BWCA Satellite phone or something to communicate Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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Canoeinggal
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
 
05/12/2021 09:43PM  
Hello,
I feel that this summer I need to carry a phone since my mom is having some health issues. Wouldn't want to return and find out we missed the funeral. Just kidding! We're going out for 2 weeks. Any advice on what to rent or purchase?
 
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dschult2
distinguished member (136)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2021 12:02AM  
Here's a lengthy recent thread on the very subject.
PLB
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2021 06:33AM  
dschult2: "Here's a lengthy recent thread on the very subject.
PLB "


You will get plenty of good responses about how to communicate with the outside world. Skip the cellphone since there is only very limited coverage.

And at least consider not communicating with the outside world. Sometimes not knowing is better than knowing when you are way in and with a group.

Tom
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13897)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
05/13/2021 06:49AM  
I would suggest you look into a Garmin InReach Explorer + satellite communication device. It needs a data service just like a cell phone and the service can be turned off when not used. It allows you up to 40 text messages, or emails, or weather forecasts a month. It also has a SOS rescue feature. There are free simple text messages you can also send, like I’m ok just checking in today. People at home or social media can also follow your travels if you want and they can see where you are on a map. So the people at home could contact you back and get a hold of you by a text or email. Just remember that every time they respond to you it counts against your 40 texts. There also is an unlimited text feature you might want to get for your trip. You can downgrade or upgrade the data plan later too. Be advised that there are a few types of devices out there to choose from. One is just a Personal locator beacon or PLB. Hit a button and rescue is on the way. This kind is not what you want because that’s all it does, send for help. Another is a satellite communication feature and a PLB for sending a SOS rescue.
From your description of your needs, this is the one you want.
There are a few outfitters that now rent the satellite phones you might want to call and ask. I’ve also heard the some outfitters also rent the Garmin InReach units also.
 
05/13/2021 07:33AM  
InReach with the text message feature will keep you in communication and is more affordable than a Sat phone
 
yellowcanoe
distinguished member(4909)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/13/2021 07:44AM  
Canoeinggal: "Hello,
I feel that this summer I need to carry a phone since my mom is having some health issues. Wouldn't want to return and find out we missed the funeral. Just kidding! We're going out for 2 weeks. Any advice on what to rent or purchase?"


Refer to the thread cited. You can rent a satellite phone or get a Garmin InReach which has two way capabilities.

No kidding. I missed my sister in laws death and funeral and the repercussions were not nice.
 
Stumpy
distinguished member(1749)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2021 09:48PM  
Canoe Country Outfitters in Ely, will rent you a Sat phone.... Many others I'm sure.
 
billconner
distinguished member(7950)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/14/2021 05:33AM  
If purchasing, I believe Zoleo, Somewhere Global Hotspot, and Bivystick all offer the smartphone app for free if you want to try it. They are very text like, and seem easy to use. They all use the Iridium system and GEOS, and offer SOS plus texts. After that, email, tracking, weather, initial costs, and service plan costs be all vary. Garmin and Spot have not seemed quite as idiot proof to use, but are probably the market leaders.
 
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