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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Den/Baltimore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    Tell me about those watches... what makes them useful enough to drop $500 or $800 on one?
    I have a Suunto one. GPS track, blended GPS and barometric pressure for altitude readings, HR monitor, etc. Pretty useful in the mountains, IMHO. I didn't used to carry a GPS, and sometimes it's nice to have. Not to mention that it's totally revolutionized my training in terms of length of day (distance, elevation gain), and especially time spent in each HR zone while skiing, running, etc. Personally, I love it but I didn't grow up with an endurance background so the whole low-intensity cardio thing is still hard for me.

    Is it worth $800? Prolly not, but I bet you can find it on sale or semi-pro-deal (AAC membership, etc).
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Amherst, Mass.
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    4,176
    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    Tell me about those watches... what makes them useful enough to drop $500 or $800 on one?
    Gift to myself upon surving the skimo race organizing season.
    (Note that I don't make enough money from these to buy any such watch, but I felt like I deserved to treat myself for emerging with my sanity intact, or at least no more damaged that it was before the race season started.)

    What prompted me to buy one for the first time though was the topo map display on the Fenix 5X. Pretty slick to be able to see all my custom waypoints superimposed on a reasonably detailed and accurate base map.
    Sometimes I still need to take about my phone for navigation, but lots of little "just want to make sure I am where I think I am" checks can be done by glancing quickly at my wrist.

    All sorts of other features and info too, e.g., with a few button presses, you can see the times for sunrise, sunset, civil daylight, civil twilight displayed for your location.
    And if you're into Strava, plus Stop, then select Save, and just like that, all your workout details are instantly posted on-line for all your friends, fans, stalkers, etc.
    Also works well as a bike computer.
    (Can add a cadence sensor if you're really into that.)

    Another unexpected benefit is the notification for emails and texts.
    My work allows me to ski midweek, but I still need to keep in touch.
    The email and text snippets I see are almost always sufficient enough to judge whether I need to take out my phone and reply, or whether it can wait until later.

    Overall, it's still a luxury item, and hardly a necessity in life, but aside from skimo gear, I don't have any other material indulgences, so yeah, I spent as much on a watch as my cars have sometimes been worth when I finally gave up on repais and bought a new one.

    Here's the on-line user's manual:
    https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webh...-homepage.html

    And here's the manual for the inReach Mini:
    https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webh...-homepage.html
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Amherst, Mass.
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    4,176
    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    Yeah, the Mini is tiny. [...] But I can't justify paying $350 to drop 200g.
    I was on the fence too for exactly that reason.
    Then when it arrived, and I held the so-cute little thing in my hand ... worth it!
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
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    12,899
    Ha ha. Mini at the top of my list if and when my gen1 SE craps out.

    Re alti watches, after years of fighting fogged up Suuntos, I've gone back to old school: Analog dial watch (Citizen Eco-drive) and this analog dial altimeter. Combined weight is less than my Suunto Core. My GPSr is a $79 Garmin eTrex 10, replaced my classic Garmin 60CSx, works as well for my use and has oodles of battery life (with WAAS and GLONASS turned off).
    Last edited by GeezerSteve; 07-03-2018 at 10:55 AM.

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
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    I've always loved an altimeter watch as a navigation piece. My Highgear Summit was awesome until it broke. I have an old dial altimeter I use. My phone serves as a GPS since it has interchangable batteries and offline maps... I can see how a watch would integrate the GPS and altimeter function in one place though.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
    Posts
    4,176
    Another unexpected plus I neglected to mention in my earlier post is the accuracy of the Garmin Fenix 5X tracklog.
    Although I haven't conducted a formal side-by-side test with other GPSr devices yet, this really stunned me:
    https://www.strava.com/activities/1627711952
    I was mainly curious to obtain a rough idea of the cumulative distance, but the individual segments are amazingly accurate.
    Granted I'm not in a slot canyon or something like this, but our house has a major treeline on one side, and the house itself is probably blocking reception to some extent.
    And all of the gaps in the tracks that might seem like errors actually correspond to areas I wasn't mowing.
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    599
    Garmin 6x series with topos of the area you are in and a ACR ResQLink.

