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Why Starlink shouldn’t be your sole emergency comms system

No matter how well prepared you are for your travels, you may well need help sooner or later. And then you need communications. In the video below I go through all the options, but in this article I want to talk about Starlink and why that’s not the best solution for emergency comms.

If a problem is developing, for example someone with a medical condition, or a mechanical problem, then Starlink is ideal. You can make phonecalls with wifi calling, video calls like Zoom, search for solutions online, emails…the works. Absolutely perfect.

However, an emergency is different. You should assume you’ve lost your vehicle in whole or part, for example rolled, on fire, mechanically failed. Possibly all you’ve got left is yourself.

This is where Starlink is of no use to you. Starlink requires significant electrical power, far more than a satphone. It is not easily carried by a human, and can be complex to set up. By itself, Starlink is useless; you need in addition a mobile phone, laptop or other device.

In other words, if your car is disabled, so too probably is Starlink.

This is where pairing Starlink with another device is a good idea. In an emergency situation, use Starlink if you can. If not, then take a PLB, satphone or sat messenger which are tiny, portable, robust and last a long time on their own batteries.

Everyone has their own risk appetite, but if all you carry is Starlink, please be aware of its limitations.

And if your satphone is a geostationary, consider the single-point-of-failure too.

Watch this for all your remote-comms options explained in context.

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