Garmin inReach Explorer Plus

Garmin GPS inReach Explorer Plus


The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus is modern technology that all wilderness backpackers should have with them on their wilderness adventures. As a solo backpacker I always carry a GPS Satellite Communicator with me. There are various types of satellite communicators in the market. I have used different types and the Garmin inReach Explorer Plus is my first choice when I decide to head into a rugged and remote wilderness area.

The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus is the newest version of the older Delorme InReach Explorer. Garmin acquired Delorme and they merged companies. Garmin then came out with the new InReach Explorer Plus.

The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus has many new features with an upgraded ergonomic look and feel. One of the new features this unit has is the 24K topographical map. The earlier version (Delorme inReach Explorer) did not. The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus uses a text messaging system to communicate with family and friends using satellites.

A paid subscription is required to use this feature. This unit will also allow family and friends to track you on a map anywhere in the world. The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus can connect to your phone via Bluetooth so you can type with ease and view a larger screen. The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus uses the Iridium satellite system to send and receive texts.

As with all GPS communicators, there is some lag time when sending and receiving these messages depending on where the satellites are positioned in the sky. If you are indoors or in an area without a clear view of the sky sending and receiving a message may be difficult as well. The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus allows you to do some of the following:

• Send and Receive text messages 
• Get weather forecasts based on where you are located.
• View a built-in Topographical map.
• Send SOS messages in emergencies (subscription required).
• Set waypoints and routes.

The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus uses a subscription service for its data capabilities. The unit can be used with its GPS functions without paying for this service.  If you do not have the subscription then the data communication to include SOS features will not work. 

Garmin offers different subscription plans. One of the plans is called the Freedom plan. This plan allows you to use the Garmin inReach Explorer Plus on a month-to-month basis.  Utilizing this plan allows you to put the unit in a suspend mode and you do not insure any fees. For further information on the plans go the Garmin web page at

Garmin inReach Explorer Plus
Garmin inReach Explorer Plus in the Ocala Wilderness


The Garmin inReach Explorer Plus is a vast improvement over its predecessor. The ergonomics of the inReach Explorer Plus mimics many of Garmin’s other top-selling GPS units. I have posted (2) videos below. The first video is my review of the functions and features of the unit.   The second is my field test. These videos will give you a better insight on the Garmin inReach Plus Explorer.

Garmin inReach Explorer Plus (Functions and Features)

Garmin inReach Explorer Plus (Field Test)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.