Earlier this year I reviewed the Garmin inReach Mini 2, using it for two-way communication with my family during hikes and fly fishing trips in Colorado and Washington. Thankfully, I did not need to use it for a SOS emergency situation, but always wondered how frequently Garmin devices were used for such incidents.
Garmin reported that it has supported over 10,000 SOS incidents with an inReach device on all seven continents in more than 150 countries since 2011. While mountain regions have a high number of SOS incidents, there were also hiking and biking SOS incidents reported in various cities. Medical emergencies and injuries represented nearly 50% of the SOS calls.
The top five activities that people were participating in when activating the SOS service include driving, motorcycle riding, hiking, climbing, and boating. It was very interesting to see that almost 20% of the calls were initiated by a good Samaritan who had a Garmin inReach and was able to use it to aid another person. Look around for those inReach devices the next time you are out hiking if you do not already own one.
The SOS button is found on Garmin inReach devices and is protected by a cover to prevent inadvertent activation. The Iridium satellite network provides coverage for the Garmin inReach devices that connects you with Garmin Response, a coordination center staffed for 24/7 assistance.
Garmin recently announced the Garmin inReach Messenger, it’s most affordable inReach device. It also offers several inReach handhelds, Montana 700 Series, Tread XL series, Garmin Pilot, and more so inReach is available in various forms to meet your needs in any outdoor activity.