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Nancyann
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PostThu Mar 21, 2019 8:33 pm 
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Just read about it in Backpacker Magazine. Turns your phone into a satellite communication device, with no contract required. Does anyone have one yet?
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RandyHiker
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PostFri Mar 22, 2019 8:47 am 
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https://www.bivystick.com/bivystick-1/

$349 to purchase $17.99 a month for service.
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Tom
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PostFri Mar 22, 2019 10:18 am 
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One selling point seems to be you only pay for months you use the service with no activation fee.  So if you only want service July - Oct you're paying $17.99. for 4 months => ~$72 + extras.  With Garmin's freedom plan you would pay an annual $24.99 program fee plus $15/month => ~$85 + extras.  With Spot I think you have to pay for the full year, not sure.
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Stefan
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PostFri Mar 22, 2019 10:36 am 
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7.0 ounces.  That is good.

Smartphone = does satellite mapping
Smartphone = does pictures
Smartphone = does not do emergency

I think I could do this.

Here is the problem and the risk.  What if they go out of business?  Then I am out $350!

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Art is an adventure.
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neek
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PostFri Mar 22, 2019 12:39 pm 
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Seems clever at first but I don't think it makes much sense for anyone who wasn't already considering purchasing a satellite phone or similar device.

For $20 you can buy a battery brick that will charge your phone and warm your hands, so that feature isn't very impressive.

In case of an actual emergency, you are now dependent on two pieces of technology--this thing (how durable is it even?) and your fragile cell phone.  Get a PLB for similar price and you have something that is fairly foolproof (see the many discussions elsewhere in these forums) and has a proven track record.

If you just want weather reports or a social media fix, you can probably find sufficient cell reception, around here anyway, if you have a good provider.  I've never gone a day where I don't top out on some ridge or high point with a signal.

Like Stefan said, there's the risk of going with a kickstarter company.  Especially for something you are relying on for personal safety.

Maybe this'll become a thing, who knows.  I'm all for using my mobile phone as the "brain" for an ecosystem of small personal devices.  You're going to see a lot of this in the healthcare space in the near future, for example.  Glucose monitors and cheap portable ultrasound devices, to name a few, already exist.  Early adopters can help prove out the technology for the rest of us.
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hbb
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PostFri Mar 22, 2019 1:50 pm 
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Why would you get this over, say, an InReach Mini?

The Mini is the same retail price, but has the advantage of working as a stand-alone device. The Mini does not require an annual contract, and the cheapest plan is only $14.95 a month.

The Bivystick, in contrast, cost as much as a Mini, but is worthless without pairing it to a functional smartphone. I can't find any technical data regarding transmission power, satellite constellation, and so on, which is a bit troubling. The cheapest plan is $17.99 a month.

Edit: Poking around further I see Bivystick is on the Irridium network, which is the same constellation the InReach uses.
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Nancyann
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PostFri Mar 22, 2019 5:06 pm 
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For multi-day trips I still like the idea of having both the Garmin InReach and a phone connected to the InReach, which eliminates the need to try to type messages on the InReach itself, which is quite tedious. That way if something happens to the phone (you drop it off a cliff or in a creek whilst trying to get that perfect pic) you will still have the Garmin.
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