Every year, I see numerous stories on the news about people who are injured or become lost in the outdoors. What if there was an electronic device that was not much bigger than your smart phone that would allow you to depress two buttons and then simply sit back and wait with the certainty that help will shortly arrive?
Well, such a magic device is not science fiction but is now a reality, and it may very well save your life one day.
1. Two different types
Personal Locator Beacons are available from several different manufactures such as Garmin, ACR and McMurdo. They’re available in two different varieties; one type that only transmits an SOS signal and another type that transmits your GPS coordinates along with an SOS signal.
As you probably guessed, it would be better to have the one with the GPS coordinates transmission function. It costs only a little bit more, but it’s well worth it because of its additional functions.
2. Broadcast to both orbiting satellites and passing aircraft
These beacons operate on a 406 MHz radio frequency which is transmitted to a worldwide network of non-geostationary, COSPASS-SARSAT, International Satellite Rescue system satellites as well as to any passing military or commercial aircraft (which are all required to monitor emergency frequencies whenever they are airborne).
3. Transmit both a homing signal and GPS coordinates
They also transmit a 121.5 MHz homing signal that helps rescuers home in on your exact position once they arrive. Consequently your SOS signal, along with your GPS coordinates, is forwarded to the nearest rescue agency and a rescue team is dispatched to your location usually within one hour.
4. Very simple to activate
These units are extremely simple to operate since all they require is for the user to extend the built-in antenna, depress two buttons simultaneously, and an SOS signal along with your GPS coordinates will be transmitted to any passing COSPASS-SARSAT satellites.
Consequently, purchasing a PLB is equivalent to purchasing inexpensive life insurance policy that protects you when perusing outdoor adventures. Thus, on the one occasion that you really need it, you’ll thank yourself many times over that you had the foresight to purchase this small, electronic device.
Harris Norman is a 30-year-old hiking guide, former fitness instructor and part-time blog writer at www.prosurvivalist.com. His favorite past times are fishing, painting and spending time with his dogs in his home town of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Healthy living and wellbeing have always been Harris’s main occupation. He’s a certified fitness instructor and in the last ten years, he’s taken up hiking and trekking as a way of staying in shape and keeping his inner peace. He shares his experiences and advice on http://www.prosurvivalist.com/ as one of its revered writers.