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edewolfe
 
06/06/2018 06:08AM
We have a boy scout troop trip coming up in July. Our charter and committee chair are requiring us to take satellite phones with us. The outfitter doesn't rent them. Any recommendations for a provider? Thanks.
 
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Jackfish
Moderator
 
06/06/2018 07:47AM
All Scout canoe trips through the Northern Tier High Adventure Base have a satellite phone as standard issue equipment and everyone is taught how to use it (in case the Interpreter is the one who is injured) so, assuming that you're not going through NT, the committee's recommendation is a good one.

I would think any outfitter would have satellite phones for rent. Contact one that is convenient for your trip and ask. I'm sure you'll have success.
IndyScouters
member (26)member
 
06/06/2018 08:10AM
edewolfe, I am similarly situated in that my Troop Committee also insisted that we have some form of emergency communications capabilities for our two Scout groups going in this weekend. I was able to find a pretty good deal here OER Rentals for the Delorme In Reach device, It has two way texting and the SOS feature my committee was requesting. The outfitter I am using, on the Gunflint side - Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters - also now has two of these (one of the reasons we rented this model). We had rented this device prior to Rockwood acquiring the second device or we would have just rented theirs.

Anyway, after looking into these verses a Sat Phone, we concluded that these met all our requirements and provided the peace of mind the committee wanted - although it does kind of bother me that I'll have to fire up the "device a couple times a day when one of the main reasons i love the B-Dub is the ability to "unplug" from such things while immersed in this beautiful area. Each group surely has their own reasons for their selection, but for us this made more sense than a Sat phone.

Enjoy your trip and be safe! I hope to have a new group of young men and parents that find the love of the BWCAW that I found at 13 on my first trip back in the early 70s!

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
YIS, IndyScouter


Here is a sunset from 628 on Gaskin a few years back - can't wait!
Tman
distinguished member (186)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/06/2018 12:17PM
Our Troop committee has also required us to take emergency communication devices. We have always rented satellite phones from the outfitter but I would think an InReach would also meet the requirement. We do not "check in" during the trip. It is just for emergency purposes.

On my solo trip my wife wanted me to do the same thing and also to call to check in during the middle of the trip. She screens calls and we have the phones set up so that they won't accept calls that have caller ID blocked. If you call with blocked caller ID you can manually enter a number for the call to go through.

I ended up making multiple calls trying to get through to her due to this. The satellite phone did not reveal the number and I struggled to manually enter a number for it to go through. I ended up having to make multiple calls. So, if you plan to check in make sure your contact person does not screen their calls and will answer any call coming in.
PatrickE
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
 
06/08/2018 11:43AM
My question with the sat phone...is there a number where home can REACH YOU, or essentially is the phone off at all times unless you power it up for an outgoing call? My scenario is that I’ve got a pregnant wife at home that wants to reach me if she goes into labor. Now before I get burned at the stake for leaving my pregnant wife at home while I camp, she is 2 months from her due date but is nervous about not being able to reach us if something were to happen. I’m planning on touching base several times during the trip but wondered if her reaching us is a possibility.
06/08/2018 01:06PM
You'd probably have to leave it on all the time in order for her to call you out of the woods. Or, look into an Inreach device that can pair with a phone to send/receive texts via satellite.

Good luck with the L&D and congrats on the expanded family! My wife probably wouldn't let me get anywhere near the BWCA if there was a chance she might go into labor. Those days are past for us though, and I think now she's just happy to be rid of me for a week. ;-)
andym
distinguished member(4215)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/08/2018 02:00PM
The sat phones that I have rented had voice mail. So you can turn on periodically to check. To keep it on all the time you may need a way to charge the batteries or have spares. That just depends on the length of your trip.

I've been looking at emergency communications devices and may well buy a Garmin Inreach for two-way communication in case of a rescue and that also allows for people to text you. But that doesn't let you actually talk during your trip when you want to touch base.
proepro
member (40)member
 
06/08/2018 04:35PM
I don't know what the charging requirements of the satellite phones are. However, the portable solar panels do a good job keeping cameras and phones charged if you have sunlight. We used one from Aukey this is often on sale on Amazon with discount codes or promotions. I charged a battery pack during the day then charged my camera with the battery overnight.
Marten
distinguished member (315)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/08/2018 06:17PM
I find it simplest to use the text message with a sat. phone. Once linked to a satellite the message is stored in the phone even if coverage is lost. To retrieve a voice mail on Globalstar VMS and entering a password- hoping not to lose the signal.
PatrickE
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
 
06/08/2018 06:43PM
Thanks for the info. I've always been intrigued by the InReach device but have heard of several negative experiences. A family member has one and activated it for a trip for several weeks, only to realize they've made the subscription service a 1 year minimum. Kind of defeats the purpose of just needing in sporadically on trips in my opinion.
Marten
distinguished member (315)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2018 08:42AM
PatrickE: "Thanks for the info. I've always been intrigued by the InReach device but have heard of several negative experiences. A family member has one and activated it for a trip for several weeks, only to realize they've made the subscription service a 1 year minimum. Kind of defeats the purpose of just needing in sporadically on trips in my opinion. "

https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/

In reach plans-annual and freedom

The Freedom plans allows you to activate for a month at a time.
PatrickE
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
 
06/09/2018 10:50AM
Marten: "PatrickE: "Thanks for the info. I've always been intrigued by the InReach device but have heard of several negative experiences. A family member has one and activated it for a trip for several weeks, only to realize they've made the subscription service a 1 year minimum. Kind of defeats the purpose of just needing in sporadically on trips in my opinion. "


https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/


In reach plans-annual and freedom


The Freedom plans allows you to activate for a month at a time."


Yeah you are totally right. I just asked he said it was actually SPOT and not the Inreach. They activated it for a trip and then got the $130/year charge and couldn't go month to month. It's odd b/c it looks like you can go month to month if you look on their website...
billconner
distinguished member(6731)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/09/2018 02:26PM
I think you can pay monthly, but have a 12 month contract (in very fine print).

I see they have a rental program now.
proepro
member (40)member
 
06/11/2018 09:07PM
The panel we used was 20Watts. Kept several phones and camera charged.

We had good sun all day on a rock outcrop on shore.
 
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