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Riding Alone & GPS Communication

Discussion in 'General Yamaha Discussion' started by Wannaviper, Mar 13, 2019 at 1:12 PM.


  1. Wannaviper

    Wannaviper Expert

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    West Gardiner, Maine
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2016 Viper XTX SE; 2019 Sidewinder DX LTX; 2013 Vector LTX; 2014 Viper XTX SE; 2013 SRX 120; 2017 Sidewinder RTX-SE
    I won't mention the brand that I bought, because it isn't my purpose to advertise for them. I think that there may be more than one brand out there from which to choose. If anyone else has already brought this up, I apologize for the duplication.

    I am in my late 60's and despite my age, I find myself riding alone more often now. My wife made me buy a satellite GPS with texting capabilities; it requires a subscription, but the basic "safety" subscription is only about $150 per year. The system has a tracking feature which allows my wife, or anyone that we share our password with, to track my whereabouts in real time on the home computer. The ability to send an SOS signal at the push of a button; to know that someone knows where you are; and to send text messages, gives you real peace of mind when you are alone and miles from anywhere.

    At the beginning of the season, we were fortunate to have a sled come along that had the GPS system when my brother in law was hurt in a crash, and totaled the sled. It was the first that we had ever heard of the system. It saved us at least an hour, probably more, in getting emergency personnel on the scene to transport him to the hospital, and it undoubtedly saved him a lot of unnecessary pain while we waited for help.

    My Yamahas have always gotten me home, but I have a buddy that I have had to tow 50+ miles three separate times. If he had been alone, he would have been stranded, and hoping that someone would come along.

    For what it is worth, if you are regularly riding alone, or even in a group, and you are often out of cell phone range, you might want to consider a GPS system with communication capabilities. It could make your life a lot easier when things go wrong, and it could save a life when things go more than wrong.
     
  2.  
  3. SqueezeER

    SqueezeER Extreme

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Northern Ontario
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2018 Viper L-TX
    Wow I am so glad you posted this. I ride alone often as well. I could ride every day if I had it my way. But its hard to find people to go with sometimes. So I go anyways. But I rarely ride alone during the night, and if I do, I ride a bit on the nervous side, as the thought of breaking down in the middle of nowhere at night is frightening.

    I think it would be awesome if people could give some reviews on brands of GPS that they are using?

    Which one do you use?
     
    03RX1-ER-LE likes this.
  4. Wannaviper

    Wannaviper Expert

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    West Gardiner, Maine
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2016 Viper XTX SE; 2019 Sidewinder DX LTX; 2013 Vector LTX; 2014 Viper XTX SE; 2013 SRX 120; 2017 Sidewinder RTX-SE
    I assume that it is okay to mention brands; if not, then the moderator can always delete my post.

    I don't know the brand of the device that the sledders who helped us earlier in the season had. I think that there are at least a couple of different brands, but I don't know for sure because Garmin was specifically recommended to me by a trail master I know. He uses the Garmin "In Reach" GPS's for all of his groomers. It provides the groomers with the ability to contact the him, and it gives him the ability to track each of the groomers in real time. There are two models available that vary in price, size and display features, but both provide communication abilities, and they pair Bluetooth with your phone or other device. I bought the larger model Garmin, and keep it in my sled's goggle bag when I am riding. I can use my phone to see a geodetic survey map showing my exact location and my track, or to send any texts that I want to send. The unit also has the SOS button, that connects you to a communication center 24/7 in an emergency.

    I have not had to use the SOS feature on my unit, but this past weekend I rode over 550 miles while I was "upta camp" and my wife was able to track my whereabouts from home. The bottom line is that she worried less about where I was and whether I was alright, and I felt more secure knowing I had help available if I needed it. Most of the area that I ride regularly is beyond cell coverage, and my brother in law's accident really brought it "home" to us how vulnerable we can be, especially if we are not able to contact help.
     
    03RX1-ER-LE, marc001, YukonMP and 2 others like this.
  5. SAB1

    SAB1 Expert

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Tuftonboro NH
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2017 Sidewinder LTX SE
    2010 Vector GT
    2006 Apex
    Never knew they had this thing. Thanks for posting. Seems like every time I ride I see a guy or two riding alone way out in the now where land I think man he's got balls I don't have. Now I know why. I see this in my future.
     
    SqueezeER likes this.
  6. SqueezeER

    SqueezeER Extreme

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Northern Ontario
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2018 Viper L-TX
    Yes I just watched a Garmin "In Reach" review on YouTube. I love that its pairs to your phone and you can text from your phone, and the gps sends it out. I'm going to see if there are others out there, but I'm definitely purchasing something. The Garmin is nice because you don't have to purchase a year subscription with it either. You can subscribe to the riding season only if you want. If there are other models out there I would love to review them as well! Thanks!!
     
  7. Pstn head

    Pstn head VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,104
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, I have the the inreach se. What a great little device for peace of mind, emergencies should they arise, and also to communicate with family and friends.
    There are many different subscription plans to choose from, and you can "suspend" your plan in the off season then resubscribe with any plan when suites you best.
    When "suspending" the plan you pay a minimum monthly payment like $5 or something which then avoids larger fees when you decide to activate it again.
     
    SqueezeER likes this.
  8. biffdotorg

    biffdotorg VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Location:
    Dilworth, MN
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    Apex XTX and VIper LTX SE
    For those that have cell service that my be spotty at times, applications for your phone do work. Where I ride, we loose cell signal often, but we get it back often enough to give anyone a general idea of where we are at. No this would not replace a SAT phone, or one of the devices you are describing, but it will work for those that have limited coverage.

