one else!
I had to do the same thing. These people go out there unprepared. Sigh.
 

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We ended up purchasing a Garman InReach after looking at the Spot and researching the various options available. There are some great reviews available on each unit including a detailed explanation for each of the three Garman units. One gentleman in particular wrote an excellent review. For our money the Garman was a better way to go based on the continuing cost of the service, ability to suspend the service when not required and the ability to link to your phone for text entries. The Spot up front costs are lower, but it lack a friendly user interface. Satellite phones are very expensive in comparison. Hope this helps. Jeff
 

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The Spot up front costs are lower, but it lack a friendly user interface.
This is so true. The Spot is not that easy to use, so you need to have a 10 year old handy to explain it. :big-grin
AFAIK both units work with text messaging, no phone capabilities. I have a few family and friends on my contact list and will have to depend on them to initiate a rescue or tow, or services, and I believe both have an "SOS" feature which automatically calls out the Marines for a medical emergency.
 

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Ditto- INREACH Explorer- you text with it instead of the basic messages
you pre-set in the spot.. Had the both and the spot is the not up to par with what the Inreach can provide. Communication for the particular emergency is what sold me, and is paramount!
 

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EE
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I feel like this may depend on what area you are traveling to. For less than $100 you can get a reliable portable HAM radio setup. This requires no subscription obviously, but you can contact emergency services and speak directly to a person. For example, if you are traveling to WV to ride Hatfield, just look up the frequencies used by the local emergency services and pre-program them into the radio. If an emergency should arise, you have now cut out the middle man and are communicating directly with the people coming to help you. Just my 2cents.
 

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I feel like this may depend on what area you are traveling to. For less than $100 you can get a reliable portable HAM radio setup. This requires no subscription obviously, but you can contact emergency services and speak directly to a person. For example, if you are traveling to WV to ride Hatfield, just look up the frequencies used by the local emergency services and pre-program them into the radio. If an emergency should arise, you have now cut out the middle man and are communicating directly with the people coming to help you. Just my 2cents.

Agreed ...not to mention communication with others in your group real time. I have a 60 watt VHF/ UHF radio and it is one of the best additions I made. If you get the $20 dollar HAM license and take the test you can then use some repeaters and your range is almost endless. I also use mine for listening to other emergency personnel talking about situations near me .
 

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+1 for Garmin inReach. 3 weeks ago, we did a 100 mile trip up here in Alaska and a guy with us broke 5 ribs 25-30 miles from the trailhead and we met someone on the trail with an inReach. I went flying with a buddy last weekend and he also has an inReach. He likes how small it is and how you can text back and forth with it.
 

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I feel like this may depend on what area you are traveling to. For less than $100 you can get a reliable portable HAM radio setup. This requires no subscription obviously, but you can contact emergency services and speak directly to a person. For example, if you are traveling to WV to ride Hatfield, just look up the frequencies used by the local emergency services and pre-program them into the radio. If an emergency should arise, you have now cut out the middle man and are communicating directly with the people coming to help you. Just my 2cents.
I'd say it definitely depends on the location you're using it. In the areas I mostly ride, we end up in a lot of canyons/washes/hilly areas where you'd be lucky to hit somebody 1/4 mile away using simplex on a mobile ham rig, and would be extremely lucky to be able to hit a repeater. And even if you did, most of our ham repeaters are very lightly used and there may or may not even be anybody listening. And most of our emergency services are now using digital/trunked systems which you can't program into a ham radio.

I'm a huge fan of the Rugged/PCI type radios for communication within a group while riding, but IMO ham radio would be one of the worst possible choices to depend upon in a true emergency (at least in the areas where I ride). I'd have better luck with a cell phone. The ARRL and ham operators love to play up ham radio as the "When All Else Fails" mode of emergency communication, but I wouldn't count on it for my life, or the lives of the people riding with me. Satellite-based services such as SPOT/InReach, etc. are a far more reliable alternative.
 

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EE
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I'd say it definitely depends on the location you're using it. In the areas I mostly ride, we end up in a lot of canyons/washes/hilly areas where you'd be lucky to hit somebody 1/4 mile away using simplex on a mobile ham rig, and would be extremely lucky to be able to hit a repeater. And even if you did, most of our ham repeaters are very lightly used and there may or may not even be anybody listening. And most of our emergency services are now using digital/trunked systems which you can't program into a ham radio.

I'm a huge fan of the Rugged/PCI type radios for communication within a group while riding, but IMO ham radio would be one of the worst possible choices to depend upon in a true emergency (at least in the areas where I ride). I'd have better luck with a cell phone. The ARRL and ham operators love to play up ham radio as the "When All Else Fails" mode of emergency communication, but I wouldn't count on it for my life, or the lives of the people riding with me. Satellite-based services such as SPOT/InReach, etc. are a far more reliable alternative.

This is a really great point. I guess I made the poor assumption that while primary communications may take place on a trunked system, EMS and LE would still be monitoring analog FM systems. But maybe not?


As for cell phones, basically everywhere we ride we do not have service, so that's out. I may look into some satellite based options.
 
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