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 GPSMAP 67i
- Garmin Montana 700i
- Garmin inReach Mini 2
- Garmin inReach Messenger
- Garmin Alpha 200i
- Garmin Tread Series
- SPOT X
- SPOT Gen 4
- Motorola Defy Satellite Link
- ACR Bivy Stick
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
- Large 3” sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing
- Enable two-way messaging and location tracking via the 100% global Iridium satellite network, and trigger an interactive SOS to Garmin Response℠, a 24/7 staffed emergency response coordination center (active subscription required; some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices)
- Access preloaded TopoActive mapping from Garmin, view satellite imagery, and navigate with multi-band GNSS support and sensors
- When paired with your compatible smartphone, you can access active weather forecasts and Geocaching Live
- Use with the Garmin Explore website or app on your compatible smartphone to help you plan trips and more
- Get access to a wide variety of premium mapping content delivered directly to your device via Wi-Fi technology with an Outdoor Maps+ subscription
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