Garmin inReach Mini - got one?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by thirsty 1, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. motokeith

    motokeith Been here awhile

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    Yeah, you can run the Earthmate app on a non-activated phone or non-cellular tablet. I installed it and fooled around with it a bit on an Amazon fire tablet. As long as you have a Bluetooth connection to the mini you're golden.

    I actually use the Earthmate maps on the trail quite a bit for figuring things out on the fly just because it's easier to pan and scan on the phone than it is on the Montana.
    #61
    thirsty 1 likes this.
  2. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

    Joined:
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    So I got my little inReach Mini and man is that a nice little unit!! Registration was Suuuupppper easy and seamless. Plugged it in, made my account, and sent a message. I really like how easy it is to send and receive messages. I've never had a dedicated GPS and I can see how something like a Montana or similar would have been nice but the Earthmate app has just made my iPhone a joy! Speed, heading, compass, and syncing my contacts is sweet. AND it's TINY! I'm stoked!
    #62
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  3. TBTSyncro

    TBTSyncro Been here awhile

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    I picked one up today as well. Looking forward to setting it up tonight.
    #63
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  4. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Long timer

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    N California
    Used my Inreach in Death Valley last week at the Noobs rally. Since cell coverage is minimal being able to text my wife, and her text me, via the app gave us both peace of mind.
    Will be listing my SPOT 3rd gen in the flea market soon.
    #64
  5. outdoorsman

    outdoorsman Lets Ride! Supporter

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    Yup. Used my mini in Death Valley last week too and it worked great. I even tracked my rides and I can see the routes that we took.
    #65
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  6. ACR

    ACR 57,545

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
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    Location:
    The Flats, MB
    The inReach mini has finally arrived. The size is surprising, so tiny and light. I expected more weight, and still do, but the weight is just not there. I also ordered the spine mount with a ram ball, and the large ram claw mount. The claw mount is massive, or maybe the mini makes the claw mount look huge. Either way, the claw will be used in the truck, on the truck, around the house, camp site, and around the garage while holding a gear aid light. When it comes to riding and the days are warm the mini will be kept in an exterior jacket pocket, and move to the interior once the temps drop.

    Will be activating in a week. I’ve downloaded the Earthmate app along with topo for three provinces being Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta. I’ll add BC when I get a chance. The map on the app feels lacking when compared to garmin Montana topo, though it will be nice to have in the event of an emergency.

    The magic button, lets hope to never press it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #66
  7. Janus9

    Janus9 Been here awhile

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    UPDATE

    After doing some more research, it appears that the inreach explorer WILL NOT allow you to download and follow tracks. It will download a gpx file, but it will always be used as a route. Also, limited to the number of waypoints the unit will allow, which I believe is 500 total within 1-20 routes.

    I think I am going to go with the smaller inreach mini, use my cell phone with motionX gps, maps.me or OsmAndMaps for navigation with preloaded maps and if i ever feel the need for a stand alone motorcycle GPS unit, buy something specifically for that.
    #67
    BobcatSig likes this.
  8. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I used mine in Death Valley a few weeks ago. I didn't do any tracking, so no idea how well that works. I sent a few preset texts and 1 custom text - everything worked as it should have, very pleased. Checked the map when I got home and the location is shows for the messages I sent is EXACT - I mean, I'd be surprised if it were more than 6" off. Crazy.

    Next test is I've put together a route that follows what I do when I walk the dog. I'm curious to see how it works to follow it, both on the Mini and on the app on my phone. It's just a collection of waypoints and doesn't do turn-by-turn or anything, but might come in handy for planning hikes and mountain bike rides in trail systems I'm not familiar with.

    Specifically I'm curious what happens if I skip a waypoint - will it know to send me to the next one or will it keep forcing me back?

    After that, I'll try testing some tracking and see how that goes.
    #68
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  9. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Ok, so test route was a success. If you skip a waypoint, the arrow on the unit will keep pointing to the closest waypoint on your route. This does mean you'll need to have a vague idea of where you're going.

    Though now I'm curious... if you've got a route that doubles back on itself (switchbacks or whatever), I wonder if it's possible for the unit to skip to a waypoint that's next to you even if you're still on your route.

    It all doesn't matter much, to be honest. If you're going to use it to navigate, you're way better off using your phone with it. And that said, you can't plan routes with the app - only on the website on a computer - so it's not like you can whip up a route on the fly.
    #69
  10. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. I am going to pull the trigger on a mini for my TAT trip this summer.
    As far as navigating with that mini, there is no point at all to trying to navigate using it through its phone App, if your phone is with you and functioning then shut the mini off, put it away and use any of the dozen (or more) fantastic navigation GPS Apps out there for the phone.
    #70
    AllSeasonRider likes this.
  11. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I was mostly curious if the navigation for it could work on mountain bike rides, with just having the Mini mounted on the handlebar and following the arrow.

    Not sure it changes much, still - I'd have my phone with me, anyway, and other apps would do it better. The fact that you can't create or modify a route without a computer is pretty limiting.
    #71
    BobcatSig likes this.
  12. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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    Excellent thread on the mini and thanks to those that have shared all the valuable information about the new Gamin product.

    Any compelling pros/cons when deciding on the color (Black or Orange) of mini to purchase from those with some ownership experience?

    Also while researching, I found this excellent review that may be beneficial prior to purchase:

    https://backpackinglight.com/garmin-inreach-mini-review/


    .
    #72
  13. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Orange is easy to spot if dropped or if rummaging thru your luggage to find it,black is not.

    JR356
    #73
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  14. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I figured the orange looks more like an emergency device - helpful if you're not the one looking for it.
    #74
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  15. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Okay, thanks for all this info. I am going to get one in the next week or two for a summer of running the MABCDR and TAT. At this point I plan on getting the Recreation level Freedom Plan (month by month subscription). Both this year and in the future I will generally be using this unit only in the summer months, so the monthly Freedom plan makes the most sense for me. My question is, for the month by month Freedom plan, is a "month" a calendar month? Or a billing "month" counted by when you activate it? Thanks.
    #75
  16. SPX

    SPX Long timer Supporter

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    Billing month. 30 days..
    #76
    Addapost likes this.
  17. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Thanks!
    #77
  18. Ocho NA

    Ocho NA Been here awhile

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    Yesterday I used the mini all day, tracking was working, but my gf didn’t get any of the preset messages (which got me in a little trouble lol). What’s interesting is that the messages appear in the map but it doesn’t seem to send them to her. Tried sending a test message and didn’t receive any either. Anyone having a similar problem? I’m in TX
    #78
  19. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    Did you send the message to her phone or to email? It won't work if there is a malformed email or phone number. The phone numbers generally need to be formatter to international standards, so a US phone would be "+1-XXX-XXX-XXXX" -- with +1 being the international country code for the US. If email, check the spam folders.
    #79
  20. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider Supporter

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    Ours was broken today, also. And yesterday. And 'support' was NO help.

    :ricky
    #80