    It is also good to print your planned route and know landmarks arouns the area so the choppa does not have to pull you out.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    318
    I just read a review on the InReach mini last week: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/05/...th-review.html
    Quote Originally Posted by jlboyell View Post
    Climate change deniers should be in the same boat as the flat earthers, ridiculed for stupidity.

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    5,225

    Personal Locator Beacons: Options besides SPOT?

    The mini is light but for $50 I get full gps. It was interesting to read a lot of SAR people have the inreach. I have had two rescues in my 20 years skiing. One was the resorts fault when lift detached in high wind Ski patrol performed lift rescue. Would not have helped. Second was my fault leaving resort unprepared. This one would have been good to have something and I had gear but no comms. I bought an ACR rescue link but it has reached its end of life. I need something for next season. I am liking the ability to have GPS maps and topo and communication ability besides my BCA radio. $15 a month is not a bad piece of mind. It can happen with biking. My buddies spot sends me his info cause is local and single. But he also Mountain bikes at midnight so if he got hurt I would not know till morning most nights.

    Who has in reach and uses it for mapping and as safety device? My wife does like to know where I am and that Iím alright after my Canada SAR rescue. Has anyone had freezing issues on the inreach and have it not work in low temps?
    Mini does not seems to have topo features only breadcrumbs. 4 oz and $50 for full size is not much for more Features.
    Last edited by whyturn; 07-05-2018 at 09:18 PM.
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    8, 17, 13, 18, 16, 18, 20, 19, 16

    2018/2019 (24/32)

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    599
    Quote Originally Posted by whyturn View Post
    The mine is light but for $50 I get full gps. It was interesting to read a lot of SAR people have the inreach. I have had two rescues in my 20 years skiing. One was the resorts fault when lift detached in high wind Ski patrol performed lift rescue. Would not have helped. Second was my fault leaving resort unprepared. This one would have been good to have something and I had gear but no comms. I bought an ACR rescue link but it has reached its end of life. I need something for next season. I am liking the ability to have GPS maps and topo and communication ability besides my BCA radio. $15 a month is not a bad piece of mind. It can happen with biking. My buddies spot sends me his info cause is local and single. But he also Mountain bikes at midnight so if he got hurt I would not know till morning most nights.

    Who has in reach and uses it for mapping and as safety device? My wife does like to know where I am and that Iím alright after my Canada SAR rescue. Has anyone had freezing issues on the inreach and have it not work in low temps?
    Mini does not seems to have topo features only breadcrumbs. 4 oz and $50 for full size is not much for more Features.
    ACR will replace your batteries for $50-100 bucks and will be good to go.

  11. #61
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Mostly the Elks, mostly.
    Posts
    374
    Quote Originally Posted by whyturn View Post
    The mini is light but for $50 I get full gps. It was interesting to read a lot of SAR people have the inreach

    ...

    Who has in reach and uses it for mapping and as safety device? My wife does like to know where I am and that Iím alright after my Canada SAR rescue. Has anyone had freezing issues on the inreach and have it not work in low temps?
    Mini does not seems to have topo features only breadcrumbs. 4 oz and $50 for full size is not much for more Features.
    For me the real gold in the inReach is the safety tether/communications with the world if I need it, the mapping/nav is secondary.

    I share the track, and Mrs M.o.N. can track my progress online - which after one particular adventure when I was .. um, very late .. yeah. A 'safety device' indeed.

    In terms of pure mapping/nav, I like gaia better than garmin earthmate - but it also relies on a functioning cell phone (works on the iPhone gps). inReach mapping/nav isn't bad, and will definitely get you there.

    inReach as compared to a mini?

    Mini messages like the full-size through a paired device and the app, but it's not clear to me how well it messages on its own. I think, not as well.
    Mini also can access maps through the earthmate map but I don't think you can see them on the device itself? I could be wrong, haven't fondled one in person yet.
    Also, don't know how the weather feature through the mini looks - not clear to me.

    So if you're out with the mini and your phone dies, you could compromise some of the in-field user benefits. But those online can still follow your track to see where you are, if you shared one - and you keep some SOS and message capability I think.

