In the early days of adventure travel, part of the ‘adventure’ was being cut off from the outside world for days and weeks on end with no form of communication. This was great, until things went wrong. Nowadays satellite communication has meant that there is always the option of getting in touch with the outside world if you need to.
At KE Adventure Travel we operate adventure holidays in some very remote regions, and as a commercial operator we need to ensure that where there are no land lines or areas of mobile coverage, we still have a means of communication in the event of an emergency.
We have found the Garmin InReach SE+ device to be a very useful device for our groups visiting remote areas with communication blackspots. It uses the Iridium satellite communications network, which we have found to give the best global coverage. It enables you to send and receive text messages from any mobile phone number or e-mail address, wherever they are in the world. The devices are also super-rugged and can withstand the rigours of adventure travel. There is an SOS function on the device which, if pressed, will contact the emergency authorities in the country you are visiting, and mobilise an emergency response team.
I can confirm the effectiveness of this function when I received a call from the response team informing me that they had received an SOS call from one of our leaders and gave me the location of the alert. I was a bit perplexed as the location was in a town with road access, mobile signal and internet access. It only took a quick investigation to discover the tour leader had been testing the device before setting off on their trek and accidentally pressed the SOS button!
In summary, it's a great tool that provides a reliable and relatively economical way of communicating in areas without mobile coverage, wherever you are in the world, whether it's the Scottish Highlands or Antarctica.
Picture courtesy of KE Adventure.