What is a Emergency Beacon & Why Do I Need One?
Would you leave home without your phone or wallet?
You don’t think anything wrong will happen on a hiking trip but I’m here to tell you, that in the last 30 years, I have nearly fallen off a mountain cliff, nearly been bitten by 2 rattlesnakes, 1 water moccasin and watched my crazy nephew stand on a tree over hanging a 300 foot drop. Don’t think nothing will ever happen to you. It might not happen to you but it very well may happen to someone in your group or you may come across someone in a life-threatening situation.
Are you willing to bet your life on nothing ever happening to you or someone you care about?
I don’t leave home for any hiking adventure without an emergency satellite messenger. As of this moment, I started using the SPOT Gen3 in September of 2019 as it was inexpensive for me to purchase, but I upgraded to the SPOT X in late September. I will be upgrading to the Garmin inReach Explorer+ early in 2020.
Have You Decided It’s Time to Buy One but Aren’t Sure Which One to Get?
Let me show you the differences between a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) an Emergency Satellite Messenger?
Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) – They ONLY send SOS messages. They work better in remote areas, have a longer battery life (as in years). They don’t have any subscription fees and are less expensive options.
Emergency Satellite Messenger (ESMs) – They can send SOS messages and typically have 2-way text communication. Some models have topo navigation with maps and may be able to sync with your smart phone. These do have subscription fees and will have shorter battery lives than a PLB.
- Garmin inReach Explorer+
- Garmin inReach Mini
- SPOT X
- SPOT Gen3
- Somewear Global Hotspot
- Go Tenna Mesh
There is more Detailed Information Available Here with the Pros and Cons of each to help you make your decision.
My Choice for the Top Emergency Satellite Messenger
- 100 percent global Iridium satellite coverage enables two way text messaging from anywhere (satellite subscription required)
- Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center
- Track and share your location with family and friends. Water rating : IPX7. Battery : Rechargeable internal lithium ion
- Pair with mobile devices using the free Earthmate app for access to downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more
- inReach Explorer+ device adds preloaded DeLorme TOPO maps with onscreen GPS routing plus built in digital compass, barometric altimeter and accelerometer
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