Bivy Stick – Iridium Satellite 2-way Messenger Communicator
Have you heard of the Bivy Stick yet? I’m hearing about it more and more as it gains popularity within the prepping /preparedness community. In short, the Bivy Stick device turns your cell phone into a satellite communicator (text messaging, GPS tracking, SOS, weather, and other features). It’s very popular in the hiking /adventure community where cell service is often non-existent. It’s feature set is also attractive for those into disaster preparedness. I’ll explain more in the article.
The following is an overview of the Bivy Stick. I am writing this article for your own potential interest in such a product. Also, their storefront link (disclosed below) is associated with our long time advertiser here, ReadyMadeResources (at no extra cost to you). So if you ever decide to purchase a Bivy, I ask that you return here and enter through their link (which indirectly helps support Modern Survival Blog), thanks…
The Bivy Stick is the smallest and simplest-to-use Iridium global satellite communication and tracking device in the world. ACR Electronics is also the same manufacturer who makes life-saving EPIRBs and PLBs, so you can rest assured knowing that the device you are using to send important or critical text messages, GPS, and weather updates is being produced at the highest standards.
Made in the USA, manufactured in the state of Florida.
Bivy Stick Uses
- Text messages via Iridium Satellite Network anywhere in the world
- Comes with a unique dedicated cell phone number, share # with others and they can text you
- Able to send text messages to phone numbers or email addresses
- Full featured App for iPhone and Android
- Hiking off-grid, Hunting in the wilderness, Boating offshore, literally anywhere
- Maps, TOPO Terrain, Trails, Waterways
- Download maps for offline /off-grid use
- Quick Check-in button with your own pre-configured texts (e.g. “Yes I’m fine, all is well”)
- Tracking data for others to follow your path, pace, mileage, altitude, more…
- Track and save routes, Waypoints, share with others
- SOS Distress Call Button – International
When typing your message, you can also choose to share your location with that text and your GPS coordinates will become part of the text with a URL that will let the recipient see your exact location on a Bivy map.
Bivy Stick for Disaster Preparedness
There are more features, but you can dig into it more yourself. Here’s a use-case scenario for the Bivy Stick within the context of disaster preparedness…
No matter what the causation, “if” the cell network were to go down or become overloaded in your region (due to disaster), this is a perfect way to communicate. Let your family /friends know of your condition, and what’s going on. Find out more about the disaster by receiving messages from outside.
The Bivy Stick Turns Your Cell Phone Into A Satellite Communication Device
Anywhere you have a view of the sky, you can communicate with the Bivy Stick. Two-way text messaging, SOS, location sharing, detailed weather reports are sent straight to your cell phone from space via the Iridium satellite network (described below). When you you are off the grid, without cell service, the Bivy Stick keeps you in communication with your loved ones, and provides peace of mind.
About the ACR Bivy Stick
How to use it
How it Works
Where to Buy the Bivy Stick
I disclosed above that the following link to the satellite phone store is by way of affiliate ReadyMadeResources (at no extra cost to you).
There are a number of products shown there. However, to view more about the Bivy Stick, on the landing page, click on the Bivy Stick product photo. Then you will see a number of packages listed. Since nearly everyone already has a cell phone, those people will only need the Bivy stick itself – so select that package for more information. Then you can scroll down for more product info., including package pricing.
ENTER THE SATELLITE PHONE STORE
As of this article’s original post date, August 2022, you will see the “ACR Bivy Stick Unlimited Text Plan” which is currently $59.99 /mo. (and the Bivy Stick currently at $249.99).
However, upon further research (someone can correct me if I’m wrong), it appears that after 4 months of initial service, you have the option to reduce your monthly pricing to other packages which currently range from $14.99, to $29.99, up to the unlimited plan ($59.99).
Quote from Bivy Stick, “After the initial 4 month commitment, plans can be changed or deactivated online any time.”
If you don’t have the Unlimited plan, they get into monthly ‘credits’ (which rollover to next month if not used). For example, 1 text equals 1 credit. But you can get the details upon your own further due-diligence.
About the Iridium Satellite Network Constellation
The satellites of the Iridium network cover the entire earth. It consists of 66 active satellites used for worldwide voice and data communication from hand-held satellite phones and other transceiver units.
The global mesh of the Iridium constellation is in Low Earth Orbit, approximately 485 miles above the earth. This provides stronger signals and faster connections through smaller antennas with lower power requirements.
The Iridium network uses L-band frequencies which are more resilient to weather than the frequencies used by most GEO networks.
Each satellite is cross-linked to four others, providing reliability, resiliency, optimization, and redundancy.
The Iridium network gateway processes the message, then delivers it to the carrier, internet, or customer.
[ Read: Best BaoFeng Antenna Upgrade for Ham Radio or GMRS, FRS, MURS Bands ]
Looks like an awesome gift for the coming holidays!
I’ve looked into this. Looks to be a good product. Like all forms of communication, there are draw backs. For example; emp, satellite destruction, etc. No form of comms is perfect. The reliance on satellites is the big one for me. I’ve never used a sat phone or one of these text devices. It is an option, though the monthly fee is on-going. Everything costs something. There is no free lunch.
