Home Safety and Emergency DeLorme InReach Explorer Unit $379.95

DeLorme InReach Explorer Unit $379.95

Delrome inReach

Monthly Freedom plan $25 plus monthly fee (from $14.99)

DeLorme InReach devices offer a glimpse of the future of expedition tracking and connectivity. The Explorer is the higher spec version and both it and the SE version offer easily customisable, two-way messaging services that can be sent to SMS, email addresses and even Facebook (note- won’t receive messages from social media). The device location can be shared and tracked online and messages displayed or sent privately. Of course it also offers an SOS service too, all via the Iridium network of commercial satellites with good global coverage. The Explorer unit is a bit more expensive than the SE, but also offers GPS navigation tools such as waypoints, routes, compass and mapping via a smartphone app. The unit is chunky but not as heavy as it looks at 190g so presumably much of the size is taken up by the antenna, which is reassuring. The internal battery is charged via USB and gives up to 100 hours of battery life in 10min tracking mode. It’s a very US-centric device, and the available mapping doesn’t currently extend beyond OpenStreetMap (via a package from the UK distributor GTCtrack.com) plus it doesn’t supply OS grid references. I found the smartphone sync and Bluetooth facility awkward to use. However, the messaging and tracking facility is first class and definitely worth a look if you spend a lot of time in the wild.