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Well I’ve given up on finding a riding partner. And my wife and father-in-law want me to get a GPS for when I am riding alone. Any recommendations. So far he is recommending a Garman with a monthly Prescription

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It sounds like they're wanting you get a satellite personal locator. It's a rescue device that sends out a signal to SAR with your location when you press a button, in case you get injured, break down or what ever. Those require a subscription service. Regular GPS navigators don't. The Garmin talked about is the "In Reach" series.

Edited by Trailryder42

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2 hours ago, Trailryder42 said:

It sounds like they're wanting you get a satellite personal locator. It's a rescue device that sends out a signal to SAR with your location when you press a button, in case you get injured, break down or what ever. Those require a subscription service. Regular GPS navigators don't. The Garmin talked about is the "In Reach" series.

And or a zolio gps

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I bought a Garmin In Reach and it connects Bluetooth to my iPhone.  The Garmin In Reach is primarily for the emergency SOS service but will also text via satellite.  I think it's the next best thing to a satellite phone.  The minimal subscription service is about $12 per month.  I have not had to use the SOS but a couple of times the remote texting has come in handy.  

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Garmin has several GPS with what they label "InReach technology". InReach uses a satellite system to communicate when you are out in the boondocks with no cell coverage. There is a monthly subscription fee for the InReach service.

I always ride with a buddy, so I haven't felt a need for the InReach. But several of my buddies use it and love it. You can use it to send short TXT messages in non-emergency times, so you can send a TXT to your wife that you are doing riding for the day, etc.

I just bought a Garmin 66, which is very rugged. I had a Garmin 64 for years and it was great thru many drops and crashes. There is a 66i with InReach. Some folks like the Montana series, say Montana 750. The Montana have a larger screen that is easier to see. Of course they are larger and more expensive than the 66

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I use a Garmin Montana.  Works great for off roading.  Whatever you get, I have found these maps to be very good.  It has just about all the trails on them, including singletrack.

https://www.californiatrailmap.com/

Where do you live that you can’t find people to ride with?

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I've got a Garmin GPSMAP 66i with InReach.  It tracks my position and my Wife can see why I'm at.  It also allows you to send a d receive text messages via satellite.  And God forbid, if you ever need emergency services there is an SOS button.

Besides InReach it's got all the GPS navigation functionality you'd expect.  These are very rugged devices that meet several different standards including a Military standard for things like exposure to explosive atmospheres.  So it's held up just fine with my crashes, long rides in the rain, etc.

Doc

Edited by Doc_d

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5 hours ago, Gflo said:

I use a Garmin Montana.  Works great for off roading.  Whatever you get, I have found these maps to be very good.  It has just about all the trails on them, including singletrack.

https://www.californiatrailmap.com/

Where do you live that you can’t find people to ride with?

Santa Barbara ca .... i’ve ridden my whole life with my father and wife’s father/brother ... they’re both pushing 70 now. And not riding any more ...... I wake up really early and ride ... locally 6 AM and I think that scares people away(Californians run if it’s under 60° .... and quite honestly I think people here are scared to ride iand more into  surfing...

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3 hours ago, Doc_d said:

I've got a Garmin GPSMAP 66i with InReach.  It tracks my position and my Wife can see why I'm at.  It also allows you to send a d receive text messages via satellite.  And God forbid, if you ever need emergency services there is an SOS button.

Besides InReach it's got all the GPS navigation functionality you'd expect.  These are very rugged devices that meet several different standards including a Military standard for things like exposure to explosive atmospheres.  So it's held up just fine with my crashes, long rides in the rain, etc.

Doc

I think they were trying to give me this model...I’m seeing yours is about $200 more wondering if the extra cash is worth it. I haven’t had a chance to do any research yet this weekend

A51AAFFD-FCC1-4A62-9B09-7E495F71313F.png

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1 hour ago, Doom22 said:

I think they were trying to give me this model...I’m seeing yours is about $200 more wondering if the extra cash is worth it. I haven’t had a chance to do any research yet this weekend

A51AAFFD-FCC1-4A62-9B09-7E495F71313F.png

It just depends if you want it to be an all-in-one navigation solution or you just want the InReach functionality.  Either one will work equally well for letting people track your location, sending messages and being able to call for emergency help.

I considered the InReach mini as I already had a Garmin GPS for navigation.  But my Garmin for navigation was very old and had been giving me some problems so I just decided to get an all-in-one unit.  There are some advantages and disadvantages to both.   Having an all-in-one unit is convenient.  But having it on my handlebars so I can use it for navigation means in a bad crash it could be out of reach.  Where as if I had the InReach mini on my person and a separate device for navigation it should always be in reach (no pun intended).

Doc

Edited by Doc_d
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2 hours ago, Doom22 said:

I think they were trying to give me this model...I’m seeing yours is about $200 more wondering if the extra cash is worth it. I haven’t had a chance to do any research yet this weekend

That is not a GPS, its an InReach device. It talks to satellites. It can send an SOS, and I think it can send non-emergency TXT messages by connecting to your smartphone. Well, it has a GPS chip in it, so it can send your position. But it doesn't have the big display, route following, and other GPS functions.
The 66i, Montana and others have lots of GPS functions,  built in maps.

