View Full Version : Personal locator beacons

Pooja Blue
09-23-2004, 06:01
I'm going to be hiking in New England in the winter (late flipflop). I'm dubious about cell phone reception and I'm looking for something that I can use in an emergency if I need help. PLB's are little out of my price range, is there a poor man's version of something similar?

09-23-2004, 08:59
Here is a link (http://www.micro-mono.com/microplb/microplb.html) to the lightest, cheapest "micro PLB" I've found, although it doesn't look like it's available in the U.S. quite yet.

Tramper Al
09-23-2004, 10:14
Hey Pooja Blue,

Many people will tell you that a PLB for winter New England hiking is overkill. On the AT, you are never more than a few miles from a road, except perhaps in the 100 Mile Wilderness in say January. They'll say that a PLB (or GPS or cell phone, insert any 'new-fangled' technology device here) is no substitute for being experienced, prepared, and equiped. That's true of course, but who said anything about being unprepared, right?

If you are set on hiking solo on the NE AT in winter, however, I am inclined to agree with you that it will give you an extra measure of protection. There are certainly some well documented fatalities in New England winter that arguably could have been prevented by a PLB activation. I am probably going to take the plunge and purchase a PLB for solo backcountry skiing, and remote solo canoeing in Maine.

I checked Kerosene's link, but I can't find a price on that 'micro' PLB there. At 9.5 oz, though, it's not remarkably lighter than those already on the market in the U.S.

ACR PLBs (http://store.yahoo.com/landfallnav/aquafix.html)

Ooops, the ACR doesn't seem to be approved for U.S. yet either, but you get the idea.

As for price, I think you are looking at $550 or so, minimum.

09-23-2004, 15:36
why don't you hitch up to the White Mtns and do those now. For the most part, weather is bearable, stable, and predictable in NE in the winter. However, the sub 0 temperatures and 100 mph winds experienced in the Presidentials can be sudden and dangerous. Therefore, why don;t you do them now while it is still nice and then finish up the other sections. You won;t need the emergency protection elsewhere.

Pooja Blue
09-23-2004, 17:40
Grimace - that's exactly what I'm doing: Whites first, then up to Katahdin to head south, skipping over the Whites as I come down.

Thanks for the information, everyone. $550 is still out of my price range, but I'll keep looking.

09-23-2004, 17:51
IMHO - I have to say that when I go into the backcountry I do not count on anyone getting me out. We should not put other people at risk so we can follow our hobby. If you can't handle the weather, go some other time. If you are worried about getting help if you need it hike with someone else and there fore supply your own help.

When I go solo, I take the risk. Remeber that chopper that went down on Rainer in the past year or two? What about the families of that crew? Do you have a right to a medivac? I don't think so, I don't expect one.

Don't take a PLB, take a partner or better yet two. You can find them right here on WhiteBlaze I bet!

Sorry, rant over.

Pencil Pusher
09-23-2004, 17:57
Good rant, Jim... self-sufficiency.