As you would expect from the worldwide leader in outdoor GPS technology, Garmin has created what they call an “ecosystem” of outdoor products for outdoorsmen and women that enhances our outdoor experiences. From a conservation/biology standpoint, I found this pretty clever – and accurate. In short, what this means having various products that communicate and work together in harmony so we can focus on the dogs and making the shot in one concise, easy to use, package. On the road trip we’ve been using this package of products to keep us and our dogs in the field longer and, more importantly, safer.
One example of this combination is the PRO 550 Plus training collar, inReach tracking/communication/SOS device, and the Instinct or Fenix watch. While all of these products are outstanding individual pieces, where it gets really interesting is how they link together.
Using ANT+ technology, similar to Bluetooth, the 550 Plus and inReach will link into our Instinct and Fenix watches. So, instead of having to pull out the handheld to check where the pups are, the dog tracking widget on the instinct allows for us to glance at our wrists and see where the dogs are.
This is a huge deal to me. No longer do you have to walk through the uplands constantly holding and staring at your transmitter. This frees you up to actually enjoy your surroundings and don’t worry about missing a point, the watch will vibrate and alert you to get ready for action.
The inReach ties into the Instinct watch the same way, so we have been able to receive messages from the crew while out of cell-range in the Cimarron National Grasslands. And while we thankfully haven’t needed to use it, when you pair the inReach to the Instinct, you can trigger an SOS if an emergency takes place.
To be clear, there are two types of technology in the outdoors. Technology that hampers an outdoor experience and technology that enhances an outdoor experience. If a kid is playing games on their phone trying to kill time while wishing they were back home, that’s technology that hampers an outdoor experience.
Technology within Garmin’s ecosystem of product helps us know where our dogs are, where we are, gives us the ability to stay safe, and allows us to be in contact with the ones we love back home - this is the perfect example of enhancing an outdoor experiences.
Simply put, don’t leave home without putting some thought into what could not only help your hunt, but help you get home to hunt another day.
The Garmin Gear We Have in the Field:
- Garmin inReach Mini
- Garmin GPSMAP 66i
- Garmin Instinct Watch
- Garmin Fenix 6 Watch
- Garmin Pro 550 Plus
- Garmin Alpha 100 + Mini TT15
- Garmin Drive Track 71
- Garmin Sport Pro