DeLorme InReach Explorer – Two Devices in One

The DeLorme InReach Explorer has been available to purchase for quite a while now, and they recently allowed me to test an InReach for a couple of months. Sadly, I had to return the unit, but I have to say that I‘m pretty impressed.

The DeLorme InReach Explorer has quite a few capabilities. Of course, the InReach is a fully functional backcountry GPS navigator. It’s also a satellite communicator. With the right subscription plan, you can text or email anyone from anywhere even if there is no cell phone coverage. The InReach will send out pre-programmed messages at regular intervals to friends or family. You can post to your social media accounts out in the woods, and there is an SOS function in case trouble strikes. It’s possible to share your location at regular intervals while you are out, just about anywhere on the planet. Simply tell the InReach to share your route with the contacts of your choosing, and it sends an email with a clickable link. The recipient just needs internet access and to click on the link. Your current position and track appears on a map to show that everything is going fine.

DeLorme has done a great job of linking the InReach with computers and mobile devices. The first item of business is to set up an online DeLorme account. During setup you will choose a subscription plan. More expensive plans send position updates more often, and allow for more texting, but all have the SOS function.  Subscriptions are available in annual plans or by the month. Click here for an overview. After a few easy steps, go outside and allow the InReach to communicate with the satellite network to active your device. My test unit needed only a few minutes to finish.

In your online account some personal information is entered. You can also set up contacts, set up any automatic messages for the InReach to send out, and plan routes. The InReach is synced with a USB cable just like an MP3 player or similar device. The online interface is easy to figure out. DeLorme has a really informative YouTube channel with instructional videos. Click here to visit.

DeLorme InReach Explorer
DeLorme InReach Explorer

Find it on Amazon!

With my InReach activated and synced, I connected a Samsung Smartphone to the InReach with Bluetooth. DeLorme developed an app for that and called it Earthmate. With Earthmate installed and the phone connected to the InReach, I just used the phone to control everything. The InReach screen turns off but the unit stays active. The screen of the InReach was bright enough to see outside but it is a bit small. Using the smartphone screen is much easier

There are too many things to do with the InReach to fully describe them all here. I‘d suggest visiting the DeLorme YouTube channel to get a full rundown of how everything works. The videos are well done and are better than information that I can provide here.

DeLorme InReach Explorer
DeLorme InReach Explorer

I found the battery life on the InReach to be exceptional. I left the unit on just sitting in the house to test it a bit. The battery powered the InReach for several days. Since there are so many ways to drain the batteries, your mileage may vary.

I enjoyed using the DeLorme InReach Explorer a lot. Most things were figured out on my own without reading instructions. During setup I had a bit of trouble with one of the activation codes. I had a very positive experience with DeLorme customer support. A real person got on the phone quickly. They were friendly, identified the problem, and followed up to make sure I was happy. During testing I did have an issue with texting. The InReach showed my texts were sent but they were not being received. The next day, I emailed DeLorme about the problem. Some users were experiencing delays with texting but that the technical staff had corrected the issue. All of these test messages were received several hours after they were sent. I‘ve been told that this issue has been permanently fixed in a firmware update.

The DeLorme InReach Explorer has an MSRP of $379.95. For the peace of mind you and your loved ones get, the cost could be totally worth it. The unit works great and does everything well. DeLorme offers a couple other InReach models. Click here to visit their website.

– Mark

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