Global Encounter about to summit Mt Kilimanjaro!

August 9, 2012

We’ve talked about the amazing world tour of Toby and David from Global Encounter on this blog before. They visited Base Camp at Mount Everest earlier in the year while we all followed along at their MapShare Page. Well, our self proclaimed “run-of-the-mill Texans” are at it again! Perched at 15,000 feet in elevation these world travelers are preparing to reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro within the next six hours!

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You can follow their ongoing adventure at their website global-encounter.com, or go directly to their Twitter Page to see all the messages they are sending to their followers using DeLorme’s inReach two-way satellite communicator. Visit their MapShare Page to send them a message and offer encouragement as they climb the remaining distance to the summit!

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Good luck Toby and David, safe travels to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro from all of us here at DeLorme!

Chip Noble
Team DeLorme


Explorer Eric Larsen – Testing inReach in Subarctic

March 28, 2012

Eric Larsen, renowned Polar Explorer, is putting the inReach through it’s paces in Churchill, Manitoba while training and testing gear for his upcoming expedition. Eric is no stranger to DeLorme products having taken a previous DeLorme satellite communicator to the summit of Mt Everest in 2009 during the final leg of his Save The Poles expedition.

Eric and his team are sharing their experiences from Churchill with blog posts and YouTube videos. You can even send them a message using their Map Share page.

Here’s a picture Eric sent us showing him corresponding with people back home using DeLorme’s inReach and Earthmate PN-60w.

You can read more about the team’s inReach experience in a blog post from Eric’s tech guru Tim Harrincar titled Tech Talk from Tim. In his post Tim explains the purpose of their trip and how they evaluate gear like the inReach and other tech products they are testing.

“One of the major goals of the trip is to field test equipment for future adventures to insure that cost-benefit of that equipment justifies its place in the kit. The “cost” of any piece of technology equipment is weight and power consumption which means asking questions like can it do the job of an alternate, heavier piece of equipment? Can it do more than one job? Can it do its job faster or easier than an alternative? Does it improve safety? Is it something new and interesting?” -Tim Harrincar

Their YouTube update, Dispatch Day 5 | Home, has a nice clip of the inReach hanging in Eric’s tent while he describes the value of the gear that he selects for his expeditions and how all of it becomes his home when he’s in the arctic.

“…you’re traveling to all these new places and every night you’re in the same place and it’s all familiar. That’s that one constant in all that chaos and that’s home… Everything is within arms reach and if we can’t reach it we don’t need it.” -Eric Larsen

While I’ve never been to a location as extreme as the arctic, I can definitely appreciate Eric’s statement about the importance of the gear you carry having packed my own home on my back before during multi-day hikes. The planning and preparation that Eric and his team put into their expeditions is truly impressive.

I encourage everyone to check out the team’s blog posts and videos to learn more about Eric Larsen’s expeditions and why he has chosen to include the inReach among the equipment keeping him connected when traveling to the far corners of the earth.

While you’re there be sure to view his location on their DeLorme inReach Map Share page and send them a message. I know that Eric will love to hear from all of you interested in his adventures!

Chip Noble
Team DeLorme


inReach Tips & Tricks

March 16, 2012

We’ve developed a series of helpful how-to videos covering many of our most commonly requested help topics for the inReach SE and inReach Explorer.

To view our new inReach How-To Video Series go to inreachdelorme.com/how-to.

 


Device to Device Messages with DeLorme inReach

November 15, 2011

I want to take a second to show off one of the most exciting features our new inReach device has to offer—the ability for a user to send a message with their location from their device to a friend’s device so that their friend can see exactly where they are on the map. Now granted, there are other systems out there that let you see the location of people in your party but none of them let you see people anywhere in the world! No more problems if your friend is on the back side of a ridge and no more problems if you travel too far away from each other. This two-way, global communication with the Earthmate PN-60w & inReach is all powered by the Iridium satellite network.

I’m sharing a few screenshots that illustrate the feature. While I was hunting this weekend I received a message from my dad showing where he was sitting. I was able to select the message from the conversation thread and press Enter to view the details of his message.

The details page included his speed, heading, elevation, and the time he sent the message. It also gave me options to view my dad’s location on the map or create a route to that location. I could have chosen to create a waypoint at his location too since it’s one of his favorite hunting spots!

