In 2015 I started travelling with a DeLorme inReach SE in my bag on every photography trip. I purchased it myself, and I pay the monthly subscription myself so this is absolutely not a paid ad in any way. The inReach SE is a satellite communication device that allows me to send and receive text messages from areas where there is no cell phone coverage. You can use Bluetooth to connect to your cell phone if you would prefer to type the messages on your phone, or you can tap them out directly on the device.
I’m seeing more and more photographers carrying around either the inReach or the similar SPOT products and I think it’s a great idea. The price is right (about $270) and even the simple $12/month subscription plan is plenty for emergency usage (note: plans and pricing may vary depending on your country of residence). Getting out in the wilderness is part of my job, but it’s comforting to know that I can text a friend, a loved one or contact emergency services whenever it’s necessary. Even if it’s just to check in and say “I’m fine”. When you send a message, you can send your GPS location and it comes through as a handy link for people to click and find you on a map. You can even post to Twitter and Facebook to let people know where you are and what you’re up to! I’ve done this a few times on trips so that my Facebook followers can see where I am. If you want, you can set it to pinpoint your location on a publicly accessible map at certain time intervals so people can track your progress automatically.
In the last few weeks I’ve also driven over 4000km on a trip to the Canadian Rockies. A large proportion of this distance was driven on snow covered roads, and often icy conditions. I witnessed a car in front of me lose control and leave the road, just minutes later I saw the car behind me do the same thing in my rear view mirror. I also came across multiple accidents within minutes of them happening, and some of these were dramatic looking rollovers. What if one of these had been me, and I’d been out of cell service coverage and in need of assistance?
As you can see in the photos, I opted for the optional padded case for the inReach. This is well worth it! I don’t feel it needs the protection, but the belt clip and carabiner are part of the case are awesome for attaching it to your bag securely. I consider this a must-have accessory.
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