I am considering purchasing a satellite phone for use in the backcountry far away from civilization and cell phone reception. My plans are to use the phone to inform my wife about any change of plans. Sometimes the shooting is real good, and I intend to stay an additional week. Sometimes the basin I am in is not worth my time so I intend to move on to another basin. Keeping my wife informed about where I am affords me more flexible about my time and place of shooting. The phone could also be use to augment my PLB in the event of an emergency.
The price of the phones is dropping. I have found a satellite phone for $300 new, and there is a variety of service plans to meet anyones needs including limited use such as my application. Most now offer free incoming text messaging and around $0.50 for each out going text message. It is my belief that a satellite phone would increase my yields in the field, and the added cost would be well worth it.
Has anyone ever used one of these phones? Do they really work? Will they work with cloud cover or in storms? Will they work in tree cover? How about in deep valleys?
Any considerations or comments would be appreciated.