 

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While the mini does not have a large screen for navigating, you can use your smartphone for the large screen. You can basically do everything on the standard gps models using the app on your phone. I have the mini for the SOS feature primarily, but have used the text a couple times when out of cell range. It gives me, and my wife, a peace of mind while out in the wilderness. I use apps on my phone for all my navigating.

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Do you want a GPS for YOU to have the ability to find your location, or do you want something that your wife/family can track you with, or do you want emergency type SOS service? The Inreach options mentioned above are good, another option is Spot. 

 

https://www.findmespot.com/en-us/

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32 minutes ago, redhurricane said:

Do you want a GPS for YOU to have the ability to find your location, or do you want something that your wife/family can track you with, or do you want emergency type SOS service? The Inreach options mentioned above are good, another option is Spot. 

 

https://www.findmespot.com/en-us/

I’m mainly trying to use it as an SOS. If I crash or if my bike breaks I can get hold of someone. I probably wouldn’t use the actual GPS feature. Usually have a real good sense of direction haven’t gotten lost in the woods yet

1 hour ago, rratsbor said:

While the mini does not have a large screen for navigating, you can use your smartphone for the large screen. You can basically do everything on the standard gps models using the app on your phone. I have the mini for the SOS feature primarily, but have used the text a couple times when out of cell range. It gives me, and my wife, a peace of mind while out in the wilderness. I use apps on my phone for all my navigating.

Pretty much what I’m looking for. Thanks for your advice I’m gonna read a couple more reviews on the devices and the service plans tonight it’s just been a super hectic weekend

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I've used Garmin hand held GPS for more than a decade and they are the best, for ease of use I prefer the units with buttons. And I handlebar mount them using RAM mounts, just buy the cradle for your GPS model, a ball handle bar mount for your bike, and a short arm; or buy a combo kit. I have ball mounts on all of my bikes to make it easy transfer the GPS among my rides.  I've lost GPS units twice using other mounts but never with a RAM mount. Good Garmin trail maps can be a problem but there are some good and free one, you'll need to ask around for your area. In WA I use Switchbacks.com, don't know about CA.

I also have a InReach Mini that I pack.

I also have apps and maps for my smart phone, I pack it in an armor case to protect the screen and pack it with the InReach.  It is the best for looking at maps, almost as good as paper maps, which I also carry. The app you use will depend on maps available.  IMO Critter Maps has the best maps for USNFS areas because they are based on aerial photos with contour lines plus overlays for the trails. One area I ride I use Avenza because the land manager has very good free geo referenced trail maps.

While the Garmin handhelds have very good compasses it will only work if the batteries are good. Mine has 16 hour battery life so I pack spares just in case, only had to replace once on the trail because I forgot how long since last change.

I upload all of my GPS track to Garmini Basecamp (free) on my PC.

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On 1/17/2021 at 8:30 AM, IdahoRC said:

I bought a Garmin In Reach and it connects Bluetooth to my iPhone.  The Garmin In Reach is primarily for the emergency SOS service but will also text via satellite.  I think it's the next best thing to a satellite phone.  The minimal subscription service is about $12 per month.  I have not had to use the SOS but a couple of times the remote texting has come in handy.  

I also use this fly fishing in the back country. I text my wife my starting location, make note of where my truck is so I can find my way back to it and text home when safely back to my vehicle. Highly recommended for anyone who spends time in the back country for any reason. 

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On 1/17/2021 at 2:39 PM, Doc_d said:

I've got a Garmin GPSMAP 66i with InReach.  It tracks my position and my Wife can see why I'm at.  It also allows you to send a d receive text messages via satellite.  And God forbid, if you ever need emergency services there is an SOS button.

Besides InReach it's got all the GPS navigation functionality you'd expect.  These are very rugged devices that meet several different standards including a Military standard for things like exposure to explosive atmospheres.  So it's held up just fine with my crashes, long rides in the rain, etc.

Doc

I have the Inreach Explorer +, very similar but yours has nicer screen and birds eye view.  They are very robust devices and would recommend them.

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On 1/17/2021 at 4:21 PM, Doom22 said:

I think they were trying to give me this model...I’m seeing yours is about $200 more wondering if the extra cash is worth it. I haven’t had a chance to do any research yet this weekend

A51AAFFD-FCC1-4A62-9B09-7E495F71313F.png

Sounds like your family wants you to have a PLB, so they can find you if you get hurt, lost, etc. The inreach is the best as far as PLB's go.  The mini is a cool idea, but I don't think the small size outweighs the downsides of poor battery life and less user friendliness.  I would actually recommend the inreach explorer" the yellow one"  You can get factory referb units on amazon for around $300.  Keep in mind that these require a service plan for operation.  The cheapest plan isn't set up for constant tracking, so if you want 10 minute tracking points you need to go with the middle plan at least.  For sure get the GEOS search and rescue insurance.  Use the Earthmate app on your phone for topo map navigation if you need that.  I mostly use GAIA on my phone for navigation these days, and use the PLB for tracking and sending messages to my family and friends.  Having the SOS button is really nice if you get into a tight spot out in the wilderness, and the search and rescue insurance means you won't be on the hook for a $100,000 helicopter ride.

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Does anybody use the onX Offroad app on an iphone?  How do you like it and why?  How does it compare with the GAIA apps on iphone?  Do either of these apps use much, if any cell data, or are they all GPS and no cell data usage? 

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