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Remote riding - do you ride with supplementary communications?

Jan. 5, 2016, 10:02 a.m.
Posts: 907
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

This is mostly off-season thinking out loud type of talk, but when you ride in areas of poor cell coverage do you ride with supplementary communications?

My cell phone coverage is a solid "No Service" on almost all of Cypress (Bell, Iphone 6 coverage is poor, at best on the NS), and when Im riding, Im alone 95% of the time.

If I were to have an accident or need help on Cypress, Im going to have a tough time reaching anyone until another rider comes along - which is not high odds. Not a lot of people on Cypress.

Those of you who ride in areas of no cell coverage, alone, do you ride with a Delorme or similar communications device?

Jan. 5, 2016, 10:18 a.m.
Posts: 608
Joined: Feb. 11, 2003

Just picked up an inreach, mostly for riding my dual sport motorcycle in very remote areas in SW BC. Will activate it come spring. Most of my mtb riding in the lower mainland has good cell signal so wont be used to much for that, but mtb up country, yes. I wish it was a little lighter. While riding alone, I'm going to have to figure out how to keep it on my person in the summer with no jacket on, instead of my bike in case I become separated from the bike and injured. Wear a pack I guess.

Chainsmoker 8)

Jan. 5, 2016, 10:35 a.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Used to use a Spot Gen2, now use a Delorme InReach. Both mostly for road trips although I carry for local snow exploration.

Jan. 5, 2016, 12:26 p.m.
Posts: 11
Joined: March 11, 2007

Used to use a Spot Gen2, now use a Delorme InReach. Both mostly for road trips although I carry for local snow exploration.

What made you switch from Spot to Delorme?

Jan. 5, 2016, 12:30 p.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

2 way communication, not knowing if people on the other end of the Spot message got it, able to email or text a custom message to anyone with a text phone or email address.

Jan. 5, 2016, 1:17 p.m.
Posts: 9747
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I went from spot to Inreach as well. way better reliability and the 2way communication is a big plus

my gen2 spot would not always go through which can cause problems and stress when someone is expecting you to check in.

Jan. 5, 2016, 6:28 p.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

We also use an inReach. Same reasons as above, two-way communication (which is really good for changing plans). Battery life is excellent, using the device is a bit clunky, and the app isn't as good as I'd hope – but we bought it for emergency purposes and for that it is excellent.

flickr

Jan. 5, 2016, 7:55 p.m.
Posts: 1172
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

i almost always carry a spot. even solo mtn biking on familiar trails, especially if it's late in the day and i might be the last rider. i can't stand carrying the cell as well on any kind of trip with the shit battery life etc.

Jan. 5, 2016, 7:58 p.m.
Posts: 3647
Joined: May 23, 2006

I thought about a satellite phone but then remembered that Obummer's drone program is using sat phone coordinates for targeting purposes so screw that, eh? :earth:

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Jan. 6, 2016, 8:37 a.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

I've used both the InReach and a sat phone for backcountry communications and they're pretty different from one another.

The Delorme is cool if you're camping or out in the middle of nowhere and want to touch base with friends to coordinate meet times // points or whatever. Texts and e-mails come through no problem and I had no problems with the device while using it.

The InReach falls short if you need to establish immediate voice contact for emergency extraction. IMO, it's a whole lot easier to make a call on a sat phone than to mess around with your phone and your InReach if you've got a broken limb, blood loss, or some other unfortunate injury.

Also note that both of these devices aren't fail safes and shouldn't be your primary mode of getting out of trouble.

"It's, like, so much fun."

Jan. 6, 2016, 9:24 a.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

…. using the device is a bit clunky, and the app isn't as good as I'd hope…

Yup, the 90's called and want their text entry/keyboard interface back.

You don't want to be typing out long messages on this thing.

Jan. 6, 2016, noon
Posts: 0
Joined: May 28, 2009

I make sure I text at least one person with my route and expected return time while within coverage. If I don't text back once I'm off the hill, they know where to start looking.

Edit: I get pretty solid coverage on Fromme with Telus, so haven't seen a need for another device since I am letting people know where I am riding. Any time I have had an issue that might blow my return time (like a mechanical) I'm usually able to get to coverage.

Jan. 6, 2016, 12:32 p.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I make sure I text at least one person with my route and expected return time while within coverage. If I don't text back once I'm off the hill, they know where to start looking.

Edit: I get pretty solid coverage on Fromme with Telus, so haven't seen a need for another device since I am letting people know where I am riding. Any time I have had an issue that might blow my return time (like a mechanical) I'm usually able to get to coverage.

BIG parts of BC have NO cell coverage.

Telus:

From:
http://www.telus.com/en/bc/mobility/network/coverage-map.jsp

Jan. 6, 2016, 12:38 p.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

For Sea to Sky riders, you don't have to get all that far out of town from Squamish, Whistler or Pemberton to lose reception:

Jan. 6, 2016, 1:36 p.m.
Posts: 907
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Maps aside, Im "No Service" on 85% of Cypress even just above the highway with Bell and an iPhone 6. Im spotty service on the NS below the highway. I barely get service at my house in Caulfeild!

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