    Segway into battery question:
    Garmin advertises inReach battery life in the inReach to be about twice that of the mini. (100hrs on 10 min tracking vs 50hrs on the mini). And in my experience in the cold, my 'paired device' (iPhone) dies faster than my inReach. I haven't tried hard freezes .. like big mountain weeks on end sub zero freeze, so I can't speak to that. But regular weekend hut trips and daily winter adventures it has been great. And I sure haven't gone out my way to keep it warm.

    So. As a stand-alone better-battery device that could do all the things I want, for me the choice is still the full-size inReach. It's really not *that big and heavy, c'mon. It's only what, a few oz more.
    To my knowledge none of the team have gone to a mini yet - certainly not in place of the full-size inReach.

    As a side note .. is the weight/size of the mini + cell phone more than just the regular inReach by itself? hmm.

    Like anything, user preference on cost/benefit/features is what it boils down to.

  12. #62
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
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    12,899
    Quote Originally Posted by MiddleOfNight View Post
    It's only what, a few oz more.
    Mini weighs 3.4 oz less than gen1 inReach SE

  13. #63
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    421
    Iím also using the Fenix 5x and inReach mini. I agree with all of Jonathanís assessments and the pairing is super convenient. Iíll add that while tracking on the inReach even if you set the log interval at 1 second it still only sends one point at your set tracking interval and does not update the website for those looking on with any more detail than location at the track interval (the smallest of which is 10 minutes on the less expensive plans). Not a big deal but I misunderstood how it worked before figuring this out. Because of the Fenix I havenít actually looked at the accuracy of the inReach track with the short log interval that the device itself stores yet and have lengthened it to save battery.

    My wife had been pushing me to get a sat communicator mainly for ski season when Iím frequently out in the BC alone or just out of cell coverage but sheís been appreciative of the track already while Iíve been out on trail runs. The watch was also a gift to myself because of the mapping capabilities. I wanted to start relying on my phone less for navigation because of short battery life in the cold. The 5x mapping is good enough to make this work with a simple topo basemap and with it pretty easy to sync routes and waypoints to the area youíre heading. I was a little bummed when I saw the price to upgrade the basemap ($100 for detailed maps including trails and $30 for aerial imagery) so Iím keeping the simple basemaps for now.

  14. #64
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Meiss Meadows
    Posts
    1,208
    My InReach just earned all the $$ I have put there.
    The two way communication with my rescuers was great.
    I am looking forward to hearing more of the details, as I wasnít following what was happening very well.
    But without it, I would have been totally screwed.

  15. #65
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
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    12,899
    Quote Originally Posted by powdrhound View Post
    I am looking forward to hearing more of the details
    As are we. Tell us more

  16. #66
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Meiss Meadows
    Posts
    1,208
    I do know that they were also calling my Lady to keep her updated.

  17. #67
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    NIseko Japan, or Gold Coast Australia
    Posts
    109
    ive been considering getting a spot device, but with the feedback here i think ill be getting an inReach mini instead.
    what is missing however is where to get one other than full retail?
    any tips on discount retailers? (note that im currently in australia) / where did you get yours? / etc

  18. #68
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Mostly the Elks, mostly.
    Posts
    374
    Quote Originally Posted by anything View Post
    ive been considering getting a spot device, but with the feedback here i think ill be getting an inReach mini instead.
    what is missing however is where to get one other than full retail?
    any tips on discount retailers? (note that im currently in australia) / where did you get yours? / etc
    Check to see if any public safety agencies near you do bulk orders, maybe they can throw one on for you. Rescue, Fire/EMS etc .. I think they all get ProForm and some do a bulk order every so often. Still expensive but any discount is a good discount.

