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Thread: Comm gear questions please advise

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    Default Comm gear questions please advise

    With being new to hunting I have been looking at the threads on lessons learned and the such and I was wondering about emergency communication equipment. My wife and I have been looking at different emergency comm stuff and can't decide if we should go with Spot, or inReach or even the emergency transponder.

    I was thinking of something that can have possible back and forth comms for fly ins or no cell service locations. Then it occured to me what about a sat phone.

    If I have understood previous threads I can buy a sat phone and pay as you go. Would this be a better piece of equipment to carry in the field? I think it might be but I gotta state my case to the boss, if you know what I mean.

    Thanks in advance!

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    You can rent a sat phone...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    You can rent a sat phone...
    Thanks for the reply. I had thought about that as well but my thinking is with whatever one I go with, I would be able to just grab and go. You know, with a possibility of one not being available. Just not really sure, its all new to me.

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    We purchased our sat phone many years ago and it goes with us all the time. Our sat phone not only travels in Alaska, but when we drive to the lower 48, we do not have the expense of the cell phone and 'international calling' charges.

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    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Of course a personal preference for each of us. That said, I rent a SAT phone when doing a fly-in...it has been invaluable, and one transporter/guide required me to have one on a recent three week DIY drop-off hunt.

    However, when doing my own thing the people who love me have asked that I carry a personal locator unit. I chose this one a couple of years ago, and carry it with me when in the field (even if I have a SAT phone).

    http://www.rei.com/product/815753/ac...locator-beacon

    You have to register it with NOAA. However, it is (in theory...I've not yet used it) then set-up to simply pop the top, extend the antenna, push the button, and wait. It's relatively light and carries well. You can buy it many places...I simply did a quick link to REI because I need to get off to work now.

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    I rent and use both sat phones and InReach communicators. Unless you NEED to have a phone I would recommend the InReach over anything else available.

    The annual cost is the lowest with the most flexible plans and the coverage and features beat the Spot in every way. The customer support is also very good. If you do have an issue you get to talk to an American who knows that AK is not Arkansas.

    PLB has its place but it does not let you check in with home or allow your wife to message you if something important happens.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    I carry a PLB and an HF ham radio.

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    I second the InReach. Affordable, flexible, and no dead spots. My hunting buddies and I each have InReaches and we can separate for the day and stay in touch with each other InReach to InReach. If I didn't have the InReach I'd have a SatPhone. I like to be able to explain what is going on versus being confined to pre-arranged messages.

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    Whatever one's personal choice in the field, it's important to remember our hunting regulations (not accusing anyone here of anything improper, so relax):

    "Communications equipment may be used for safety; they may not be used to aid in taking of game." (p. 18)

  11. #11

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    The inReach is a much cheaper option to a sat phone. The new inReach explorer is a communicator and GPS navigator in one. I don't own one myself but I have borrowed a few and they are awesome. People back home can track your location and send you a text. It's great. Hit the SOS button and search and rescue are on their way and you can send them a text to describe the situation. Much cheaper than a sat phone and works great.

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    Thank you everyone for the replies! Trying to narrow it down but I think I may knoww which way to go! Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalTexAk Reaper View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I had thought about that as well but my thinking is with whatever one I go with, I would be able to just grab and go. You know, with a possibility of one not being available. Just not really sure, its all new to me.
    Buy a used one in eBay for cheap and get a 200 minute plan.

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    For an Iridium phone you are looking at a minimim of $400/year to have service after you purchase the phone. The Spot phone comparable plan is $480/yr.

    You can rent a sat phone for 5-6 weeks every year for the cost of the service contract.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    I would buy an InReach, I am pretty impressed by them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayling Slayer View Post
    For an Iridium phone you are looking at a minimim of $400/year to have service after you purchase the phone. The Spot phone comparable plan is $480/yr.

    You can rent a sat phone for 5-6 weeks every year for the cost of the service contract.
    I get 200 minutes for $190.00 a year at Surveyors Exchange.. They have a $60.00 first time activation but after that it's just the $190.00 for 200 minutes. Your right though, if you only want to use it in emergencies and you don't spend a lot of time remote the rental would be the way to go.

  17. #17
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    The only Alaska prepaid plan that Iridium currently offers is 200min/6-months.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayling Slayer View Post
    The only Alaska prepaid plan that Iridium currently offers is 200min/6-months.
    Yup, I see that on their site. Which begs the question why they didn't call me for renewal for 12 months and why I used the minutes over those same 12 months. Interesting, either way, your right based on their website.

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