inReach: Hiking through Bolivia with Dominik Birk

Recently our friend Dominik Birk crossed the Altiplano / Puna region along the Ruta de las Joyas Altoandinas between Bolivia and Chile. This is a very challenging distance of approximately 600 Km, especially going solo and on foot. It’s also a very popular 4×4 vehicle trip amongst South America backpackers since it follows dusty routes through the beautiful national park “Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa” along amazing remote lagoons where visitors can view breathtaking views. Dominik brought a hiking trailer with him in order to carry most of his equipment and water/food supplies. Dominik carried an inReach with him throughout the journey and below he recounts how the device helped him along the way.

“Hiking in desert environments has a lot in common with risk management. For me, the InReach is an essential tool in order to address some risks I’m facing in such rough environments especially while hiking solo. So for instance, questions like, “what is your plan in case of an emergency?” need to be answered beforehand and while other options exist, the InReach provides an easy answer to this question. Going solo to a desert environment like the Alitplano/Puna region without the capabilities of an inReach means you need to figure out another Plan B in case of an emergency.

 The capability of communicating globally and independently in a bidirectional way with the InReach is excellent. You are simply not relying on any other communication infrastructure, which was very helpful in South America. In terms of navigation, I synchronized specific GPS points of my route with the InReach before the trip and used these points via the GoTo function during the day as a reference. Having these features consolidated into one device is very helpful for reducing your overall weight.”

Deserted areas like the Altiplano/Puna region are fascinating landscapes that are unique to this planet, but with that uniqueness, specific challenges come along and an inReach is the perfect tool to carry for reassurance. To get the full story visit Dominik’s blog here, and for more info on inReach visit here.

You may venture off the grid, but you’re never out of reach – as long as you’re carrying an inReach SE+ or inReach Explorer+. Join the adventure and share your stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram using #HaveNoLimits or #inReachLife.

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