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Let’s Talk Handheld navigation/Satellite Phones.

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
374
Location
Arizona
As I find myself to be in the middle of nowhere, alone and without cell service. I have been carrying around my baofeng with preset emergency channels, however I just don’t think that’s enough. And downloading sections on google maps just isn’t that reliable.

Been looking into the garmin line up, but haven’t found one that would also have a satellite phone incorporated. I’m not set of having navigation and a satellite phone being on the same device. Just one that is good to have hiking/fishing in rough terrain and having an idea where I’m at, figuring out the routes while off-roading (I saw the confusion in sandhallow with the trails) and in general having an SOS if something goes wrong.

Some products I’ve considered:




A lower end iPad or comparable tablet with onX or comparable navigation app/software.
 

alrock

El Diablo
Staff member
Messages
10,447
Location
Scottsdale
In regards to navigation, from what I’ve seen is that phones and Garmin essentially have the same accuracy (on paper), but I’ve also seen that they don’t have the same results. I’m going to replicate some tests soon that I saw someone else do, which is to carry both a phone and a Garmin (I have the 67i without the Sat communicator) and see how they track. Another user saw the phone zigzag back and forth along a hike, being accurate 90% of the time but way off sometimes. The hiking GPS (Garmin) remained pretty accurate.

The biggest benefit to a Garmin is battery life. Other benefits include being able to see the screen in bright sun, more rugged case, etc. I don’t like the 67 for OffRoad because the screen is too small. When I zoom out to get a better perspective, I lose detail. I’ll probably get a big screen one like Mike Jacobs did so I can get perspective and detail at the same time.

For communicator, you need more of an SOS device than something to make regular calls, right? I think picking your favorite style emergency communicator is the way to go. LagunaH1 had a SPOT a while ago, if I remember correctly. I haven’t read up on the emergency communicator in this Garmin device but they sell other ones as well too.

If this is for hiking, I’d recommend something like the Garmin 67i and you can consider incorporating communication or going separate. If for offroad, I’d get a bigger screen and a separate emergency communicator.
 

06 H3

a.k.a. "The Jackal"
Messages
9,352
Location
Meridian, ID
I can’t talk about gps in confidence but I can talk about SAT phones.

I have the Spot X, my brother has the garmin inreach mini, my friend has the zoleo.

I think the spot X has the most versatility but the least user friendly. It can send full blown texts without your phone. The inreach mini is probably the middle ground one and the zoleo is the most basic. The inreach mini and zoleo rely more on your phone to do custom texts. So it’s another thing you have to keep charged. The spot can go off your phone or the sat phone itself. They all have pros and cons but most importantly they have all done their job well when in remote areas.
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
374
Location
Arizona
In regards to navigation, from what I’ve seen is that phones and Garmin essentially have the same accuracy (on paper), but I’ve also seen that they don’t have the same results. I’m going to replicate some tests soon that I saw someone else do, which is to carry both a phone and a Garmin (I have the 67i without the Sat communicator) and see how they track. Another user saw the phone zigzag back and forth along a hike, being accurate 90% of the time but way off sometimes. The hiking GPS (Garmin) remained pretty accurate.

The biggest benefit to a Garmin is battery life. Other benefits include being able to see the screen in bright sun, more rugged case, etc. I don’t like the 67 for OffRoad because the screen is too small. When I zoom out to get a better perspective, I lose detail. I’ll probably get a big screen one like Mike Jacobs did so I can get perspective and detail at the same time.

For communicator, you need more of an SOS device than something to make regular calls, right? I think picking your favorite style emergency communicator is the way to go. LagunaH1 had a SPOT a while ago, if I remember correctly. I haven’t read up on the emergency communicator in this Garmin device but they sell other ones as well too.

If this is for hiking, I’d recommend something like the Garmin 67i and you can consider incorporating communication or going separate. If for offroad, I’d get a bigger screen and a separate emergency communicator.
My iPhone (14 plus) is sometimes accurate, sometimes not. I can guess where I’m at most of the time, but normally it’s off. I’ll Probably aim for one with a bigger screen, I don’t do super long hiking routes that would necessarily require gps. Mainly getting there when cell reception is minimal.

For the communicator, it’s more for the oh shit moments. 06h3 also says there’s a stretch in nevada with no cell service, and it’s a considerable distance to travel. Would like to have one for when I drive up to the rubicon.
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
374
Location
Arizona
I can’t talk about gps in confidence but I can talk about SAT phones.

I have the Spot X, my brother has the garmin inreach mini, my friend has the zoleo.

I think the spot X has the most versatility but the least user friendly. It can send full blown texts without your phone. The inreach mini is probably the middle ground one and the zoleo is the most basic. The inreach mini and zoleo rely more on your phone to do custom texts. So it’s another thing you have to keep charged. The spot can go off your phone or the sat phone itself. They all have pros and cons but most importantly they have all done their job well when in remote areas.
I agree with you and Alex, the spot x seems like the better option for budget/quality sake. I would prefer to have 2 different systems, just seems like Murphey’s law would come into play if i relied on 2 different devices at once when I really needed it.
 

deserth3

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,069
Location
Conroe, TX
Not a GPS. But is supposed to allow your cell phone to message through satellite service.
 

rascole

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,588
Location
Bellflower, CA
Samsung and Apple are 1 maybe 2 generation of phones away from having full sat functionality. Won't be cheap but what is now days. I just upgraded my stereo to the Kenwood DNR100XR, massive 10" screen is a love hate relationship but is has a dedicated GPS antenna and has proven to be extremely accurate in the desert. I don't hike so I can't talk to hand held GPS or SOS devices. I know Onstar has far more power and not sure about Weboost, Vay can answer that.
 

LagunaH1

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,705
Location
Lake Forest, CA
These days I use my iPhone with offline maps from Gaia for navigating. I use an inReach Mini for communicating. HAM or GMRS radios are great for short range comms, but I’ve never experienced them be useful for a real emergency.
 
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