Sat Messenger rescue services

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Koda
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Joined: June 5th, 2009, 7:54 am

Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Koda » March 23rd, 2021, 5:23 pm

I'm thinking of upgrading my basic PLB to one with a message service, I think the benefits there are obvious and can pretty much decide which brand and features I need but one thing I noticed is the top 3 devices Im looking at utilize private companies for rescue operations....

My current PLB is registered with NOAA and uses govt funded rescue satellites, so I'm pretty comfortable that this beacon would last my lifetime without worries of companies selling out, closing or quality of services. It looks like Garmin Inreach uses their own GEOS proprietary rescue service. Bivy Stick uses a 3rd party private company Global Rescue. Spot Messenger uses Garmins service...

Would you trust your life, literally, to one of these private company rescue services and if so which device brand would you pick based solely on the rescue services they utilize?
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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mjirving
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by mjirving » March 23rd, 2021, 9:11 pm

Garmin’s is very well respected and they partner with local agencies. I’ve heard of many rescues that are all done top notch with local authorities. I had a spot originally and then switched to the inreach and now have the inreach mini. The two way messaging is great even for non-emergency coordination. I also like using it for weather reports on multi day trips when storms a brewin’. They also use iridium satellites which is more wide spread than what spot at least historically has used (although both have good coverage).

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Koda
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Koda » March 23rd, 2021, 9:58 pm

mjirving wrote:
March 23rd, 2021, 9:11 pm
Garmin’s is very well respected and they partner with local agencies. I’ve heard of many rescues that are all done top notch with local authorities.
I'm leaning now to the Garmin as Ive read tonight that the Bivy stick uses a fee based rescue plan. I haven't found anything on the cost of rescue with Garmins services.... assuming its free?
between the Garmin and the Spot I'm leaning towards the Garmin but have more reading to do.
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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mjirving
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by mjirving » March 24th, 2021, 11:12 am

While not guaranteed, it seems that most rescues are free. Unless something like a life flight air ambulance comes to get you. Or if you’re grossly negligent maybe.

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Koda
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Koda » March 24th, 2021, 12:07 pm

mjirving wrote:
March 24th, 2021, 11:12 am
While not guaranteed, it seems that most rescues are free. Unless something like a life flight air ambulance comes to get you. Or if you’re grossly negligent maybe.
thats a regional thing. SAR teams in our region have stated they are free and volunteers.

I was just surprised to read on the Bivy Stick page that they specifically state their rescue services are fee for service basis....

https://www.bivy.com/stick
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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Bosterson
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Bosterson » March 24th, 2021, 2:19 pm

Wayne, I got an inReach Mini about a year ago. I deviated off trail into a whole new plan out in Eagle Cap solo in 2019, and realized no one would know where to look for me if I fell down a hill or something. I've only used the Mini to send check in messages, and sometimes it has iffy connectivity in dense forest, but nothing that gives me pause about having it with me. The basic monthly service allows you to call SOS and they will coordinate with local rescue people and stay in contact with you until you're rescued. (Garmin's service does not itself perform rescues - they are just coordinators to send SAR people to you.) For an extra $25/yr, you can add up to $100k of basically rescue insurance for countries or places where the actual rescue itself might cost money. The satellite system (Iridium) is not Garmin's and is used by lots of companies, so I would trust Garmin to provide the actual rescue-coordination service as long as you pay them for your plan. If the inReach plan service were to shut down, I'm pretty sure you'd be notified in advance - it wouldn't be like one day you go outdoors and hit SOS and nothing happens. It's a business contract just like anything else, like your cell plan. No one worries about waking up one day and finding that their entire cell phone plan just no longer exists because T-Mobile closed up shop overnight or something. ;)
#pnw #bestlife #bitingflies #favoriteyellowcap #neverdispleased

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Koda
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Koda » March 24th, 2021, 2:36 pm

Nat, I was hoping I would run into you out there on that trip in 19... Matt tipped us off to us both being there. That was a fun trip.

I agree with you on everything, its not something I'm truly worried about just curious about learning how these proprietary services work, of all the features they don't really go into the details of their rescue service partners. I'm frugal and make my more expensive gear purchases last as long as possible so just wanting to make the right choice, but Garmin I'm most confident will stick around longer than I can...
I'm leaning most to the mini inreach. The benefits of non emergency messaging is worth this upgrade
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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mjirving
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by mjirving » March 24th, 2021, 6:04 pm

The mini is very power efficient which I like too. Unlike the old inreach with a color backlit screen.

The mini has performed the same in my perception compared to the older inreach which was much larger.

I also like that contract options. I do the annual plan to get the best monthly rate and then I do the 1-up from the bottom that offers free pings of my location every ten mins and 40 free messages a month. Then in the winter I down grade it to the lowest plan where no messages or pings are included. Then I take it skiing with me or when traveling in remote places.

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retired jerry
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by retired jerry » March 25th, 2021, 3:42 pm

I've been using mini for a year or so. Send one message and receive one response per day

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Koda
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Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Koda » March 25th, 2021, 8:36 pm

So officailly in the mini club now, set up and getting familiar with the controls and website. Websites super slow and clunky, cant find tracking settings...
just tell me it tracks my out there and shows that on a map to the SAR folks if I ever hit the SOS?
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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