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personal locator beacons

personal locator beacons


Postby al78 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:28 pm

I'm planning a backpacking trip in Fisherfield (and possibly the Fannichs), and the Beinn Dearg munros (including that one that is set way back from the road) later this year. I will be going alone in a very remote area and was thinking of getting a perosnal locator beacon, just in case the second worst event happens i.e. I have a serious accident and cannot get myself to civilisation. It looks like the sort of thing that has a fair upfront cost but you hope never to have to use it. Has anyone here carried one of these, is it worth getting one or am I being a bit over cautious?
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby mrssanta » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:04 am

there's an active thread on this very subject in the gear forum
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby mynthdd2 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:59 pm

(Have a care on the gear site - Ive been once or twice and they do tend to get a bit excited about zips, crampons and waterproofs)(stay here with us)

PS I use a SPOT locator......
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby brian2434 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:59 pm

Great bit of kit - get one. I got the Rescue Me one as it's the smallest. Have taken it walking, sea kayaking, sailing and ski touring. Thankfully not had to ude it yet but it's nice to know it's there.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby al78 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:25 pm

Sorry, didn't think to check on the gear section, I only browse the discussion and walk reports sections, so didn't register there was somewhere to talk about equipment. I've had a look at the thread and the consensus seems to be it is a personal choice, they obviously won't work for someone knocked unconcscious, but a reasonable decision to take one into a remote area with no phone signal.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby walkingpoles » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:37 pm

I (no wife, no kids) never carried such a thing in the highlands and probably never will. Not remote enough. My strategy to deal with the second worst event depends on the outing and is a combination of bivvy bag, whistle, telling somebody where I am going, bright colours, charged mobile, first aid kit, splints, poles and extra calories. And most importantly a defensive stance when making decisions.
It's not foolproof, but works for me.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby Coop » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:05 pm

Don't know enough about PLB's to give them a yea or nay, but I'll be up that way later on in the year also.
Ive a few days booked off in September and also a few in October. Hopefully get the Bheinn Dearg ones done and some of the Fannichs.
If you fancy hooking up for any walks give me a shout.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby harry hill » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:12 pm

al78 wrote:Sorry, didn't think to check on the gear section, I only browse the discussion and walk reports sections, so didn't register there was somewhere to talk about equipment. I've had a look at the thread and the consensus seems to be it is a personal choice, they obviously won't work for someone knocked unconcscious, but a reasonable decision to take one into a remote area with no phone signal.



With a Spot plb you can set it to upload your location every 10 minutes. This can be accessed by whoever you choose, so if you are overdue your exact position can be located, even if you're unconscious.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby Pastychomper » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:30 am

walkingpoles wrote:I (no wife, no kids) never carried such a thing in the highlands and probably never will. Not remote enough. My strategy to deal with the second worst event depends on the outing and is a combination of bivvy bag, whistle, telling somebody where I am going, bright colours, charged mobile, first aid kit, splints, poles and extra calories. And most importantly a defensive stance when making decisions.
It's not foolproof, but works for me.


Similar here so far, though I'm not so sure about the "never will" part - if PLBs get cheaper, or
my solo walks get longer, the balance may tip as far as I'm concerned. I have thought about (but not yet tried) using something like Viewranger's buddy beacon to let someone at home check my progress every now and then - most hilltops at least seem to have some 'phone signal, so it might give them a clue if I failed to reach a peak or ridge by a given time.

This report pointed out an advantage of a beacon that I hadn't thought of. It looks likely that the author was drifting in and out of consciousness without realising it, but was aware long enough to press a button. It's conceivable that someone would be able to press the button but not, for example, power up a spare mobile 'phone and type an emergency message, even if there was enough signal to use it. That adds another (small?) window where the PLB could prove its worth.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby GillSte » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:52 pm

Personally, it seems like a lot of expense for an unlikely occurrence. There are usually lots of other baggers about, even in Fisherfield, so help won't be far away. Plus, if you do have an accident, you are more than likely to get connected if you dial 999 for Mountain Rescue, because 999 calls route to the nearest transmitter, no matter what your network is.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby Scraggygoat » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:28 pm

Carrying a PLB is a personal choice, sometimes I do, sometimes not.
As mentioned above the odds of needing one are small, and they are expensive.
However one thing I can say from experience is that if faced with a seriously injured casualty (or sadly casualties), and lacking phone signal with limited opportunity to gain one in a timely manner, it will suddenly seam very cheap relative to its value.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby paulG2 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:39 am

As a soloist, I carry one all the time. And according to a head figure In police Scotland SAR they work perfectly well. £170 is not expensive if it saves you laying in extreme pain for hours until (if) you are found by others, or worse. Of course it may never happen but, I’m not a big fan of pain or perishing on the hills so it could be the best £200 you could spend. Spot Gen are probably better as they transmit your location if you became unconscious - but I couldn’t afford the monthly fee so got the Mcmurdo fast find.
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby mynthdd2 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:46 pm

there you go

Willie Anderson, from Cairngorm Mountain Rescue, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "He set off a personal locater beacon saying he was in trouble, it was freezing, he was quite hypothermic and he'd injured his back and leg.
"The message from that goes to America then it comes back to this country."




that will do me for SPOT and it's subscription...
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby onsen » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:14 am

During a SOS/emergency, both Plb's & Spot contact a ERCC (Emergency Response Coordination Centre) then onto local rescue groups.

In a nutshell...a small rough nutshell. :D

Plb RescueMe
One off fee
Long 7year battery life
Send away to replace battery
116g

Spot gen3
Ongoing subscription
Shorter battery life
User replaceable/chargeable batteries
Tracking
Send messages
114g

Obviously, there's a lot more brands out there. Research.

Choose to suit your own solo/ group wilderness wanders. :wink:
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Re: personal locator beacons

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:13 pm

Last March we lost one of our own, Alison Fox, who died in a blizzard. She had lost her glasses and could not navigate. She spoke to the police on the mobile phone we are told we should carry, but they could not get a location for her. By the time the rescue team reached her she had died of cold. If she had a PLB she would have been located much more quickly. She would probably have survived. PLBs are expensive, but without one you could lose everything.
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