How to Choose a Satellite Phone for Hunting?

Hunting is a really interesting and exciting sports activity unless you get into trouble. Now, we are not seriously saying that you will get attacked by any wild predator out in the woods and we don’t even want that to happen neither do you.

But, you never know, right? Getting lost in the woods, getting trapped, or unluckily getting attacked by wild animals are all common scenarios you can think of while out for hunting.

But among all those scenarios what is that you need the most? Exactly, HELP! But if you are alone you may be the unluckiest person on the planet. Now, if you are thinking that smartphones may come in handy, you are not wrong it may come in use till a certain coverage or till the battery is not dead.

Now, imagine if you have a type of cellphone that does not rely on cell tower signals and provides a vast network coverage plus has a very long battery runtime. We are talking about lifesaving technology which is called satellite phones.

Let us discuss the satellite phone in detail and also learn how you can choose the most suitable satellite phone for hunting.

An overview of satellite phone

As you may know that satellite phones do exist and are a type of cellphone that uses satellite overhead to get a signal anywhere in the world. The biggest advantage of satellite phones over traditional cellphones is that – it does not have limited signal coverage as normal phones have.

It is not hard to imagine the uses of satellite phones, it can be used where normal cellphones are not going to work. For example – natural disasters, if phone networks and landlines go down, or you can carry it to the place where you know that signals are a major issue.

If you are someone who loves to go out for hunting, hiking camping, etc. you can make use of satellite phones if you by any chance get injured and you need to call for help or even as something as simple as informing your mates about the status while hunting or hiking.

It may work on the flip side as well, suppose if your mate wants to contact you in case of emergency they could easily do it with the help of a satellite phone.

Now, you may want to note that there are several different services with their own networks and models. However, there are 3 big names that pop out when you talk about satellite phones and those are – Iridium, Inmarsat, and Globalstar.

All these three have their own satellite constellation that is orbiting above earth. This is just an overview of satellite phones to help you understand what it is and what kinds of the satellite are available that have global coverage. Now, let us jump into the main deal which is – to choose a satellite phone for hunting.

Choosing a satellite phone

It is advisable that you choose a satellite phone according to the network that the services are offering because it is not only about the satellite physical phone but also about how good is the network and how easy the communication is.

In order to choose the most suitable satellite phone, you must look at some aspects that will help you to make your final decision more accurate and beneficial. Let us start off with the 3 big company comparison.

1. Network Company Comparison


No. of satellites – 3

Network coverage – Global (Excluding Polar Regions)

Network registration speed – About 30 seconds

Latency – Some

Truly Mobile – No, Stationary use only.

Supported features – GPS location, Streaming IP, simultaneous voice and text, broadband data standard IP, SOS alert button.


No. of satellites – 66

Network coverage – Global (Total coverage including Polar Regions)

Network registration speed – About 5 to 10 seconds

Latency – Lowest

Truly Mobile – Yes, you can walk and talk.

Supported features – Voice, text, GPS Location, data, SOS alert button.


No. of satellites – 48

Network coverage – Global (Excluding some mid-ocean region and Polar Regions)

Network registration speed – About 5 to 10 seconds

Latency – Lowest

Truly Mobile – Yes, you can walk and talk.

Supported features – Voice, only incoming texts, GPS Location, Data.

2.Network Coverage 

The second aspect that you have to look upon while choosing a satellite phone is network coverage. As you have seen from the first point and noticed that all the companies have different network coverage areas. This means every different location will demand a different satellite phone.

Inmarsat satellites are positioned over the equator which means they cannot cover Polar Regions but can be a good option for global coverage. Iridium would be a good choice for areas like mountain terrain and it also covers Polar Regions. Lastly, Globalstar’s network is mostly limited to North America.

NOTE: All these 3 companies are used as an example to understand what things you should look for while choosing a satellite phone from any company.

3. Features 

The next thing you may want to look for is how many features does your satellite phone provides. Most satellite phones have features like texting, voice and email access (no reply).

Besides these features, safety features are major a consideration that your satellite phone must-have, this include – SOS button to call quick aid and GPS tracker.

4. Portability and durability 

There is no point in investing in satellite phones that do not last for long or is not suitable to carry around. Satellite phones must have weather-resistant quality and must be tough enough to last in extreme conditions.

Satellite phones come in different shapes and sizes. For hunting purpose, you need to choose a phone which can replace your smartphone so that you do not need to carry both the devices. This will keep you light weighted in extremes.

5. Cost –

When it comes to satellite phones, quality, features, and cost goes hand in hand. If you invest in a phone with more features then obviously you will have to pay more, you can save your money by investing in a satellite phone with fewer features.

NOTE: You can even rent a satellite phone for your hunting instead of buying. This will save you money and keep you safe in your adventure.


There you go, this is how you can choose a satellite phone for hunting. There are many different companies out there that provide satellite phones, you can either compare each service then invest your money or you can rent a satellite.

In both cases you will need to keep some aspects in mind which include – network coverage, features, portability, durability and finally the cost. This will help you make a good final decision. Hope you find this article helpful. Good Hunting!

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.