How to Prepare an inReach® Satellite Communicator for Hiking

It’s time to dust off your pack, charge your inReach device and head out onto the trails. To make sure each hike is a good one, follow this short list of smart device tips to do before and at the start of your trip.

Check your subscription

Before your excursion, confirm your device is active on an inReach satellite subscription plan by signing in to your Garmin Explore™ account. You’ll find this information on the Plans and Devices tab. From here you can add or change your plan and find directions for syncing your device. An active inReach satellite subscription is required for tracking, messaging, account information syncing, weather forecasts and SOS capabilities — all the safeguards you need for a worry-free adventure.

Turn your device on

While this may seem like an obvious action to take prior to starting a hike with an inReach satellite communicator, it often is the most overlooked. If an incident in which you are not able to communicate on your own occurs, with the device turned on your contacts can send a location request or — if notified by law enforcement — the Garmin IERCC (International Emergency Response Coordination Center) can check your last location within 10 minutes, determine coordinates and organize assistance.

Engage tracking

Tracking creates a breadcrumb trail as your location is automatically sent to your MapShare™ page via your Garmin Explore account, forming a defined path line of your activity that you can reference and share with your contacts (more on MapShare in the next tip).

To note: Personal Recreation and Expedition plans include unlimited Track Points. There is a charge for Track Points on the Personal Safety plan.

Send your MapShare link

If you engage Tracking, take one more step, and allow your contacts to follow along. MapShare is a webpage that allows others to see your location on a map. It is managed on the Social tab of your Garmin Explore account. Sharing your MapShare link with contacts at the start of your hike allows them to send you encouraging messages and follow your journey, creating another layer of safety as you progress toward your destination. 

Two more tips

Finally, two simple but significant reminders: Practice using your inReach device before your trip, and send a test message to a friend or family member. Both tasks will save time and worry on the trail so you can fully enjoy your hiking adventure.

Want to learn more inReach tips for before, during and after your trip? Watch our inReach Best Practices webinar.

NOTICE: To access the Iridium satellite network for live tracking and messaging, including SOS capabilities, an active satellite subscription is required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used.