We at RideApart are a bunch of canyon carving, trail riding, adventure seekers who are as happy finding highs hiking on the side of a mountain as we are throwing a leg over one of Ski-Doo's latest and greatest machines. And if you're reading this, you probably fall under that umbrella too. But none of us are foolish or unaware of the dangers that come with this lifestyle, and that's why we have great interest in Garmin's inReach SOS data from the 2023 calendar year.

RideApart's Executive Editor, Jonathon Klein, has had an inReach Mini 2 by his side for the past three years. Thankfully, he's never had to hit the SOS button and contribute to this data set. But based on the stats you're about to see, you'll understand why he keeps his little lifesaver somewhere on him almost all the time.

Garmin InReach Mini 2

What Were People Doing?

According to the data, the most common activity that inReach users were doing when they activated the SOS feature was hiking. This is hardly surprising when you consider the vastly different ways you can get into minor or major trouble on a hike. But what was surprising was the activity that took the second spot.

Driving was the second most common activity people did when using the inReach's SOS feature in 2023. In fact, driving-related incidents rose more than any other type in 2023. And taking the third spot are motorcycle-related incidents.

What we can take from this is that you don't necessarily need to be on a grand adventure to find yourself in a spot of bother and out of cell range. All it takes is a breakdown in a rural area.

2023 SOS Report_activity_graph

It's worth mentioning that some of the driving-related SOS incidents were because inReach users had witnessed other motor vehicle accidents or cars that had broken down.


Top Reasons To Use The SOS Feature

The top reason that inReach users hit the SOS button in 2023 was for injuries, which can include anything from broken bones, lacerations, or blunt force trauma from a fall. The second most common reason was medical issues, which could refer to things like altitude sickness, heart problems, or gastrointestinal issues.

2023 SOS Report_reason_graph

Again, the biggest increase was in vehicle accidents/issues, which falls in line with the data highlighted earlier, showing what people were doing.

Who Were People Triggering SOS For?

You can use the SOS feature on your inReach to help anyone that you find in need. And while many users used it to get themselves out of bother, more than half of the SOS triggers were for a user's party member or third-party individual. Bear in mind that you can also use an SOS to report other emergencies, including wildfires or vehicle accidents.

2023 SOS Report_self party other_graph

The Most Common SOS Response Dispatches

Given that hiking was what most people were doing when they triggered the SOS feature, it's hardly surprising that the most commonly dispatched form of assistance in 2023 was helicopters, followed by ambulances and search and rescue teams. But not everyone needed dispatch assistance.

2023 SOS Report_resource_graph

Almost 10% of the time that an SOS went out from an inReach, users were able to self-rescue with the help of the Garmin Response personnel. But the question remains: has this data made you reconsider whether you need an inReach in your life?

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