    For example, our blizzard on Saturday left some very deep snow and drifts in our area. I wake up to bluebird on Sunday and nobody to ride with. I use an app called Glympse on my phone. This can text a link or email a link to anyone. They can then log into a webiste, or the app and track my location/speed. If I loose signal, it will pick up once signal is restored. If I am not moving, and not responsive to my phone, then they can start assuming something is bad.

    It takes very little data, and my phone battery lasts quite some time if I have signal. A bit poorer if it has to be constantly searching for signal. If more than one person has the Glympse app loaded, we can send each other glympses and see each other on the map. Very similar to Polaris Ride command. Check it out if you care for a less expensive option and have cell service. It's free.
     
  9. actionjack

    actionjack TY 4 Stroke God

    Messages:
    2,134
    Location:
    Westminster, Maryland
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2017 SideWinder LTX-LE
    I'm currently trying to return my Delorme In Reach Explorer. The first unit would not fully activate and was returned. The replacement unit bricked it self on the second day of use. My faith in them at this time is quite low. Thank goodness we didn't actually need to use SOS while in the backcountry. Not sure what I'll get now.
     
    SqueezeER likes this.
  10. YukonMP

    YukonMP TY 4 Stroke Junkie

    Messages:
    515
    Location:
    Yukon Territory
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2014 Yamaha MultiPurpose
    I have the Garmin inReach SE and just subscribe to the lowest service level year round. Cell coverage is marginal right here at home and I lose it quickly out on the lake. I am out alone five or six days a week year round. I send my wife a message that I am OK every few hours or when I am late. That keeps her happy. Then I have the SOS feature which will trigger the helicopter rescue and if it comes to that I'll be pretty grateful.

    SPOT is the major competition and in theory their sattelites do not provide as good coverage in the north. MEC has pages of reviews of both on their website. I am wholly satisfied with my unit, my subscription, and Garmin.
     
    Pstn head and SqueezeER like this.
  11. Wannaviper

    Wannaviper Expert

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    West Gardiner, Maine
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2016 Viper XTX SE; 2019 Sidewinder DX LTX; 2013 Vector LTX; 2014 Viper XTX SE; 2013 SRX 120; 2017 Sidewinder RTX-SE
    The ability to communicate through a GPS was definitely news to me, and I am really surprised that it has not become more widely known among snowmobilers. Maybe snowmobiling is not a big enough market for them to concentrate on, but I would think that they would be at the snowmobile shows, and making a push for subscribers. Given the potential for stranding, or injury, in remote places, it just makes so much sense.
     
    SqueezeER likes this.
  12. trail traveler

    trail traveler Lifetime Member Lifetime VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2015 sr viper s-tx-dx
    2014 Venture MP
    2016 RS Venture
    2017 sr viper x-tx
    3- 1990's era Arctic Cat prowlers
    "Spot" is another manufacturer of this type of product. They also have a variety of other products to choose from and all require a subscription. I use the Spot "trace" personal asset tracker as a security measure against theft. I cannot send an SOS with this particular device, but I know where my property is by simply bringing up the map. If there is movement, I'm alerted. For those who make long trips or back country riding with little chance of human contact, these type of devices could potentially save your life. It's worth at least a consideration. In the mean time, safe travels to all.
     
    Pstn head likes this.
  13. jjmoneysauce

    jjmoneysauce VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    Canada
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2018 VK540
    And some Bravos
    And some Enticers
    I had a horrible, horrible experience with Spot. I strongly recommend against anyone ever using them. Their customer service and billing practices are predatory, and it's surprising that they are even legal. Absolutely atrocious. And I've seen other guys have had the same types of issues. Two thumbs down for Spot.

    Inreach is far, far superior. I recommend it all the time.
     
  14. YukonMP

    YukonMP TY 4 Stroke Junkie

    Messages:
    515
    Location:
    Yukon Territory
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2014 Yamaha MultiPurpose
    This post is just to clarify that the GPS and the map/navigation functions are separate from the communication function. Same unit but the Global Positioning System is not conveying the text communications. Also, although your phone can be used to expand/enhance functionality it is not required. And finally, when I was researching my choice it became apparent that many of the dissatisfied users were not using the device correctly or misunderstood what they had purchased.

    Garmin supports a great user forum, helpful as TY but obviously not as fast ... no turbo yet but no CAT DNA.
     
    Wannaviper likes this.
  15. CaptCaper

    CaptCaper VIP Member VIP Member

    Messages:
    2,101
    Location:
    Northern N.H.
    Country:
    USA
    Snowmobile:
    2016 RS Vector XTX 1.25 Lug wifes..2013 RS Vector LTX.. 2003 600 VMax Past Machines 3-2007 Attaks 1-2010 Vector LTX.. sorry no Stinkdoos or poo's cats.
    If you really need to be saved and have it work any where on earth at any time the only device to use is the ARC Reslink. https://www.acrartex.com/products/resqlink-plb.
    The Inreach,Spot will not do the job like the Resqlink. If I need a rescue then I want to be 100% sure they'll come. It will only get help with no texting abilities. It will work in most places on earth precisely. Search the web and you will see why I said it's the best for rescue hands down. I carry one in the car on the trails.
     
    SqueezeER likes this.
  16. YukonMP

    YukonMP TY 4 Stroke Junkie

    Messages:
    515
    Location:
    Yukon Territory
    Country:
    Canada
    Snowmobile:
    2014 Yamaha MultiPurpose
    For my purposes the ability to send 'I'm OK' messages home and 'I need help' messages to my buddies was a deciding factor. I use these weekly and have faith in the inReach rescue if required. It is an option to text local rescue authorities as appropriate. The inReach also allows unit to unit texting in the field.

    I think of the 'I need help' message as the Polaris App.
     
    SqueezeER and Wannaviper like this.

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