After I chose to create a route to his location the map displayed an orange route highlight from my GPS location to the location where he sent his message. You can see the red route finish icon on top of his green message icon. The blue message icons show locations where I sent a message. If you look south of my GPS location you’ll see a second green message icon where my brother-in-law sent me a message too.

That’s the short version of how to use the location of someone who has sent you an inReach message. You can create a waypoint at their location, see them on the map, or create a route to where they are. The final screen shows all of the tracking and message information that was shared between the three of us that were out hunting. The view is from my MapShare and shows locations overlaid on aerial imagery

Feel free to post any questions you might have about the DeLorme PN-60w and inReach, and don’t forget about the blog challenge to share a picture of your camp! There’s still time left to enter and we want as many as possible to have a chance to win the Earthmate PN-60w that we are giving away!

Thank you,

Chip Noble
DeLorme


Video & Giveaway: DeLorme PN-60w & inReach at Hunting Camp

November 9, 2011

November 1st marked the opening day of whitetail deer season here in the state of Maine. This is a special time of year for my family since we have a long standing tradition of gathering for hunting camp, spending time together telling stories about the good ol’ days and the one that got away…

I wanted to take a moment to share some of that hunting camp tradition with you and then show some videos of DeLorme’s new Earthmate PN-60w and inReach in action. While most things at hunting camp have a nostalgic feel, the technology being used is cutting edge and will keep you connected—no matter where you’ve gotten to during the hunt!

For those who’ve never been, going to a hunting camp is like taking a step back in time to an era before cell phones, cable television, and even electricity. I’m sure other hunting enthusiasts around the country will have pictures like these from their own camps; places with names like Bon Ami, Number Six, The Old Warden, and Stag-er-Inn.

At hunting camp you get your water from the cast-iron pump next to the sink and it’s as cold as the ice in the brook until the pump’s drained for fear of freezing the pipe in December.

Gas lights throughout the camp let you read big buck stories in Field & Stream while the loyal bird dog curls up on the couch she’s not allowed to sleep on at home. The magazine articles always make it sound so easy but I can assure you it’s not.

Red wool jackets and blaze orange hats hang on hooks and the backs of chairs while boots are arranged near the wood stove to dry. Camp slippers on the board above the stove are welcome should you need to make a trip to The Necessary in the night. Trinkets and trophies decorate the walls telling their own stories of camp and family and Maine.

Playing cribbage is a favorite pastime when the table isn’t serving up good food prepared for hungry hunters in from the woods. You’d be surprised by the appetite you can work up napping in the woods on a crisp fall day.

Of all these things though, it is the family and the stories that I value most. It’s staying in touch and sharing the excitement of being together at camp and being in the wilderness. That’s why I really am excited about DeLorme’s new inReach. It gives me the ability to send a message back to my mom, letting her know where I am on the ridge. I can tell my dad I flushed a bird or maybe even saw a deer! Who knows, maybe I’ll finally sit quietly, long enough to get that big buck and send a message for some help… not likely, but at least I’ll be ready!

Watch the video to see some of the exciting new ways we’ll be staying in touch at hunting camp. Granted, most of the excitement was around breakfast and cinnamon buns but the value of the PN-60w and inReach for sending two-way messages powered by the Iridium satellite network is clear.

Imagine how you might use a system like this at your own hunting camp. The satellite network powered by Iridium is global, pole-to-pole. You can exchange messages with friends and family regardless of how far from camp they are. For that matter, you can send messages to me in Weld, Maine, the next time we’re both out in the woods!

I hope you enjoyed your brief tour of our hunting camp here in the wilds of Maine. As a “thank you” for visiting I encourage you to go to our DeLorme Facebook page and post a picture of your own camp, hunting or not; you’ll be entered to win a PN-60w! From there the winner will just need the inReach to stay connected wherever they go!

Don’t forget to sign the camp log before you leave, my mother will be checking it to see if you enjoyed your visit. Good luck to all of you this season, enjoy your time in the woods and at camp!

