What Emergency Beacon for Hiking Will I Buy?

I have been researching emergency locator beacons for hiking and I know how important they are if you find yourself in a life threatening emergency. I have seen all the best emergency beacons and have compared them from price to function to reliability and more. It’s now time for me to make my decision. The decision is more urgent for me now as I currently live in Colorado by myself and am making many trips into the mountains on my own.

Garmin inReach Mini 2

Garmin GPSMAP 67i

ACR Bivy Stick

What’s Important to Me?

There are so many hiking emergency beacons to choose from with a variety of services and costs so I need to break this down to what’s important to me, personally.

Priority #1: SOS function for a life threatening emergency

Priority #2: Cost

These two priorities are at the top of my list right now as I have a lot of financial obligations but I still want the peace of mind for myself and my family, that I can be rescued if needed.

SPOT Gen 4

My Choice

Let’s keep this short and not add an irritating commercial before I tell you what my choice is.

SPOT Gen3Spot Gen3 - Emergency Beacon for Hiking

I chose the SPOT Gen3 due to:

  • Reliability
  • SOS emergency function
  • 3 outgoing messages to choose from
  • Size and weight
  • Cost

There are some other PLBs and Satellite Messengers I want to add to my pack in the future but for now, I think its smart for me to at least get a solid emergency option that I can afford.

No products found.

I will add a new review this coming week after I receive the SPOT Gen3 and give you my personal opinion, as a Gen3 owner, and I will let you know how it travels on my next hiking adventure.

You can click HERE if you want more detailed information on the SPOT Gen3. You can also get more information on other emergency locator beacons from my “Which Locator Beacon is Right for Me” article and my “Emergency Radio Reviews” article.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please leave a COMMENT BELOW or send me an EMAIL.

Check out my Top 11 Satellite Communicators of 2023 in this YouTube video below.

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6 thoughts on “What Emergency Beacon for Hiking Will I Buy?”

  1. Hi Rick. I’m a member of a family hat absolutely loves hiking. My wife and I , our kids and grandkids are all into it on a regular basis. The problem is that, being the oldest, safety is my concern. Lately I’ve been going over all those items that you need to take with you on hiking tripe, including first aid kits etc.,  Then I thought about the consequences of maybe returning to base camp to late from a trip. Not only could you get lost in the dark, but it’snot so safe in some of the areas we visit. If anything happened and we couldn’t get mobile reception then we would need a safety beacon. The ‘Spot Gen 3’ sounds just the item we need to have. It would certainly put my mind at rest if we had one with us when hiking. All the best. Jim 

    • I really like the ability of having the SOS function and some basic messages I can send out with the SPOT Gen3 but it sounds like you may want to consider a few others that can send out more messages and unique messages that you can type from the device.

      You may want to consider the SPOT X, Garmin inReach Explorer+, or the Garmin inReach Mini. These have additional abilities to send and receive more and unique messages.

      I hope this helps. Let me know what you end up choosing.


  2. Oh this is a very good one here on a good emergency beacon out there. I think your priority when choosing a good emergency beacon should be anyone’s priority too. Having said tbis, the gen3 looks like a good one. I’ll go check out the full detail on the product and see if its something I’d be grabbing.

    • That sounds good. Let me know what you find out. The SPOT Gen3 was one of the least expensive ones I could find and I am glad it will be delivered to me in the next few days but I do want to look at some others with more functions soon.


  3. Emergency beacons are a must to have gadget for anyone who is into adventure. I am not a person who is into adventure but my brother is. It is his birthday next month and I want to gift him something useful. As he is on treck every next month, all family members are always worried about his well being. I think this will be the perfect gift for him.

    As you suggested I liked SPOT Gen3, but are there any other options from which I can choose and compare?

    Thank you

    • This would be a great gift for him and all of your family as it would give everyone the peace of mind that he is okay or that he needs help and it is on the way.

      My question for you is, does he take longer hikes, or multi-day backpacking trips? Does he primarily stay in one are or does he travel internationally for his outdoor adventures?

      If he takes long trips, as in a week or so, then he may want one that has a longer battery life or has the ability to re-charge on the trail.

      My first thought would be the Garmin inReach Explorer+ as it has a longer battery life, it has the ability to send and receive messages, it has built-in navigation and it can receive weather forecasts which can be critical when out on the trail for long trips, and short trips.

      I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.



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