Balancing Price, Durability and Weight with Backpacking Supplies
So I've been struggling with how to balance the backpacking budget, durability and weight....Read more
@PhilreedshikesOn 5G I doubt it...It will be available first in high density areas where there are lots of people prepared to "pay" for it however they do. It doesn't expand basic coverage. It might make map downloads on the road quicker if you forgot to cache them via your home wi fi before you left.
W-e-e-ll, there's a kind of hitch with 5G, it doesn't go as far as 4G. 4G goes about 10 miles, 5G goes about 1,000 FEET!
So, I'm hoping they'll take all that 4G hardware out of the cities and place it strategically around (and maybe in?) wilderness areas. Then I can REALLY work away from home!! 😄
OH! and BTW, when you call 911 from your phone (again, whether it has an active plan or not), the operator will automatically get your GPS coordinate along with your call. They will then pass that along to the closest rescuing agency with whatever info' you already gave them.
My reasoning for saying the InReach has sped up the demise of GPS is because it is closing the difference gap between smartphones and more traditional GPS units. Longevity for any particular technology tends to come from its differentiators. Even as technology evolves and improves, it the function and purpose (among other factors) that will keep it relevant.
Once two technologies start to converge, one will invariably win out. The InReach, by adding communication capabilities, starts to encroach on the outer edges of smartphone technology. Granted, I would be a very rich person if I could say with any certainty the direction that the technology will go but, based on past trends, I'm still thinking that smartphones will eventually will replace GPS units.
That being said, cell and WiFi coverage increase is probably a great next step because of the challenge in scaling down the transmission power for a smartphone to transmit up to even a LEO satellite. I just hope they just don't litter the landscape with ugly towers.
... as a "STAND ALONE" unit? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!!! It’s not about the "unit", it's about the function/feature.
As a wilderness soloist/survivalist, people are sometimes surprised when I insist they have a smartphone along. I explain they should consider them an electronic multi-tool, and since they are so ubiquitous and cheap (and practically an appendage for some people), you can count on people to have one. They just need to have it in a shockproof-waterproof case and bring a spare battery or battery bank.
The same goes for my/the InReach Mini, it's not just a "GPS unit" (obviously), communications, weather reports, etc., it's a more purpose oriented electronic multitool, but both the Mini and the smartphone have certain functionality EVEN IF they don't have active service; the smartphone can still call 911 (if you have reception) and both still have GPS.
But they both still have the same weakness, BATTERIES. That's why I still keep a map & compass! Getting lost CONTINUES to be a primary reason, for Search And Rescue missions, so it's prudent to take steps to mitigate that possibility, no matter your skill level. And having a handy GPS function is a quick and easy way to stay on track.