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inReach 1.5 died after firmware update - Replaced with InReach Explorer+

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    • inReach 1.5 died after firmware update - Replaced with InReach Explorer+

      Not sure if I should be grateful or suspicious...

      My DeLorme inReach for Smartphones died after I received an email notice of a firmware update and installed said update. Garmin bought the inReach line from DeLorme, so I spent time working with Garmin's tech support folks in an attempt to bring it back to life. Nothing worked, so the Garmin rep offered me a 50% discount on any of the new Garmin inReach models. Just got my shiny new Explorer+ yesterday. :thumbup:

      So... should I be thrilled that Garmin stood behind a legacy device that they didn't manufacture or should I be angry that they killed my old unit on purpose so I would want to pay for a new unit? ?( I'll go with thrilled. Coulda saved a bunch of grams by choosing the inReach Mini but the Explorer+ has a screen and can be used to send messages by itself or when paired to my phone. Good to have options in case the phone fails.

      Goodbye old friend... thanks for the memories and for saving me from hypothermia.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • What I found interesting is that my original inReach had the same issue. Bought it, followed the instructions to connect it to my computer to check for firmware updates, and killed it. DeLorme quickly replaced it and all was good for many years. At the time, I figured I had a bad unit, but maybe there is a coding flaw that a missing bit or two during downloads can cause a failure.

      I got mine to keep my wife happy - she's a chronic worrier and didn't like the times I was riding my motorcycle in the cellphone dead zone surrounding the National Radio Telescope Observatory in Green Bank WV. She also didn't like the hiking days where I couldn't check in due to a lack of cell service. $12 / month keeps her happy and gives me some peace of mind as well.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • StalkingTortoise wrote:

      What I found interesting is that my original inReach had the same issue. Bought it, followed the instructions to connect it to my computer to check for firmware updates, and killed it. DeLorme quickly replaced it and all was good for many years. At the time, I figured I had a bad unit, but maybe there is a coding flaw that a missing bit or two during downloads can cause a failure.

      I got mine to keep my wife happy - she's a chronic worrier and didn't like the times I was riding my motorcycle in the cellphone dead zone surrounding the National Radio Telescope Observatory in Green Bank WV. She also didn't like the hiking days where I couldn't check in due to a lack of cell service. $12 / month keeps her happy and gives me some peace of mind as well.
      Happy Wife, Happy Life!!! :thumbup:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • LIhikers wrote:

      Sounds to me that they got something wrong
      Glad to hear they helped you out financially though.
      As I get older and closer to working on my bucket list items ( long hikes and a cross the country bicycle ride) I consider getting one of those.
      If I can just finish the AT this summer, I guess I can start thinking about my bucket list. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      I just did some on-line browsing of these devices and found that they certainly aren't cheap.
      And then you have to pay for the service too.
      Maybe when I retire and am working on my 3 bucket list adventures
      1. Bicycle across the country
      2. Finish hiking the A.T.
      3. Hike from New York to my son's place in Ohio
    • New

      LIhikers wrote:

      I just did some on-line browsing of these devices and found that they certainly aren't cheap.
      And then you have to pay for the service too.
      Maybe when I retire and am working on my 3 bucket list adventures
      1. Bicycle across the country
      2. Finish hiking the A.T.
      3. Hike from New York to my son's place in Ohio

      I bought mine to keep family happy with me being out of any cell service and no way to summon help. Wife loves it as she gets two text a day with my starting and stopping and she knows where I am (tracking at like 2 hours, conserves battery). I liked the DeLorme better than SPOT. The unit does cost a lot more, but the "freedom" plan I am on is like $14 a month. Covers a few days out on a trail. And, you can "suspend" it. And if you decide to go say on a week long trip, just logon and bump up the plan. Takes effect immediately. (the reverse isn't true...bump it down and it takes effect the next time your regular billing cycle take effect).
      I'm happy with my SE model. I looked at the MINI and was planing on using a 20% off coupon....and then the coupon didn't apply! So no mini (yet).
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • New

      odd man out wrote:

      Have looked at the Mini. Can't you send messages without a linked keyboard device but it's just kind of a pain? And can't the standard pre-set messages be sent?
      With the Mini and my original 1.5 unit, I could send 1 of 3 pre-written messages directly from the unit without using my phone. My hiking messages were:

      1. Covered the intended miles and all is good.
      2. Stopped early but I'll try to make up the miles tomorrow.
      3. Ran into a non life threatening situation and the hike is over. I'll call as soon as I reach civilization.
      Motorcycle preset messages were similar but the last one was that my bike was broken down and to have roadside assistance dispatched to my location. I just had to remember to log into the inReach site before my trip and swap out my hiking messages for my cycle messages.

      It's easiest to put the inReach device in a location with a good view of the sky and then use the phone to compose messages. The message input method on the Explorer+ model is the old T9 texting - anywhere from 1 to 4 taps per number key for each letter. Cumbersome but effective if my phone battery is dead and I need to have a conversation.

