For many of us, we don’t ride alone on the trails because… well, we’d rather go with someone else…
But for others, we don’t ride alone ‘just in case something happens’… you know what I mean.
Of course, many of our cell phones have signals where we ride for when something happens.
But, not always…
For me, I don’t have that luxury of always riding with a buddy. Often, I find a smidgen of time and grab my horse and go!
So, I’m very familiar with riding solo.
What I mean is that I know I’m alone, of course, so I tend to ride at more safe and well traveled places like State Parks where someone would notice my truck sitting there after dark with no horse and no rider (should anything untoward happen) and therefore might send out someone to look for me.
However, I am often tempted to go to new places when I’m alone. Usually I don’t follow through on this desire – because I am a scaredy cat and have fears of being wounded out on the trail and then slowly eaten by bears or coyotes.
But, if I had a communication device or an emergency beacon, I would feel more secure to venture out to new places while alone.
TEXTING BY SATELLITE.
I saw an ad in THE TRAIL RIDER magazine about the Delorme InReach device that works with your Droid or iPhone to connect to a satellite when the regular service has no reception.
The idea is to be able to send texts when you cannot phone.
That sounded pretty good! So, I went to the website… Nothing happened.
That should have been my first clue… But, Hubby told me to switch browsers, which I did, and the site came up.
Anyway, I didn’t see anything about this device on their website (or couldn’t find it anyway) so I just googled it and found it on REI’s site.
Basically, the InReach device allows you to text when you are out in the woods, as long as you have a clear view of the sky.
That sounds good for when you want to let people know you’ll be late for dinner… but what if you were really hurt?
Would you want to crawl around to find the open sky?
I think not…
Perhaps a PERSONAL BEACON?
So, I then thought about adding a personal beacon of some sort.
I figured that if all I needed was to call home to tell someone that I was fine, I simply could walk around until I found open space and use the texting option on the InReach.
However, if I was injured, or my horse was injured and laying on top of me without a clear view of the sky, I’d have to use a different method to call for help.
A personal beacon will bring emergency help to you.
You don’t want to use a personal beacon lightly. These beacons are geared to alert the cavalry, so to speak, and if you waste their time, they are going to be really upset…
But, if you are lost, injured or otherwise incapacitated, having this peace of mind would be a really good item to pack in your trailbags.
I don’t own a personal beacon and I’m not selling any devices via this blog, I’m just suggesting that if I had known about these two items before Christmas, I might have asked Santa…
A REVIEW OF THE LIMITATIONS OF AN INREACH DEVICE
I’m sure the InReach would be helpful as long as there wasn’t a catastrophe and as long as you could get to the open sky.
But, I am adding this review so that you can read about some of the limitations before you purchase, should you wish to purchase.
(His review of the product’s company matches well with what I felt when I went to the site.. maybe time will improve the service.)
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
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I have two of these inreach devices in the field and we use them to track truck drivers when they are driving through the mountains and it gives them the ability to text if there are road closures for flooding, avalanches, rock slides, construction, etc.
To my knowledge a driver has never had a problem using one. The sync very easily to the samsung galaxy s3 which all our drivers use.
Thank you for the review and good information! Very helpful. It’s too bad the device doesn’t work very well yet. Sounds like the beacon would be the best bet for now, in case of a dire emergency.
I served as an officer on the Santa Fe NM Sheriff’s Posse for a number of years. Search and rescue was our primary duty. We always found our person, but sometimes not soon enough. If all the hunters who’s remembered their beer and bullets, but forgot their maps and matches had had locators, our job would have been much easier.