In case of an emergency I want to be able to call for help. This is especially important because I will travel alone from time to time and might also go for longer solo hikes. I was researching quite a bit how other people do this and I found these three main options:
The Findmespot Gen3 is a GPS tracker with built-in emergency messaging. There’s a 24/7 emergency center that will receive the message and coordinate the rescue. The Spot is rather cheap ($100) but needs a yearly subscription ($150). According to some users the build quality is rather subpar. The Findmespot is a one-way communication device. Thus, in case of an emergency you’ll hit the SOS button but you’ll have no idea if your message got through nor how long it will take for help to arrive. Not quite what I want.
Delorme InReach SE
The InReach is a two-way satellite messenger with built in GPS functionality. It’s about $250 and the yearly subscription is about $120 for emergency functionality, including 10 SMS per month. The big plus is that in case of an emergency you know if your message has been received and if help is on its way. In tracking mode they claim that the batter lasts 100 hours. Delorme is owned by Garmin.
A traditional satellite phone can obviously be used to call for help. However they are rather bulky and the subscriptions aren’t that cheap either. You have to get some 24/7 emergency service on top
I decided to get the Delorme InReach SE with the basic subscription. It doesn’t include active tracking but comes at an affordable price and I know that my message was received and the emergency center can contact me.
Also if there’s something really important, people can contact me via SMS or I can contact them (for example at the birthday of my godchild ;)).