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Thread: Satellite phone

  1. #1

    Default Satellite phone

    Hi,

    I fish solo 99.99% of the time because I value solitude(and don't like people. Don't say that out loud, people will think you're an old crank)

    I still venture into the deep bush in Northern Ontario and my significant other worries that I might get myself into an unpleasant situation that I can't extricate myself from. Having fallen through various log jams and into enough leg breaking holes to sink a ship I'm starting to think she might have a point.

    Has anyone used a satellite phone or the Spot system? How effective was it in deep cover? And how expensive was it to run?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Satellite phone

    I use Global Rescue for coverage of travel to remote locations. Highly recommend them.

    Global Rescue | Medical Evacuation, Insurance & Security Extraction Services

    They have a working relationship with explorer sat phone company:

    Explorer Satellite Communications Partners with Global Rescue -- Explorer Satellite Communications | PRLog


    I have rented sat phones from them at very reasonable rates but you can also purchase if you wish.

    The SPOTx system offers inexpensive service of 2way texting from anywhere anytime. Options can get as low as around $12 per month.

    I regularly travel to very remote locations on fishing trips and the peace of mind these products offer to yourself and family is really priceless...especially Global Rescue.
    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Satellite phone

    I frequently fish offshore. I own and use a Sat phone. One morning I was set to go offshore and discovered my Sat phone was not charged, I stayed home.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Satellite phone

    I've used Iridium and Inmarsat. Both require line of sight to the satellite. I haven't used Globalstar or Spot, but I think they do, too. Iridium and Inmarsat are both pretty expensive to purchase and very expensive to use. There are reasonably priced plans that would let you make a few emergency calls. I think spot and explorer are considerably less expensive to operate.

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    In a van down by the river
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Satellite phone

    I'm in the same boat and i am trying to decide between a satellite communicator or personal locator beacon. I found this article: Personal Locator Beacons: How to Choose | REI Expert Advice

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  10. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Satellite phone

    I carried a personal locator beacon (plb) for years. They have no monthly fee. They are very good back up, as they will call in emergency rescue service if you need it. When you push the emergency button it brings in search and rescue.

    Now I carry a Garmin InReach Satellite Communicator. It does have a monthly charge which varies according to what you want. Basic service is around $10 to $12 a month.

    With it I still have the emergency button that brings help, but it also allows me to text what the problem is so that they can tailor the help for the situation. I could even text a description of where I am if I can't get a good gps location out because of cover.

    With it I stay in touch with my family, and they can see were I am from the gps that it sends. I message daily when I am out in the mountains. I can let my husband know what I need him to bring. He can text me to let me know when he is coming up etc. The text function works on it the same way you enter text on a gps or you can link it to your phone for typing in your message.

    It really helps my family's peace of mind and mine.
    Cindy

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  12. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    17,260
    Blog Entries
    132

    Default Re: Satellite phone

    I have struggled with this question for years. In your location you may find several suppliers and services that are affordable for the ten (10) minute per month plans. Phones that will function under areas where you have elliptical orbiting satellites tend to be more affordable that those required in polar areas like where I live. Here I can obtain a 10 minute a month plan for $350 / year but a good unit costs around $1100.00 and still there is no guarantee you can or will have a signal in many locations at certain times. Each year there are more improvements made in coverage with both sat and cell coverage here.

    I know most areas where I fish that are dead zones and take my chances there. The personal beacons? I guess that they are like a good first aid kit, way better to own one and have with than not. I currently don't own one but...……...

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  14. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Satellite phone



    Much cheaper than a sat phone and gives family ability to follow you if they choose to.
    Adoption is Amazing

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  16. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    southern arizona
    Posts
    1,810

    Default Re: Satellite phone

    I have the spot gen 3. Basic service plus I added spot s.o.v. road assistance. The custom message and ok buttons send an email to my girlfriend and me plus I get sent a text. I have two messages for all situations. Custom button sends, I am leaving the truck. The ok button sends, I am back at the truck. She can see on the google map where I'm at. If I use the sos button then the emergency system contacts my girlfriend and keeps her informed of the situation. Tracking every 5 minutes is included and the waypoints can be downloaded. Spot map is basic. I download the spot tracks via the computer to garmin basecamp.
    steve

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  18. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northwest Territories
    Posts
    774

    Default Re: Satellite phone

    Never used a Spot but I have used sat phones on a number of extended canoe trips in Canada's North where we were basically in the middle of the boondocks, far from civilization. I'm a bit leery of the Spots--I'd prefer to have an actual phone that I can use to call up whomever I need to get whatever emergency response I need, without subscriptions or middlemen or getting someone else to call for me. I've heard good things about Global Rescue, but if you're on the Thelon River with a broken leg and need to get to a hospital in Yellowknife they aren't going to come and get you (plus which how are you going to get a hold of them without a sat phone?)--you're best off just phoning your airline charter company directly to come and pick you up. Global Rescue would very likely have to end up using the same charter company. Up here any sat phone or Spot is going to have the potential for intermittent service, but it's better than nothing. I mean, without a sat phone or Spot in the middle of the wilderness you're going to die if you get seriously injured or in big trouble, and even with one you still might die because responders can't get to you fast enough or are weathered out. Sat phones are expensive, but what's your life worth?

    I've also never carried a PLB. If you carry one in Canada and set it off (at least in the North), a Hercules is scrambled out of Trenton, Ontario with a load of SARtechs to come and get you--Trenton is a long way from the NWT, it takes a day or two to get there, and that service is really only for the direst emergencies. In my opinion a PLB is only the very last resort, and only for the worst of cases.

    Scott

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