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new Garmin GPS/2 way satellite communicator

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    new Garmin GPS/2 way satellite communicator

    Garmin is out with a new handheld GPS/satellite 2 way communicator, the 66i. Same size as an Inreach Explorer+ but with a much larger screen and better battery life. And bigger price tag. Currently only available at REI.

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/62...n/010-02088-01

    https://www.rei.com/product/163568/g...e-communicator

    #2
    Not crazy about the internal battery. Would much prefer replaceable lithium as in previous models. Probably would need to get an external charger for long trips. The Yukon 1000 mile race requires NLT 10 minute interval location transmissions, and you are paddling for a total of more than 100 hours. A solar charger while racing would be very inconvenient. Will still be using SPOT for this purpose.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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      #3
      I got rid of my Spot because the subscription fee was getting ridiculous.
      Nobody's interested in what you didn't do.

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        #4
        I agree I'm definitely not a fan of the internal batteries. Because of that, it won't replace my SPOT when doing an Everglades Challenge race. At least SPOT now offers a month to month plan after paying a smaller annual fee.

        Make no mistake, the InReach is NOT a good gps. The 66i/86i are good gps units with two way communication abilities, but unless you want to mess with external battery packs or solar panels, you won't want one for more than 2 or 3 day trips whether used for navigation or race tracking. So I use my spot for race tracking and a Garmin 78 for navigation. I take the InReach when I want two way communication.

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          #5
          Well, to each his/her own. I bought an internal battery inReach this past summer and I loved it and thought it worked great. Battery lasted a long time and having an external battery for recharging was better than carrying extra replacement batteries and then having used batteries to dispose of.
          Not all who are lost wish to be found..............

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            #6
            Lower price on ebay:

            https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Garmin-...-/392613466932

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              #7
              Originally posted by BWCA66 View Post
              Well, to each his/her own. I bought an internal battery inReach this past summer and I loved it and thought it worked great. Battery lasted a long time and having an external battery for recharging was better than carrying extra replacement batteries and then having used batteries to dispose of.
              Same here, no problems at all!! Way better device than a spot by a long shot!!

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                #8
                Originally posted by BWCA66 View Post
                Well, to each his/her own. I bought an internal battery inReach this past summer and I loved it and thought it worked great. Battery lasted a long time and having an external battery for recharging was better than carrying extra replacement batteries and then having used batteries to dispose of.
                Completely agree. I hate having dead batteries to carry around. I bring an extra headlamp with fresh batteries instead of 4 extra AAA batteries. Not to mention the cost of AAA batteries. I wish my headlamp, GPS, and camera could all be charged from my power pack, would be much more convenient.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Glenn MacGrady View Post
                  Any concern buying an electronic devise from ebay? I like that if I have any issue I can drive a 10 miles and exchange it at REI no questions asked.

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                    #10
                    We bought an Explorer+ last June before our Allagash trip and love it. On an 8 day trip the battery didn't go below 80%. We check it for messages morning and night and also get daily weather updates. The rest of the time it's turned off. The GPS function is simple but more than adequate for our needs. I wish the battery in my cell phone was half as good!

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                      #11
                      The internal battery on the Inreach is good for what it does; sending a text once a day or for emergency use. I wouldn't want an internal battery if I was using it as a GPS as well. When I'm working on routes, my GPS stays on for the entire day. I bring enough batteries to change them daily.

                      Of course, I forgot about my small battery charging bank thing that I recently bought. It can do several re-charges on my cell phone. When I think about it, with a couple of banks, I would probably have more than enough power to get through a multi-day trip, I would just have to remember to plug the GPS in every night. Maybe batteries will be going the way of the dodo. It is 2020 after all, we are all supposed to be driving flying cars and stuff.

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                        #12
                        I have the last of the Delorme versions of the InReach, it does not have the mapping features of the newer Garmin units but it otherwise similar, I have it in 10 minute tracking mode all day when I'm travelling plus I usually send 3 or 4 messages per day and receive a similar amount. I recharge from a power bank when it reaches 50% battery remaining, on a month long trip I would need to top it off 3 times. The 100 hour rating is quite accurate, I usually get about 8 days use before it hits 50% or 14 days before the pesky "you are at 25%...recharge" message.

                        I just replaced my old GPSMAP76csx (it was starting to die) with the now discontinued GPSMAP78s (cheap refurbs available from GPS City on eBay). I prefer to have a separate GPS from my emergency messenger because I use the Odometer mode on the GPS full time when paddling which means the device is not always in a secure place. I want to have my emergency device securely stored in my pfd pocket at all times, I can deal with losing the GPS in a dump but not the InReach which is my lifeline (and has been used as such).

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