Garmin inReach Mini Trackback | Have You Ever Been Lost?

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.”

Garmin inReach Mini Trackback Settings

Next, go to “Tracking.”

Garmin inReach Mini Trackback Settings - Tracking

Next, go to “Log Interval.”

Garmin inReach Mini Trackback Settings - 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.

Garmin inReach Mini Trackback Settings - Log Interval

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.”

Garmin inReach Mini Trackback Settings - 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.”

Garmin inReach Mini - Start Tracking

Now, let’s get hiking.

The Hike

Now it’s time to act like we’re lost. When you’re lost, go ahead and “Stop Tracking.”

Garmin inReach Mini - Stop Tracking

Now, select “Navigate.”

Garmin inReach Mini | Navigate

Next, select “Trackback.”

Garmin inReach Mini | Trackback

Now, start walking and look for the arrow to point in the direction of your last route or direction.

Garmin inReach Mini | Trackback

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.

Garmin inReach Mini | Tracking Back to Waypoints

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.

Garmin inReach Mini | Pointing Down the Trail

Right after this photo, I turned right down the wrong trail to test the Garmin inReach Mini. Here’s what happened.

Garmin inReach Mini | Garmin Pointing Back in the Direction I needed to go

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.

Garmin inReach Mini | Garmin Pointing in the Right Direction

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.

Garmin inReach Mini | Trackback Pointing to the Trail

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.

Garmin inReach Mini | Trackback Test Successful

Final Thoughts

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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Garmin inReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Handheld Satellite Communicator, Orange Bundle with Garmin Backpack Tether Accessory for Garmin Devices
16 Reviews
Garmin inReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Handheld Satellite Communicator, Orange Bundle with Garmin Backpack Tether Accessory for Garmin Devices
  • Product 1: Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables two way text messaging using the 100 percentage global Iridium network (satellite subscription required)
  • Product 1: Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required)
  • Product 1: Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatible devices
  • Product 1: Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device; basic and premium weather packages available
  • Product 2: Backpack Tether
  • Product 2: Durable nylon harness wrap

This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

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