Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26
  1. #1
    pickle pickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-16-2003
    Location
    Flatwoods,kentucky
    Age
    64
    Posts
    78

    :banana Personal locater beacon

    Thoughts on which personal locater beacon to use?

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pickle View Post
    Thoughts on which personal locater beacon to use?
    Technically, it isn't a "beacon" but I prefer the Garmin InReach.

    If your sole issue is getting rescued in an emergency, a true personal locator beacon is best. I carried one when I was a USAF pilot.

    I carried a SPOT for many years. I only needed it once and in that situation, the signal failed to get out. That was several years ago and I assume they have improved.

    After that, I switched to the InReach. It has two way communication. It permits me to stay in touch with my family when I am out of cell phone range. It does have an emergency feature. What I like about that is it allows the user to tell the emergency responders exactly what the problem is. A PLB only lets the responders know there is an emergency.
    Shutterbug

  3. #3
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-25-2016
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Age
    70
    Posts
    575

    Default

    Spot and InReach are the popular ones. Rather than go into detail, check out their web sites. The units are not all that expensive, but it's the yearly fee they charge that gets you. I have a Spot, which I used for long distance sailboat deliveries and hiking. It worked great, but I discontinued the service after my AT LASH last year. Spot came back with an unbelievable deal to renew for $50 just a couple of weeks ago, so they must be feeling competition or a lot of service cancellations or both.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
    After that, I switched to the InReach. It has two way communication. It permits me to stay in touch with my family when I am out of cell phone range. It does have an emergency feature. What I like about that is it allows the user to tell the emergency responders exactly what the problem is. A PLB only lets the responders know there is an emergency.
    I debated for quite some time, and those^^^ are the reasons I bought an inReach Mini.
    I haven't actually used it, yet, or even decided on a subscription plan. Really bought it for trips out West, but will probably activate and test it soon. A friend has the fullsize, and his wife has the Mini, and they're happy with them. Recently had to remind him to remove my parents from his list of contacts or whatever. They'd been getting notifications from him since we did a trip together last fall. They LOVE getting those confirmations with location details.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-12-2018
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Age
    31
    Posts
    74

    Default

    My wife and I like our in-reach mini. 4 oz. With the included carabiner and all the extraneous functions are accessible through your phone via bluetooth.

    However if you're doing some off trail stuff having a display for topo maps is invaluable so you might want the normal in reach if that's the case.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-10-2017
    Location
    Dacula, Georgia
    Age
    69
    Posts
    44

    Default

    I have had both. spot 2 and Inreach SE. I have set up the Inreach to include my inreach email on the distribution list. That way i have a feed back loop to know if the signal got through.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-27-2011
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Age
    79
    Posts
    13

    Default

    InReach Mini / have others / carry battery pack / iphone SE (which stays off until I am positive I am lost and clueless) / and hiking solo at 79 by family requires it. The funny part is that you can't get the splend extra insurance if you are over 70. All insurance companies are betting against me now. I understand it is not personal. Just business.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
    Technically, it isn't a "beacon" but I prefer the Garmin InReach.

    If your sole issue is getting rescued in an emergency, a true personal locator beacon is best. I carried one when I was a USAF pilot.

    I carried a SPOT for many years. I only needed it once and in that situation, the signal failed to get out. That was several years ago and I assume they have improved.

    After that, I switched to the InReach. It has two way communication. It permits me to stay in touch with my family when I am out of cell phone range. It does have an emergency feature. What I like about that is it allows the user to tell the emergency responders exactly what the problem is. A PLB only lets the responders know there is an emergency.
    I like the inReach because of the two way capabilities, too, not only for the ability to clarify an emergency situation, but for more mundane issues as well, such as changing a pickup time or place.

    What did you fly, Shutterbug?

  9. #9
    Is it raining yet?
    Join Date
    07-15-2004
    Location
    Kensington, MD
    Age
    43
    Posts
    850
    Images
    51

    Default

    I got into the game early so I have the fairly large, fairly weighty and very expensive ACR Electronics PLB. It appears to be fairly indestructible as well. They now make a version that is half the weight, size and price.
    Be Prepared

  10. #10

    Default

    To answer the OPs post I have the Fast Find 220. Its about as small as they get. Its getting on in years. Its has some limited capacity for self testing the battery and GPS function until the battery goes below a set level of charge.

    I expect the inreach and spot devices are going to be changing radical with the launch of the new low earth orbit internet satellites.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    A plb is a plb.

    A spot or in reach is something else

    If you use a devices battery routinely, like in sattelite communicators, you remove a level of protection. If having it encourages you to take risks you otherwise wouldnt......your approach is fundamentally flawed. It is a last ditch chance for survival....not something to be depended on or a replacement for good judgement, planning, skill.

    890766271_0909-0404.png

    I got one of dese. It goes with me remote places. Not AT.

  12. #12
    AT 2012
    Join Date
    09-11-2006
    Location
    Wallingford, CT
    Age
    68
    Posts
    1,743

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    A plb is a plb.

    A spot or in reach is something else

    If you use a devices battery routinely, like in sattelite communicators, you remove a level of protection. If having it encourages you to take risks you otherwise wouldnt......your approach is fundamentally flawed. It is a last ditch chance for survival....not something to be depended on or a replacement for good judgement, planning, skill.