I truly believe comms will be critical, whatever form they take. I think I’ll stick with ham, where I’m in control of all components. Kind of why simplex ham (no repeaters) is what I do. Faraday when not in use. A cme could reek havoc on the ionosphere and ham may not function for a short while. I encourage everyone to have some kind of comms. Don’t wait.
Looks like a good system of comms for most disasters or emergencies other than a CME or EMP hit. Nice to have a unit for those areas where cell service is non-existant too.
I wonder if the GPS ties in with other apps etc and if it makes the positioning more accurate?
American GPS for civilian use is highly limited by the gov. At JPAC (i forget the new acronym) when searching for MIA’s used the far more accurate Russian GPS gear, bur the semi-recent Japanese system is like much better than any other. It calculates to with 15 centimeters, whereas Am GPS is at least 15-20 feet off.
How do i get on that system
This will be a great option for the hunts I have planned over the next few years. All will be remote CONUS and a few OCONUS. Always bothered me being on another continent that I could not just grab a rental car and drive home. I hate the helpless feeling of being at the mercy of the airlines or some half wit government agency to get me home. Stuck in Europe once for 5 days due to the Greenland volcano. Curious if this works on an airplane? Commercial or private
Might consider it for in-laws in FL as they like to ride out the hurricanes and at their age that is a bad idea. COMs are always slow after any incident.
I see no reason it wouldn’t work on a plane, provided you put it by the window. The sats are in low orbits plus you have an excellent view to the horizon and potentially dozens of satellites. If in a big-ole-jet-airplane whisking you away, you can even be above all the clouds and moisture that can sap L band signal strength.
This might even still work after an EMP event though might be spotty at times. Half the satellites will be shielded from the emp from a high altitude blast by the earth itself. CME are mostly devoid of high frequency energy so these things shouldn’t be affected by that much. Keep the unit shielded, just periodically pulling it out for brief data updates and transfers and it may well survive.
Girlfriend and I both got Bivy’s in mid July. Have tested in multiple off grid situations and they work very well. No failures yet. Did also get Galileyo subscriptions which are kind of like tweets from people like Mike Adams, Doug Hagmann and Stan Deyo. So far very happy with the piece of mind these bring, as we both travel significantly for work.
I requested a price a few months back. The monthly service was $69 per each hive per month. A little steep for me.
Correct, it’s not cheap. Anything ‘satellite’ costs some bucks (which is currently 59/mo for the unlimited plan.). It is my understanding that after 4 months the unlimited plan can be reduced to a plan with ‘x’ amount of credits (per text, etc..), for less money (~$15 for the lowest cost). But you could check with the bivystick company on that one…
Found another called Zoleo which cheaper plans. Don’t know if it’s better then the bivi.
I question that the Bivy could communicate with a cell phone in a grid down situation. A functioning cell grid would be necessary for the satellite to find the recipient phone. However, these satellite communicators can communicate with each other via satellite if they have been pared beforehand.
This is not first hand knowledge, but is how I understand my recent research as I am currently considering the purchase one of these devices.
To elgin, I believe the Bivy stick device communicates with the cell phone (Bivy app) by way of a bluetooth connection. It does not use the cell network to communicate. So, if your phone has battery power (as well as the Bivy stick), and if the Iridium satellite constellation is up and running, that should be all that’s required for operation.
The question might be more to the other end of the line, ie who you are trying to message might not be available. It would seem if they too had a Bivy device then a connection would seem possible. However, my presumption is text goes phone to Bivy to sat, maybe to another sat or two then to ground. Once at ground hub then to cell network OR if texting another Bivy, from ground station up to sat, maybe to another sat or two down to Bivy2 to phone. Key in grid down situation is are the ground stations still up. Given the emergency emphasis with the system, one would presume those can still function using stand-by power.
Amazon has zoleo at $200 for the unit and $20, $35 or $50 per month (25, 250 or unlimited satellite messages). It seems to have most of the features of the bivouac stick except the maps download thing…
A few decisions for folks to make. First, do ya need comms? If you’re a lone wolf kind of guy/gal, comms won’t be important at all. “I don’t need anyone, I can do it myself.” Not likely to survive long, but who knows. Second, available cash/money. If ya can afford it, go for it. Buy a satellite device for each of your VIPs. Keep up with all the payments and your group is set, provided the satellites and associated services still function.
I understand the reluctance to do the ham thing. I didn’t really want to do it either. I imagined it to be a foreign technology. Something that would take years to understand. I/we needed comms, so I jumped in first. It’s nothing like what I had imagined. It’s waay easier. Yes, there is some initial investment for antennae/coax/radios, but it’s cheaper in the end. More importantly, YOU are in charge of all components.
The older we get, the more strident we become about tests. How dare anyone question me? I don’t owe anyone my thoughts. I’ve already earned my way through life. I don’t need to prove myself to you or anyone else. Yes, I had all those thoughts. I/we needed comms. So, I bit my tongue and took “their” little test. I was pleasantly surprised at how helpful everyone was. Amazingly helpful people. BTW the test is very easy. It’s your choice.