Tracking vs Logging (InReach mini)

While the Garmin InReach mini is a great device the instructions are not extremely detailed when it came to the logging function.
The basics:

  • Tracking is satellite based (information sent via satellite uplink).
  • The InReach mini does not send logging data over satellite uplink.
  • Typical most frequent send interval for tracking is 10 min.
  • Logging is on the device only and doesn’t impact tracking.
  • Increased logging time will drain the battery faster.
  • Logging will overwrite itself when the device runs out of logging storage.
  • The greater the frequency the higher accuracy of the overall track.
Example of the interval settings

Bellow is an image of my tracking data from a trip. This is what you would see from the Garmin web site when I travel with a new plot point every 10 minutes. In this example you see 5 distinct points which is good enough to figure out where I am during my travels. Again there is no logging data at all in the below image.

Tracking only

The question quickly arises that if logging doesn’t send your location information and it drains the battery then what good is it? I was finally able to connect with Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin and he gave me the low down. Logging data is stored on the device but can be synced to the cloud via terrestrial Internet connections. When using the Earthmate app with Bluetooth connected InReach device go to the “Account & Sync”, enter your user name / password and sync. This will merge your tracking data with your logging data at the website. So, while this will not make your satellite tracking any more accurate, it will give you more detailed data when you have data connections and time to sync with your phone.

Earthmate Account and sync

Below is a picture of the tracking data and logging data merged. You will notice the same tracking points as before (large dots) as well as logging points (smaller dots) creating a much smoother, more detailed route map.

Tracking (10min) and logging (2min)

Here is zoomed in picture of the tracking points and logging pointed highlighted.

Tracking (10 min) Logging (2 min) highlighted

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