    890766271_0909-0404.png

    I got one of dese. It goes with me remote places. Not AT.
    I love white blaze... didn't know about this plb. It weighs 1.4 ounces less than my ACR rescue link, which is about to require a service/ battery. Might consider a change!
    Lazarus

  13. #13

    Default

    The one person I talked to in real life got annoyed with her Spot, back in 2016. She was using it so that her elderly'ish parents could track her hike. They got panicky a few times when it lost coverage, she said she'd have been better off having an adult conversation with her parents.

    I've carried a PLB when coastal sailing, registered properly, for when the ship is sinking, and you want the coast guard alerted and a massive expensive rescue to begin.

    http://www.bushwalking101.org/how-a-plb-works/

  14. #14

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    The one person I talked to in real life got annoyed with her Spot, back in 2016. She was using it so that her elderly'ish parents could track her hike. They got panicky a few times when it lost coverage, she said she'd have been better off having an adult conversation with her parents.

    I've carried a PLB when coastal sailing, registered properly, for when the ship is sinking, and you want the coast guard alerted and a massive expensive rescue to begin.

    http://www.bushwalking101.org/how-a-plb-works/
    I crewed for an ultrarunner attempt at a fkt in 2014.
    Spot didnt work, or gave impossible locations we had no idea where she was, if she had quit, etc, when late reaching resupply stations.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Colter View Post
    What did you fly, Shutterbug?
    I flew CH-3 helicopters in Vietnam. They were called the "Jolly Green Giant" when they were used for rescue. My missions were to catch recon drones in the air after they returned from North Vietnam. If you are interested, you can read about us here -- https://medium.com/war-is-boring/nsa...m-80fbf986e02d
    Shutterbug

  16. #16
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2013
    Location
    Upper East Side of Texas
    Age
    73
    Posts
    8,311

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
    Technically, it isn't a "beacon" but I prefer the Garmin InReach.

    If your sole issue is getting rescued in an emergency, a true personal locator beacon is best. I carried one when I was a USAF pilot.

    I carried a SPOT for many years. I only needed it once and in that situation, the signal failed to get out. That was several years ago and I assume they have improved.

    After that, I switched to the InReach. It has two way communication. It permits me to stay in touch with my family when I am out of cell phone range. It does have an emergency feature. What I like about that is it allows the user to tell the emergency responders exactly what the problem is. A PLB only lets the responders know there is an emergency.
    There it is!
    Thank you for your service.
    Wayne
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
    https://wayne-ayearwithbigfootandbubba.blogspot.com
    FlickrMyBookTwitSpaceFace



  17. #17

    Default

    Note that even PLBs are not guarantees of rescue. There was high profile hiker death in the whites a few years ago where the PLB sent out confusing signals. This occurred in conditions that were well outside normal hiking conditions. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2...er-in-the-wild

    Many of the small PLBs have a roll out antenna and recommendations on how the unit has to be oriented to maximize the signal quality. The batteries on PLBs are optimized for long life and extreme conditions, spots and in reaches are not. There have been several high profile FKTs attempts that have had signal gaps and battery issues where the spots and inreach devices either lost coverage or ran out of batteries. In one case in the whites there was a individual participating in a event where he had carry all his gear on his back with no resupply that had issues with his record as he had to stash and drop off batteries along the route.

    The units that communicate are improving, many use the Iridium low earth satellite network and that network is being substantially improved. If you have money to burn on monthly and yearly subscriptions they may be the right thing to use. The business model is sell the gear at cost or below cost and make the money on the subscriptions. Definitely do a lot to research on battery rating if you are considering using it in winter conditions.

    The other thing to keep in mind is the First Net rollout of rural cell towers is going to improve cell coverage nationwide. If you just want to check in with the family, there is coverage on the currently ridgelines on 90% of the AT. https://firstnet.gov/

    BTW, Something many folks dont realize is that if you need to get a message out, use text over voice.

  18. #18

    Default

    I had two different Spot models over the years, and they reliably sent my position and preset message on a number of hikes. I never activated them for an emergency.

    But, due to the absurd cost of the annual service contract, I started last year just renting an InReach during my hike. For my recent one week section, it cost about $100 total, less than half what the Spot service contract would have been. And I always get the latest model in good working condition. For an occasional hiker like me, this is a good option. If you hike for multiple weeks at a time or do a lot of hikes at different times of year then it may not work for you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Formerly uhfox

    Springer to Bear Mountain Inn, NY
    N Adams, MA to Clarendon VT
    Franconia Notch to Crawford Notch

  19. #19
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    DFW, TX / Northern NH
    Age
    63
    Posts
    7,846
    Images
    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    ...BTW, Something many folks dont realize is that if you need to get a message out, use text over voice.
    While it's true that many times a text will go through clearly when voice transmission is garbled or no connection can be made - in an emergency, I would use/try both. Text/SMS has lower network priority than voice. Unless I received a text reply back from the recipient (not just a network sent/delivered on the sending device), there's no way of really knowing that the other party received it. I've had both incoming and outgoing text messages delayed by many hours at times and even "lost" a few outright. Unless you have established actual two-way communication, you just don't know.

  20. #20

    Default

    Throughout my rather long hiking career, I never would have considered such a thing. As I get older, and continue to hike alone in places with few people and no cell service, I have n
    become interested. Still pondering the issue.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •