BWCA inReach Mini-anyone use? Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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Portage99
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07/02/2022 04:18PM  
I am looking for comments on this mini inreach. Anyone use this model?

Garmin InReach Mini
 
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07/02/2022 05:34PM  
I have the the original mini which I believe is what you are looking at; there's a new model the mini2 which has some upgrades. Probably worth getting that one. There are some reviews out there on blogs like this one at SectionHiker

I bought mine refurbished several years ago and have been satisfied. I've never used the SOS. I've sent the "I'm OK" messages and haven't had any major issue.

I don't use it for tracking and really only turn it on once a day at camp. Doing that saves a lot of battery and I've never come close to running it down even on 2-week+ trips. I get the weather reports from it.
 
Kermit
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07/02/2022 06:26PM  
Used one of these for the first time on a trip a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it. We were able to start it tracking us at our entry point and kept it tracking the whole trip. Very cool/interesting to go back and look at exactly where you went, how far, how fast, etc. I was taking my nephew for the first time, so it was great to be able to send his mom the occasional "Hey, we're still alive" note. Being able to get weather reports was clutch too, as we had some big storms and high winds the week we were in. Lastly, most importantly, the SOS feature if anyone were to have a major medical emergency. For its small size, ease of use, handy features, and potential life saving capabilities it'll definitely be coming on all future trips.

As Boonie mentioned, the newer model has some additional features and a longer battery life. May be a good idea to go for the newer model. Hope this helps!
 
Portage99
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07/03/2022 12:16AM  
Yes! Helps a lot. Thank you both of you!
 
JATFOMike
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07/03/2022 05:51AM  
I also have the original….good piece of mind for the wife. I paired it with my phone which makes for easier texting. As Boonie said, the daily weather reports are nice….Haven’t needed it for an emergency yet, but a couple of years ago I was able to email the outfitter and arrange a tow on our exit day to save a couple hours of paddling for a buddy that had fallen and hurt his back.

Mike
 
alpinebrule
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07/03/2022 08:26AM  
I too use it, original model, for weather and checking in, a ok, messages and like it.
I have found that transmission is sometimes not instantaneous so just leave it sitting on a rock shoreside in the open for 10 minutes and when I check back messages have been sent and replies (if any) or weather have been received.
 
Portage99
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07/03/2022 10:26AM  
alpinebrule: "I too use it, original model, for weather and checking in, a ok, messages and like it.
I have found that transmission is sometimes not instantaneous so just leave it sitting on a rock shoreside in the open for 10 minutes and when I check back messages have been sent and replies (if any) or weather have been received."


Thanks for the tip. I just ordered the new version. I appreciate the feedback.
 
07/03/2022 09:20PM  
I think you made a good choice. I’ve had the 1 for two years and it’s worked very well. It can work well as stand alone, but typing messages is tediously slow. I remember my first cell phone that allowed you to type the 1 button once for A, the 1 button twice for B, etc,…. That was faster. But it can work. Pairing with your phone makes it all way better and the Earthmate function really helps out. Last summer I twice had situations where my maps wither did not connect or were vague, and earthmate helped me navigate.

I did once last summer in Wabakimi find it hard to get a connection for a weather report. I tried in my tent (which had worked day and night for 19 days) without success. I moved to my tarp and no connection, then set it out in the open and nothing for 30-40 minutes. It was just a weather report so not that big a deal, but if it had been an emergency it would have seemed an eternity. Overall I found the basic weather reports very accurate.

From what I’ve seen, the 2 has some big improvements. Better battery as mentioned, plus new functions like a compass. It also has much better resolution that makes it easier to read.
 
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