Baffin Island: The Best Climbing Destination You Never Heard Of

Baffin Island: The Best Climbing Destination You Never Heard Of

Baffin Island: The Best Climbing Destination You Never Heard Of

 

If you're a mountaineer, you're probably familiar with all the big names— Everest, Denali, Rainier, and all the other famous peaks of the world. But have you heard of Mount Asgard? What about Mount Odin or Mount Thor? These mysterious peaks with their Viking names are found in the Baffin Mountains, a range stretching the length of the northeastern coast of Baffin Island.

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Adventures in the Northern Wilderness

Adventures in the Northern Wilderness

Adventures in the Northern Wilderness

 

The subarctic regions of Alaska and Northern Canada offer some of the most stunning and untouched wilderness in North America. It's no surprise that explorers, hunters, and nature-lovers of all types come from all over to experience it. Summer is prime time for a northern wilderness adventure— during the colder months, the climate is unfavorable for all but the hardiest of tourists. If you're planning to visit the region someday, here are some things to look forward to.

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4 Incredible Places for Summer Wilderness Adventures

4 Incredible Places for Summer Wilderness Adventures

4 Incredible Places for Summer Wilderness Adventures

Summertime is a prime time of the year to get out and enjoy nature. It's especially true if you live somewhere with harsh winters. Being cooped up in your home for the whole season can have you going stir crazy! Fortunately, for the summer wilderness explorer, there are tons of incredible places around the world where you can go to experience nature in all its glory. Many locations offer guided tours and expeditions that will help you by supplying gear and knowledgeable guides to help you have fun and stay safe.

If you're looking to get out into the wild this summer, here are some suggestions of beautiful places to get away from civilization, and the satellite phone networks to rely on in each one.

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Important Firmware Upgrades for Iridium and IsatPhone Handsets

**IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR IRIDIUM DEVICES- April 25, 2019 - There is now updated firmware beyond what is posted below for the Iridium 9555, Iridium Extreme and Iridium Extreme PTT.  See the new article for those devices here - https://www.outfittersatellite.com/iridium-firmware-04-2019.htm

Keeping up-to-date firmware on electronic devices is crucial for functionality and ease of use.  Recently, both Iridium and Inmarsat have released firmware upgrades for many of their handset models.  While some of these upgrades are optional, we recommend moving to the latest firmware to ensure your device functions as the manufacturer intends.  See below for your model of phone and exactly what you need to do to keep up-to-date.

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Satellite Phone Spotlight: Iridium 9575 Extreme

Satellite Phone Spotlight: Iridium 9575 Extreme

Satellite Phone Spotlight: Iridium 9575 Extreme

 

Sometimes you need to be absolutely sure you have the top-of-the-line, toughest equipment out there, and when it comes to satellite phones, the Iridium 9575 Extreme fits the bill admirably. Not only does it utilize the truly global, full-coverage Iridium satellite network, it's built with rugged construction that will survive the harshest conditions. This is truly the satellite phone to rely on in a life-or-death situation anywhere on Earth.

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Are Satellite Communications Possible Indoors?

Are Satellite Communications Possible Indoors?

Are Satellite Communications Possible Indoors?

 

You may hear that satellite phones cannot be used indoors. It is true that satellite phones rely on a clear view of the sky, as they require line-of-sight to a satellite on their network in order to have a signal. Not even using one next to a window will be effective. So, what if you can't necessarily be outside? Maybe you need to use a satellite phone while inside your car, boat, or aircraft. For the purposes of satellite phone functionality, these all count as "indoors" and have a negative effect on your ability to get a signal. So what do you do? Are you out of luck?

The simple answer is no. You can get around the need to use the satellite phone strictly outdoors by installing an antenna on the outside of your vehicle or building. Outfitter Satellite carries the equipment you need for this purpose.

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Why You Should Bring a Satellite Phone Out to Sea

Why You Should Bring a Satellite Phone Out to Sea

Why You Should Bring a Satellite Phone Out to Sea 

It takes only a passing familiarity with boats to know about radar and marine radios, and we've all seen both in television and movies. They've become constant in people's minds when they think of traveling over water.  However, because of these assumptions, people underestimate the utility of satellite phones on a seafaring voyage. Having a satellite phone can save your life, even when your vessel is equipped with other electronics, and at the very least it can help you keep in touch much more easily while away from land.

