Garmin Inreach Mini user friendly or require degree in rocket science?

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Aug 13, 2019
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Reviews for it over at REI...some users seem frustrated with it. Seems like it's not easy to set up and use out of the box?

And the cost to use it...understand it's a bit pricey. Are you forced to pay monthly for as long as you own it or can you "activate" it when you need it and deactivate it when you don't?

I don't want to do anything fancy with it...just send texts in an emergency...and it would be cool if it had a built in locator beacon type thing, but I'm not sure it does.
 
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Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
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May 31, 2015
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Reviews for it over at REI...some users seem frustrated with it. Seems like it's not easy to set up and use out of the box?

And the cost to use it...understand it's a bit pricey. Are you forced to pay monthly for as long as you own it or can you "activate" it when you need it and deactivate it when you don't?

I don't want to do anything fancy with it...just send texts in an emergency...and it would be cool if it had a built in locator beacon type thing, but I'm not sure it does.
I'm not sure about your first question since I have the InReach SE. But for monthly pricing, you can do a "freedom" plan that can be cancelled at will, or a monthly plan that is an annual contract. The freedom plan costs more per month, so if you're planning to use it the majority of the year, the annual contract may actually be the way to go. I started on the freedom plan, but it ended up making more sense for me to go annual.

And it has an SOS button that calls SAR like a PLB would. That was a lot of acronyms. Haha.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
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I'm not sure about your first question since I have the InReach SE. But for monthly pricing, you can do a "freedom" plan that can be cancelled at will, or a monthly plan that is an annual contract. The freedom plan costs more per month, so if you're planning to use it the majority of the year, the annual contract may actually be the way to go. I started on the freedom plan, but it ended up making more sense for me to go annual.

And it has an SOS button that calls SAR like a PLB would. That was a lot of acronyms. Haha.

Alright, if I only do one major trip a year it probably only makes sense to do the more expensive (but one month) freedom plan, right?
 

TheMountainRabbit

"Because it's there."
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Alright, if I only do one major trip a year it probably only makes sense to do the more expensive (but one month) freedom plan, right?
Definitely. It's really easy to cancel, too. I switched to the Annual plan once I saw how much I was using it, but they make it pretty easy to go month-to-month if that fits your schedule better.

Edited to add: some users might be frustrated w/ the actual mapping software that Garmin ties to the product. I can sympathize w/ that, but I really only use that map for my family to follow me in the field. If I want to analyze/adjust the track at all, I export it and use CalTopo.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
120
Definitely. It's really easy to cancel, too. I switched to the Annual plan once I saw how much I was using it, but they make it pretty easy to go month-to-month if that fits your schedule better.

Edited to add: some users might be frustrated w/ the actual mapping software that Garmin ties to the product. I can sympathize w/ that, but I really only use that map for my family to follow me in the field. If I want to analyze/adjust the track at all, I export it and use CalTopo.

I plan on downloading maps to my phone and using Gaia GPS. If I purchase this Inreach Mini it would only be because I'm venturing further out and I'm getting older and the rare chance of having a confrontation with a bear....just to communicate and be able to tell someone I'm having an emergency.
 

Jackson

I ❤️ GYE
.
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
2,871
Alright, if I only do one major trip a year it probably only makes sense to do the more expensive (but one month) freedom plan, right?
Definitely. The freedom plan is kind of annoying because there are a few extra fees associated with it, on top of the higher cost for a single month. However, it would still be a lot cheaper if you're literally only using the InReach one month per year.
 

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