I took my Garmin inReach Mini out for a hike at the Roaring Creek trail, for the 1st time. Let’s see how it did, or how well-prepared I was to use it.
Garmin inReach Mini Review | Field Test
I had done my research and testing of the Garmin inReach Mini at home, so I thought.
We reached the Roaring Creek trailhead, about 1 hour west of Fort Collins, Colorado, and put our packs on. I turned on the Garmin Mini and checked to see if my iPhone was synced.
All looked great at this point.
Next, I turned on my tracking function and checked the map on my Earthmate app on my phone.
Everything looked good…
until I took a closer look at the map. I laid down a pin to see if I was in the right location but all I saw was a pretty, but blank screen. There was no trail, no contours, nothing that a map should offer, however, I knew that several maps came free with each Garmin when you purchase one.
I quickly came to realize I had not fully tested my inReach Mini back at the house. I knew at that point that I had failed to download one of several maps that were available to me.
We headed off on the trail and I could see my tracks were being set down every 10 minutes. We continued our hike but I had to use my AllTrails app to see if I was on the right trail, which wasn’t hard, because it was the only trail in this area.
Additional Map Research at Home
Once at home, I quickly logged onto my computer and took a better look at the Earthmate app, both on my phone and what it shows through my Garmin account.
It was easy to see I had 5 maps to download plus an additional hybrid map selection.
I downloaded all the maps available to me in North America, and wouldn’t you know it. The terrain, contours, trail, and much more lined up perfectly with the tracks my Garmin Mini had set down on the trail.
The maps showed up and I selected the North American topo maps.
The yellow circles are the tracking pins set down during the hike by my Garmin inReach Mini at 10 minute intervals.
I started looking at all the features and how to add way points and I was pleased that it was easy to figure out and you could add different icons for things like, great viewing points, camp sites, trailheads, mountain peaks, etc.
Next, I created a collection with the trail name and started laying out a route on the map. It’s easy to do and then easy to add to the collection.
After I finished with the collection, map selection, waypoints and route, the map looked like this.
There are many more things I have yet to learn about my new Garmin inReach Mini, but I am off to a good start.
Take a look at this short YouTube video on my first time out with the Garmin inReach Mini.
I would like to hear about your experience with the inReach Mini. Please leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.
You can check out the Garmin inReach Mini at Amazon below.
- Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables 2 way text messaging using the 100 percentage global Iridium network (satellite subscription required)
- Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required). Display size-0.9 x 0.9 inch
- Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatible devices
- Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device, basic and premium weather packages available
- Send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected wearables and handhelds. Display resolution: 128 x 128 pixels
- NOTICE: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications 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
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Garmin inReach Mini
World Wide Coverage5.0/5
Tracking & Sharing5.0/5
Initial Cost & Subscription Plan4.0/5
- Small & Lightweight
- Easy to Setup
- Easy to Use on the Trail
- Accurate Tracking
- Incredible Features
- Initial Purchase Price
- Subscription Plan
- Must be Synced to Use All Features