      For reference, here's my story on how my InReach saved me from at best a very uncomfortable night and at worst hypothermia. In SW Virginia, my buddy Smoking Sox and I left the Lost Mountain Shelter on a cloudy Sunday morning. Temps were in the mid 40's and I was working up a sweat on the 1920' climb up Whitetop Mountain. A gentle rain began to fall as I got near the summit and the temperature felt like it was dropping a bit. All of a sudden, the rain changed to snow and a strong wind knifed right through me as the temperature plummeted. I dropped my pack to dig out my rainjacket, gloves and hat, then made it another 100 yards before I had to stop again to dig out my rainpants. I crossed the bald summit of Whitetop with both poles in one hand and securing my rainjacket hood over my head with the other hand. I had to keep my head cocked to the right to prevent the snow and wind from hitting me in the face.

      Things got a little better once I began the descent into Elk Garden. I was out of the wind, but I was still damp from the rain and the sweat. Hiking briskly down to Elk Garden warmed me up but generated more sweat inside my raingear. Sox was out in front of me and I wondered if he would wait at Elk Garden or begin the ascent of Mt. Rogers - the highest point in VA. I found him huddled inside the USFS restroom adjacent to the trail. He was wearing all of his clothing and shivering even after making a cup of hot tea. I changed into dry clothes and put all of my layers on under the raingear. It was tolerable inside the restroom, but even a brief exit into the storm brought back the uncontrollable shivering. The wind was blowing at around 40 mph and fog was in the air with temps right at freezing - an odd combination that produces rime ice.



      With zero cell phone reception (AT&T and Verizon), our options were limited:

      1. Try to flag down a passing vehicle and get a ride into Marion VA. Unfortunately, the wind noise drowned out any sign of an approaching vehicle and standing outside was not an option.
      2. Continue northbound to the notoriously drafty Thomas Knob Shelter and hope our gear would keep us warm for the night.
      3. Set up tents in Elk Garden and hope for the best.
      4. Sleep in the well-ventilated privy.
      5. Use the inReach to organize a shuttle back to civilization and a hot shower.
      I believe that we could have survived the night in Elk Garden. It wouldn't have been fun, but we had 20-degree bags and full fuel canisters for cooking up hot food & drink. Sox eventually relented and agreed to leave the trail. It took maybe 30 minutes to send and receive several messages with my wife to relay our position and the number of our shuttler. Once we received confirmation that he was on his way, we still had 45 minutes of shivering and misery before he arrived. The poor guy had to remove his jacket so he could tolerate the heater set on high for the entire ride back to Atkins.

      Bottom line: When you need it, the cost is inconsequential.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • New

      rhjanes wrote:

      LIhikers wrote:

      I just did some on-line browsing of these devices and found that they certainly aren't cheap.
      And then you have to pay for the service too.
      Maybe when I retire and am working on my 3 bucket list adventures
      1. Bicycle across the country
      2. Finish hiking the A.T.
      3. Hike from New York to my son's place in Ohio

      I bought mine to keep family happy with me being out of any cell service and no way to summon help. Wife loves it as she gets two text a day with my starting and stopping and she knows where I am (tracking at like 2 hours, conserves battery). I liked the DeLorme better than SPOT. The unit does cost a lot more, but the "freedom" plan I am on is like $14 a month. Covers a few days out on a trail. And, you can "suspend" it. And if you decide to go say on a week long trip, just logon and bump up the plan. Takes effect immediately. (the reverse isn't true...bump it down and it takes effect the next time your regular billing cycle take effect).I'm happy with my SE model. I looked at the MINI and was planing on using a 20% off coupon....and then the coupon didn't apply! So no mini (yet).
      When I purchased my original 1.5 unit, the sales associate at REI checked with her manager to see if my 20% off coupon was valid. He interpreted the "GPS enabled" exception on the coupon to mean that the item needed to have a GPS screen and gave me the 20% off. I didn't argue. If I recall correctly, the recent coupons specifically exclude all satellite messenger units. And then DeLorme offered a mail-in rebate to lessen the pain even more.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by StalkingTortoise ().

    • New

      StalkingTortoise wrote:



      With zero cell phone reception (AT&T and Verizon), our options were limited:


      4. Sleep in the well-ventilated privy.
      reminds me of minnesota smith.

      he was slackpacking on the AT and 1) he didn't make the distance during the day he planned, 2) it got really cold, and 3) it started snowing.

      he was lucky enough to be hiking thru a campground that had an unlocked privy that he gladly spent the night in.
      2,000 miler
    • New

      max.patch wrote:

      StalkingTortoise wrote:

      With zero cell phone reception (AT&T and Verizon), our options were limited:


      4. Sleep in the well-ventilated privy.
      reminds me of minnesota smith.
      he was slackpacking on the AT and 1) he didn't make the distance during the day he planned, 2) it got really cold, and 3) it started snowing.

      he was lucky enough to be hiking thru a campground that had an unlocked privy that he gladly spent the night in.
      That must have been mighty cold. <X
      It would have to be for me, and I grew up on South Florida. :rolleyes:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General