One of the many things I love about being a landscape and wildlife photographer is the amount of time I get to spend off the communications grid! Whether I'm traveling internationally or shooting in our United States National Parks there is a 99% chance I will have zero signal on my cellphone and 100% chance of no WiFi. I will admit I often dream of being retired and independently wealthy with no time clock to punch and no household obligations however, since none of those is currently true I MUST having a reasonably priced satellite communicator device to keep me connected while I'm in the field! And so, after much deliberation I recently purchased the Garmin inReach Explorer + and I couldn't be happier! Here are a few reasons why:
1. It connects easily to my phone via Bluetooth so I can text directly through my iPhone 2. I get up to date weather conditions via satellite 3. Interactive 24/7 SOS feature for emergencies 4. I track and share my location with family and friends (for me - safety since I'm frequently in the field alone) 5. GPS on screen routing - love this feature as I can see an aerial view of the National Park featuring me a real time blue dot as I drive to my next location. 6. The interactive Garmin Earthmate App for mapping and tracking.
You can check out the whole line-up here. There are so many sizes and options available if you're in the market, I'm guessing you can find one that fits your needs.
At this very moment I am on a plane over South Dakota headed to Yellowstone National Park. This is my third trip with my Garmin inReach Explorer + so needless to say I've only scratched the surface of all of useful features. I feel it's important to add - for those of you who want to remain disconnected in nature - the satellite texting feature works through an app and you will only receive texts from contacts with whom you've initiated contact (...relief) you can check out the details here.
I hope you find this info helpful - BOY do I wish I had known about this gadget BEFORE I went to Antarctica! If you are a current Garmin inReach user I would love it it you would share some tips :).