Be safe out there,

Chip Noble
DeLorme


Two-way text messaging from 14,000 feet

September 30, 2011

As those of you who followed the Grand Teton Climb map updates know, the Big City Mountaineers adventure on the Grand Teton was a huge success! We reached the summit at 10:30AM last Wednesday and made it back to the trail-head at 5:30PM that evening. Messages were sent all along the trip and I very much appreciate all of the comments and well wishes that came in from people watching the climb through DeLorme’s Twitter posts and the MapShare page. The weather was perfect, the climbing was amazing, and I had a great time learning more about Big City Mountaineers’ efforts to expose kids to the wonders of nature and the great outdoors. For those interested in learning more, check out their Summit For Someone program and plan your own adventure!

I was very excited to see all the activity on the blog when I got back. I understand that there’s been a lot of comparing and contrasting between the subscription plan information that we posted last week and other systems that are out there. I wanted to take a few minutes and actually post the wrap-up e-mail I sent to our management team while I was flying back to Maine late Thursday evening. Returning from my first multiple-day backpacking trip with the inReach really gave me a chance to appreciate how the game has changed since the last time I made a blog post about sending messages from the top of a mountain….

I wanted to send an e-mail to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to represent DeLorme and participate in the Big City Mountaineers Outdoor Industry Leadership Climb of the Grand Teton. It was an amazing opportunity to showcase all of the hard work that has gone into the DeLorme inReach and Earthmate PN-60w, as well as a once in a lifetime opportunity for me personally.

Climbing to Jackson Hole Mountain Guides High Camp.

The inReach was well received by industry leaders on the climb; several used the device to send messages to family, friends, and colleagues. Some that were part of the first climbing group exchanged messages with the second group while they watched our progress on summit day. All climbers joined in on a spontaneous DeLorme Twitter challenge the morning of day 2 and pooled quite a collection of prizes for the first Twitter follower to bring bacon, a birthday cake, and other supplies to base camp. Unfortunately none of the people that responded to the inReach message were able to make the climb to cash in but it was nice to see how the group embraced the messaging beyond cell phone capabilities (thanks to Iridium) of our new product.

Sunrise while crossing the Saddle between Middle Teton and Grand Teton.

We released my blog post about the climb on Monday morning inviting people to follow the trip on my Grand Teton Climb MapShare page. I sent 189 tracking messages during the trip representing over 30 hours of activity including a full summit day that started at 5:30 am and finished at 5:30 pm. I sent 140 messages over the trip including messages to Twitter, Facebook, friends, family, and co-workers. I was able to say goodnight to my wife and daughter from 11,000 feet and reassure my mother that I was paying close attention to the guides and wouldn’t be doing anything dangerous. She will not be viewing some of the climbing pictures!

I received messages from over 40 different people; many co-workers, lots of friends and family, and a large number of people that read the blog and wanted to offer encouragement. Some of my favorite messages came at times when I was huddled in the tent with the wind thrashing or standing in the dark waiting to rope in to start the climb. All were amazing to receive so far away from home and reinforced the significance of what we’re doing every time the PN chimed to let me know someone was watching.

“Good luck! I’m on the other side in Idaho.” –Twitter follower

“Dear Chip, we’re following you from Italy, Abruzzi mountains! Wishing you all the best for a nice climb! –Klaus” –Twitter follower

“Watched your progress and can’t wait to get the inReach. Congratulations on a great hike!” –Twitter follower

“Abby is having lunch with us. She says you are a good climber. We love you.” –My mom

“When you reach the ridge line between Grand and Middle, look west. We might be able to capture you on the TetonCam web cam.” –Co-worker

TetonCam shot after sending Saddle message, we're in there somewhere!

“Everyone in my training class wants to say hello.” –DeLorme training coordinator

“Sweeeeettt! What a great climb. Far different than the one in California. You are now a true mountaineer!” –Member of Climb 1

“Get your tail moving!” –My supervisor

“Stay close to the experts.” –My mom

“Awesome, so what route are you using for the climb?” –Co-worker

“Doing good so far. I would love to meet you at the top with bacon and whiskey, but alas I have to be at work. How about a box of cookies when you get back?” –Twitter Challenge responder

“Really cool to be able to show the girls where you are, which rock are you hiding behind? :) Get good rest for tomorrow.” –My sister

“Shouldn’t you be holding onto the rope not texting?” –My dad

“I just zoomed in to where you are with the aerial imagery. Yikes!” –Co-worker

“Wishing you tight ropes, solid footing and clear skies.” –Co-worker

“Great! I hope you had a good time, and I’m glad you’re on your way towards home because we miss you!” –My wife

DeLorme inReach & Earthmate PN-60w sending message on Grand Teton.

