I don't like to hike in fear, but I do like to hike in safety. Why get a satellite communicator? Cause they're fucking awesome. And not just for hiking - they're great for anytime who might be in a remote area and not have cell service. I couldn't find the article (of course), but I'd read something like 60% of SOS calls from satellite locators are by people that have been in a car accident. Legit. They aren't just for hikers, but joggers, walkers, anyone that's gonna be outdoors....
What They Offer: Varies drastically depending on the model.
Biggest Downside - Price. They're a chunk of cash, ranging from $150.00 up to $1200.00 and beyond. On top of that, you have to get a subscription. The plans range in price, depending on what features you want - I have one that costs $11.00 a month.
I'm big on access - and safety - for everyone. And these are prohibitively expensive for many, even with sales. I don't like the idea that because people can afford this, they're safer on the trails.
Other Downsides: They don't really work in caves and inside homes. They can also get a bit sketch if the sky is occluded (heavy tree coverage, etc.), but most models have a means to continually attempt to send the message until it gets through.
If you're thinking about getting one (they're hella on sale with the holiday), check out this article from REI on selecting the best one.
Over the next week or so, I'll be reviewing the Spotgen 3 and the Garmind InReach Mini. One is amazing and one is....not.
Do you have a satellite communicator? Love it? Hate it? Ever had to use it? Comment below or email me here!