Have you ever been lost or really turned around out in the mountains? Well, with the Garmin inReach Mini Trackback option, you don’t ever need to be lost again.
Ingo, one of my YouTube subscribers asked if the Garmin inReach Mini could follow your trail or breadcrumbs back to your starting point, especially when not synced to a smartphone. Kris, another subscriber did some research and let him know that this could be done, but asked me to confirm it would work and to make a video showing it’s success, or lack thereof.
The short answer is it works perfectly! Let’s take a close look at how anyone with a Garmin inReach Mini can find there way to safety if lost in the mountains.
Garmin inReach Settings for Trackback
First, let’s look at the Garmin inReach Mini settings that will help you trackback to your starting point. From the inReach Mini home screen, arrow down to “Setup.”
Next, go to “Tracking.”
Next, go to “Log Interval.”
There are several log intervals, from 1 second, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes and off. The shorter the log interval, the more accurate, however, this will affect your battery life.
I chose to start my test out at 30 seconds, I later changed it to 1 second, then finally to 2 minutes, as I wanted to see how it worked during this test.
Next, go to “Send Interval.”
The more often you send, the more it will affect your battery life, but again, as this is a test, I want to see the results faster on my smartphone. I later set the send interval to 2 minutes.
Let’s Get on the Trail and Start Tracking
From the home screen, go to “Start Tracking.”
Now, let’s get hiking.
Now it’s time to act like we’re lost. When you’re lost, go ahead and “Stop Tracking.”
Now, select “Navigate.”
Next, select “Trackback.”
Now, start walking and look for the arrow to point in the direction of your last route or direction.
The arrow will point in the direction of your last log point. The more point you log, the more accurate your trackback, but remember, if you ever stopped, turned around or stopped for a long period of time on your hike in, your trackback direction can get a little confused, so be patient, and walk around slowly, waiting for the satellite messenger to find the last log point and continue pointing you in the right direction.
This may take some practice and testing to make sure you are sure and comfortable with how the Garmin inReach Mini works with Trackback.
You can see the map on my smartphone, how it’s actually tracking in the direction of some tracks laid down earlier.
The good news is, that the arrow on the Garmin inReach Mini kept pointing down the trail, guiding me back to where I started. I did come upon another trail and purposefully took the wrong direction as you can see below.
Right after this photo, I turned right down the wrong trail to test the Garmin inReach Mini. Here’s what happened.
Within seconds, the Garmin pointed back behind me in the correct direction I needed to go. I then tried another test, where I was on a switchback in the trail and the trailhead was directly off to my right. The Garmin was pointing down the trail.
I then turned to my right and faced directly towards where I knew the trailhead was, and the Garmin immediately pointed back to my left where the correct path down the trail was.
That was all the proof I needed to confirm that the Garmin inReach Mini Trackback really does work. Finally, I was within 0.2 miles of the trailhead and could see cars in the parking lot, so I stopped the trackback test, knowing was a great day in Colorado, ending with a successful Trackback test.
Thank you again Ingo for asking if this was possible, and Kris for doing the research to confirm the trackback was possible. That’s all it took for me to get off my butt, do some research on my own, and get out into the mountains to verify that it really does work.
Check out the YouTube video below of the actually Trackback test and please leave a comment below if you have anything else you would like be to tested or researched.
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- Compact, lightweight satellite communicator enables two-way messaging and interactive SOS globally (Active satellite subscription required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communication devices.)
- Navigate back to where you started by using TracBack routing
- Share your location with loved ones back home at any time (active satellite subscription required) by using your MapShare page or with your coordinates embedded in your messages
- Get accurate heading information using the digital compass — even when you’re not moving
- Sync with the Garmin Explore app and website on your compatible smartphone for trip planning and topographical mapping, and create waypoints, courses, activities and collections you can sync to your device
- Pair with Garmin devices, such as wearables and handhelds, and use them to send and receive messages and trigger an SOS (active satellite subscription required)
This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.
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