Gear Scout: Text Anywhere, Global Text Messaging

It’s all in the name––Text Anywhere. For many people the whole point of overlanding is to disconnect and escape the digital tethers that bind. However, a growing number of us are only able to get into the woods <em>because</em> we have the ability to stay connected to our responsibilities at home. Enter the Text Anywhere device. A subscription-free satellite messaging hot spot, the Text Anywhere uses the Iridium satellite network to allow users the ability to send and receive text messages from anywhere in the world. That’s right, anywhere.

Satellite-based text messaging is nothing new, but the Text Anywhere does introduce two new features to satellite communications. For starters, the Text Anywhere service does not require a subscription commitment. The $30 monthly fee includes up to 100 messages and can be activated as needed saving users hundreds of dollars over similar plans from SPOT and Delorme. The device itself is only $400, which isn’t expensive at all considering the alternatives and their corresponding fees.

The other favorable attribute of the Text Anywhere is the user interface. The Text Anywhere device pairs with compatible WiFi-equipped smartphones, tablets and computers. Unlike most satellite communicators, the Text Anywhere device works via a Web app rather than relying on an OS-specific app, giving users a lot more flexibility with the devices they can use.

At only 200 grams and just 4 inches square, the Text Anywhere is small, portable, and powered by only four AA batteries. It can also be plugged into a vehicles’s 12v outlet for continuous power. Judging by our first round of tests, it works as advertised with minimal set-up or fuss. As you read this, our Text Anywhere device is somewhere in the neighborhood of the South Pole with Scott Brady and the Expeditions 7 team. With any luck, we’ll get a text from the southernmost corner of the planet via the Text Anywhere any day now. That…is pretty cool.

Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. He lives in Prescott, Arizona IG: @scott.a.brady Twitter: @scott_brady