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 (Now the SPOT Gen4) in September of 2019 as it was inexpensive for me to purchase, but I upgraded to the SPOT X in late September. I have now added the Garmin inReach Explorer+, Garmin inReach Mini, Garmin inReach Mini 2, Garmin inReach SE+, ACR Bivy Stick, Somewear Global Hotspot and the ZOLEO to my collection.
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 SE+
- Garmin inReach Mini 2
- Garmin inReach Mini
- SPOT X
- SPOT Gen3
- Somewear Global Hotspot
- ACR Bivy Stick
- 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
- Compact, lightweight satellite communicator enables two-way messaging and interactive SOS globally (Active satellite subscription required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communication devices.)
- Navigate back to where you started by using TracBack routing
- Share your location with loved ones back home at any time (active satellite subscription required) by using your MapShare page or with your coordinates embedded in your messages
- Get accurate heading information using the digital compass — even when you’re not moving
- Sync with the Garmin Explore app and website on your compatible smartphone for trip planning and topographical mapping, and create waypoints, courses, activities and collections you can sync to your device
- Pair with Garmin devices, such as wearables and handhelds, and use them to send and receive messages and trigger an SOS (active satellite subscription required)
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