Grand Teton Climb MapShare showing climb from Saddle to Summit.

My only disappointment from the trip was minor, the message that I sent from the summit did not actually transmit. I was concerned about temperatures so I created a predefined message forgetting that the feature wasn’t fully implemented. The feature has since been completed but for this trip the track log and following picture from the summit will have to prove that I did stand on top of the Mountain… here is the text that I meant to send to all of you before coming back down:

“Standing on the summit of the Grand Teton, breathtaking! Thanks to Big City Mountaineers, Backpacker Magazine, and DeLorme for this amazing opportunity!”

Standing on the summit of the Grand Teton, breathtaking...

It truly was a breathtaking view and an amazing opportunity and I thank you all for letting me represent DeLorme and participate in this grand adventure!

Chip Noble
Team DeLorme

I hope that sharing this report to our management team helps explain why I’m confident that the two-way messaging capabilities of the DeLorme inReach are going to change the way we stay in touch on the trail and in the back country. It’s not just about sending messages anymore!

Chip Noble
Team DeLorme


First Messages with DeLorme inReach!

August 26, 2011

The DeLorme inReach project is going very well here at DeLorme, our beta test is in full swing and everyone is very excited with the progress we’re seeing. I wanted to share a bit from my recent hike and then give you a chance to check things out for yourself… keep reading!

Last Saturday I went for a hike in the White Mountains with one of our lead engineers. We hit the road at 4:00 AM and were on the trail with my Earthmate PN-60w & DeLorme inReach at 6:00 AM ready to cover 11 miles of hiking with 2,800 feet of climbing including two 4,000 footers with Mt. Tripyramid’s North and Middle peaks. The trail was challenging and the views of the surrounding mountain range were quite impressive!

 

I think this example is probably better than me trying to explain all the features and benefits of two-way satellite communication from beyond cell phone range with the new DeLorme inReach. Christian, our Director of Technology, was up early and sent us some messages while we were on the hike. We were an hour’s drive from the nearest cell phone reception and we were able to check in with him during the hike. You all know that I’m easily excited by the projects I get to work on here at DeLorme but the ability to see confirmation that our messages were being delivered and the ability to get a reply really is a big deal… I’d go so far as to call it a game changer for those of us that spend a fair bit of time in the wilderness!

One last image… here’s the map of our hike on the soon to be launched Explore.DeLorme.com site. Notice that there are no gaps from dropped messages, the Iridium reception is very impressive and should a message not get out, it is queued and delivered as soon as a satellite comes into view. It ensures that the messages you send really make it through to your friends and family.

Okay, remember how I said you could check things out back at the start of this post? Well, here’s a link to my “Where’s Chip???” MapShare, you can view a map that shows my location and even send me a message when I’m out on an adventure.

Where’s Chip???

As a little precaution I did put a password on the site… it’s the top secret name of my dog, Beezy. She’s very excited to be going on a hike with me in just a few minutes! I’m writing this post in Weld, ME and am about to go hike Tumbledown Mountain, one of my favorite climbs. Follow the link above and use “Beezy” as your password. Click on my name and then use the envelope to send me a message. I’ll get back to you when I take a break on the trail. I suppose I should give a time frame too… I have to put my boots on and get my pack ready. I should be at the trail by the time this gets posted and I’ll update here when I’m done…

Talk with you soon!

Chip Noble
Team DeLorme

UPDATE

I wanted to thank everyone that sent me messages while I was out on my hike, climbing Tumbledown Mountain. It was exciting to chat with blog readers while I was in the middle of a test of our new system! I sent updates and replies and best of all we learned of a problem that our project team is working on as we speak! It’s always fun for me to get the public involved with our design and testing process… makes the final product better every time! I’ve removed the ability to reply to my MapShare until the next outing… I don’t want anyone to worry if they don’t hear from me. One more hike tomorrow and then some travel for work. I’ll be climbing Mount Washington with some co-workers next weekend so you can check back then. After that, keep an eye on the DeLorme Blog for information about my upcoming Grand Teton climb in Wyoming with Backpacker Magazine! This is all really just a test run for that much larger event. Things are looking good so far!


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