  19. #69
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virgina (It's humid here)
    Posts
    4,500
    Dabbling with the idea of getting an InReach Mini for upcoming trip to Italy. But I know absolutely zero about these things. Will it actually work there? Will I be talking to local Italians in Italian, or will I be talking to someone back in the states who has to then communicate with Italians to rescue me? Or do I just press an SOS button and wait? Help me Obi Wan Kenobi.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    Dabbling with the idea of getting an InReach Mini for upcoming trip to Italy. But I know absolutely zero about these things. Will it actually work there? Will I be talking to local Italians in Italian, or will I be talking to someone back in the states who has to then communicate with Italians to rescue me? Or do I just press an SOS button and wait? Help me Obi Wan Kenobi.
    As I understand it, you hit SOS and then you would be texting back and forth with an operator at the GEOS Rescue Center who would be able to talk in English. They then relay to the local rescue organization.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  21. #71
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    1,970
    Quote Originally Posted by splittin View Post
    ACR will replace your batteries for $50-100 bucks and will be good to go.
    ACR won't replace your battery. They'll direct you to a service center - of which there are non listed between chicago and the west coast, and at least the last time I asked for a quote it was more than $100, some up to $150 or more. Not a great deal compared to the capabilities of a new unit.

    There are people who've replaced the battery themselves, cheaply, google for instructions with the usual caveats on judgement yada yada.

  22. #72
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    5,225
    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    ACR won't replace your battery. They'll direct you to a service center - of which there are non listed between chicago and the west coast, and at least the last time I asked for a quote it was more than $100, some up to $150 or more. Not a great deal compared to the capabilities of a new unit.

    There are people who've replaced the battery themselves, cheaply, google for instructions with the usual caveats on judgement yada yada.
    Kind of what I expected. May just do in reach for topo and comms with mrs Whyturn. It was good piece of mind for years but what really made it safer was better planning and choices so I did not end up down by the river again.
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    8, 17, 13, 18, 16, 18, 20, 19, 16

    2018/2019 (24/32)

  23. #73
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virgina (It's humid here)
    Posts
    4,500
    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    As I understand it, you hit SOS and then you would be texting back and forth with an operator at the GEOS Rescue Center who would be able to talk in English. They then relay to the local rescue organization.
    Well that sounds pretty dope.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  24. #74
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Leadville, CO
    Posts
    4,172
    Been running ACR (heavy) and Fast find as 2nd backup (light) for several years now
    used to have spot , but tired of subscription fees

    also using Brunton Weather/wind station/Alt (Summit model, small, light)
    and G-shock Alt watch replaced a Suunto which was less accurate (imo)
    couple of analog compasses and I think thats all the tech besides a phone I have on me
    My Company: Made in Colorado SKi Clothing- check it out

    Last year for 'Threads for Shreds' jacket trade in program!
    www.freeridesystems.com
    20% Maggot Discount Code = 'MAGGOT20'

  25. #75
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    5,844
    Just finished up a week in the Winds 6 days 5 nights with the full sized Inreach. Brought a paired S8 and a battery to charge. Paid the 30+ bucks for the free tracking, basic weather, 40 texts etc just for this month.

    Anyway I was super impressed. As a GPS it works awesome paired with the free topo maps from Earthmate. Keep the unit on top of the pack and phone on pocket. Kept us going the right direction on our off trail high stuff and when the trail in a canyon went faint under a massive rockslide. Really eliminates a lot of anxiety. The maps are the same topos we print at home and laminate for map/compass.

    Battery seemed to pull about 15% per day shut off at night. Kept it charged with aux. Android on airplane mode with bluetooth on used a little more. Anyway used them both heavily all week and our aux battery still shows 3/4 bars.

    Tracking is cool. Got back to the car today showing 14 miles downhill and I barely had time to crack a beer before my dad messaged me that he saw we made it back. He was glued all week. Wife's parents don't understand us or why we would drag their grandkids into the wilds and this thing just eases their anxiety.

    Wife had a nasty stomach virus day 2 to 4. We had to shuttle her pack to get her to camp the second night. Anyway she recovered and is a badass for doing what she did and keeping to our plan but it was sure nice knowing we could have arranged something if she hadn't recovered or if the ailment wasn't what we thought it was...we didn't cross paths or see another human for 4.5 straight days.

    Anyway Inreach vs Mini I can't say. Very reassuring having the self contained unit that can do it all without the phone but the bluetooth interface is awesome and gets used the most because the S8 screen dials in the maps so much faster on the huge screen with a fast processor and messaging no explanation needed



    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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