Tuesday, 24 June 2014

"Getting Lost" without Getting Lost

 “Getting Lost” without Getting Lost

A couple of weeks ago I was riding a 100 km (62 mile) loop around Sproat Lake near my home on Vancouver Island when I decided to ride up an interesting looking logging spur that climbed along a small river.  I was riding by myself, which I often do, and my wife knew I was on the loop.  I also carry my cell phone everywhere I go.  Anyway, I followed the spur to its end and the view of the lake was amazing as were the small waterfalls along the river.  After taking some photos with my camera, I took a couple of photos with my iPhone and was going to text them to my wife when I saw “no service” in the upper left corner of the screen.  At that moment I realized that if something were to happen, it could take days to find me.  The Sproat Lake loop is well traveled and my wife knew that’s were I was, however she didn’t know I was going to take a detour up one of the many logging spurs that branch off the main road.  I made the decision at that point to add a locator device to my travel kit.

Out of cell service range and no one knows where I am

The two systems that I began looking at were by Spot and the inReach line by DeLorme.  The Spot systems are the less costly of the two and they serve the purpose of letting people know where you are in the event of an emergency.  The inReach line is almost double the cost for the hardware compared to the Spot systems, however they have some communication features that allow the user to send texts or emails directly through the unit or in connections with a smart phone.  They also have GPS functions and according to several reviews have better satellite coverage worldwide.

In the end I purchased the inReach SE by DeLorme.  I’ve also purchased a monthly plan that gives me the ability to send a set number of texts each month from anywhere in the world and I will be able to use the GPS functions with my iphone while I’m in Peru.  

My locator "insurance"

Between riding, traveling to other countries and hiking in areas on Vancouver Island with spotty or no cell service, I’ve added an extra measure of insurance in the event that something goes wrong.

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

PS:  The inReach SE worked beautifully in Peru.  Thankfully the SOS feature wasn't needed, however I was able to keep in contact with my family via text messaging in areas were cell service wasn't available.