5 Real-life inReach Experiences: Extreme Weather

Whether you’re at home or deep in the backcountry, weather can be unpredictable and take even the most prepared individuals by surprise. Read on to see how these customers used their inReach® satellite communication devices1 for help during dangerous weather events.


“I live in Louisiana, on the coast that was devastated by the category 4 Hurricane Ida. My hometown was far enough from the storm to only sustain minimum damage, but 15 miles east was without power, fuel and cellphone service. When I left every morning to drive east for the cleanup effort, my inReach device kept me in contact all day with family back home and helped me coordinate generator, fuel, and food and water drop-offs. I texted all day and came home after a 14-hour day with around 83% battery left. When every form of communication was down, inReach delivered.”

Robert Franklin


“2021 was a year of climate catastrophes for me. I live in the southern interior of British Columbia. In July and August, several huge wildfires surrounded our home for weeks on end. At one point, the fiber cable that provides both landline and cellular service into our area was severely damaged by fire. Fortunately, I was able to send text messages to friends and family using my inReach device.

Those fires were followed in November by a catastrophic flood of the Nicola River, which destroyed the highway and washed away close to 90 utility poles. All of a sudden, we had no power and no communications. Houses were washed away, and a life was lost. Fortunately, I was once again able to contact the outside world thanks to my inReach device and let those near and dear to me know that I was OK. Without my device, they would have spent several days worrying about my and my wife’s well-being as they watched the news of the event unfold.

I bought my inReach a couple of years ago to use during summer hiking trips. Initially I just had a month-by-month subscription, but I very quickly realized how valuable this little gadget could be in our remote area and switched to an annual subscription. I will always keep it close by.”

Jim Ryan

Forest Fire

“My son and I were on a 4-day, self-supported rafting trip down the wild and scenic section of Oregon’s Rogue River in mid-August, which is completely without cell service. We started with perfect weather but awoke on day 2 to a very smoky sky and heavy smoke in the canyon. I had no idea where the fire was and was concerned it was downriver. But I had my inReach device, so I messaged my wife back home and had her look it up. She replied 15 minutes later with the details — it was behind us and headed away. That was a big relief. The rest of the trip was amazing!”

Matt Hickman

Heat Wave

“I headed out on Section J of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) during a heat wave and thought I would manage fine up in the mountains. I am an avid cyclist, trail runner and hiker and have experience in multiday adventures. However, there was no relief from the heat this time.

By day 3, I realized I needed to bail on the hike. I pulled out my inReach Mini and texted my daughter. We figured out a good bail-out point, and I set the pickup time at a common trailhead off the PCT for 5:30 p.m. that evening. Hiking out that day I became ill and got the chills.

I am not sure how this adventure would have ended had I not been able to communicate. At 59 years old and someone who considers themselves in really good shape, this challenged me beyond (almost) my mental and physical limits. 

The inReach device provided me with a lifeline and the ability to get help when I definitely needed it. Heat exhaustion is no joke. Being able to text family in my time of need was just what I needed. I am a customer for life and am telling all my friends who play in the backcountry to not leave home without it if they are out of cellphone range.”

Randy Krause


“I was hiking in the High Peaks Wilderness through some of the majestic Adirondack Mountains. It was forecasted to be 75 degrees, bluebird skies and perfect hiking conditions through Monday.

On Saturday evening, while cowboy camping, I had to put my tarp up because it started to rain. Then the rain thickened. Sunday was a nearly zero visibility day with high winds and lots of precipitation, and it only built through Monday. I kept my phone in my raincoat pocket, but it still perished.

The Adirondacks are a labyrinth of trails, junctions, blazes — it is a maze. However, I was able to use my inReach Mini to message my sister in Colorado, and she was able to look at my location and send me directions to get to a main road.

Rather than risking getting lost, or having to backtrack 30 miles, I was able to hike 5.4 miles out to safety. What a cherished gift to be able to text the outside world in a nonemergency situation. I appreciate your service and will recommend it to friends, family and fellow hikers.”

Kirsty Frederick

¹Active satellite subscription required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communication 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.