 

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Satellite Phone Choice - Which One?

When leaving on your next trek into the outer reaches, satellite phone choice is as important as bringing the right footwear or clothing. Depending on where your trip will take you, Iridium and Inmarsat possess definite strengths and a few challenges that will make the choice relatively painless.

A World of Difference

Iridium carries the distinction of being a truly “global” phone. An Iridium phone will function at any location on the planet. Use of their low-earth orbit constellation of 66 satellites makes this possible. Those satellites are in constant motion overhead, completing an orbit around the earth in about 90 minutes. For end users, that means that a satellite passes overhead from horizon to horizon rather quickly. And while it passes overhead, a satellite phone can lock on to place a call. This has the advantage of being able to be used even in partial obstruction.

Inmarsat utilizes 3 geostationary satellites in high equatorial orbit. Their essentially motionless satellites afford the end user long connection times without dropped calls. The Isatphone 2, Inmarsat’s primary handset, also registers to the network very quickly. The geostationary system, however, necessitates a line-of-site to the satellite to be used. This means, you must be below (in the north) or above (in the south) the 50 latitude line or the curvature of the earth will obstruct the signal.

Location, Location, Location

Where you will be traveling heavily influences satellite phone choice. Consider the following factors:

  • Tall mountains or deep canyons: large, natural obstructions can block equatorial views; choose Iridium
  • Canada, Alaska, northern Europe or Asia, Polls: above or below the 50 latitude line causes curvature of the earth obstruction; choose Iridium.
  • Open ocean: clear, unobstructed views; choose Inmarsat.
  • Geographic location close to the equator: angle to satellite nearly directly overhead; choose Inmarsat.

Pros and Cons

Basic functionality of both Iridium handsets and Inmarsat’s Isatphones are the same. All Iridium handsets from the 9505A to the current 9575 Extreme as well as the Isatphone Pro and Isatphone 2 have SMS texting abilities and low speed data transfer. The 9575 Extreme and Isatphone 2 also have GPS tracking abilities with programable emergency buttons. However, the similarities end here.

The Isatphone 2 offers superior call quality and call length to the Iridium. So if long, clear connection times are needed, the Isatphone 2 is the obvious choice. Also, airtime options for the Isatphone 2 are more economical than their Iridium counterparts. If, however, there is concern for possible terrestrial obstruction for an emergency situation, then the Iridium, with its ability to register and make calls even with partial obstruction, is the choice to make. Iridium also offers the GO! wi-fi hotspot which allows the pairing of a smart device as the conduit for a satellite device. This enables calls, easier SMS texting and even text-based email.

Outfitter Satellite provides new and used purchase options for the Iridium 9505A, 9555, GO!, 9575 Extreme (with service) as well as the Isatphone Pro, and Isatphone 2 (with service).  If your trip is shorter in duration, or if you don’t want to have to maintain equipment, rental options for the Iridium 9555, GO! and Isatphone 2 present an attractive alternative to purchase.

Satellite phone choice, either purchasing new or used, or renting, is easy when making an informed decision.  Knowing your terrain, location, and how you want to use the device are all factors in making the right pick.

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Wildfire Preparation

With the recent fires in East Tennessee, wildfire preparation is always a prudent decision.  Here are some simple things that can be done to maximize safety in a wildfire situation.

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7 of the World’s Most Majestic Hiking Trails You Need to Visit

7 of the World’s Most Majestic Hiking Trails You Need to Visit

An increasing number of people are hitting the outdoors, bravely seeking the highest peaks, the deepest caverns, and the most remote locations on Earth. Enthusiastic hikers, professional mountaineers, and everyday adventurous thrill-seekers are boldly exploring the dangerous beauty of snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and vast yet deadly canyons – with and without trail guides and trusty satellite phones.

Whether you’re a novice hiker planning your first trip or an experienced trail runner researching your next big adventure, check out the following seven majestic locations that will provide a lifetime of enchanting memories.

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