The Best Satellite Messengers for Traveling Off-the-Grid

Until recently, only professional adventurers owned satellite communication devices. Most casual backcountry enthusiasts just didn’t have the budget, or the expertise, necessary to own an esoteric, expensive device that spat out weird numbers (Latitude, longitude? What?) on a hard-to-read LCD. If you regularly ventured off the cellular grid, you relied on maps, memory, and crossed fingers. All that has changed with a recent crop of more affordable—and much easier to use—satellite messengers. For the past year, I’ve driven to obscure mountain locations, hiked on tree-covered trails, and spent a lot of time sitting in the snow to track my location, map my routes, and send texts to my loved ones to show them how much fun I have in their absence. These are my favorite picks.

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