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The Portland Hiking Meetup Group Message Board Gear Talk › Personal Locator Beacon?

Personal Locator Beacon?

A former member
Post #: 1
I'm thinking about getting one. Is it worth it? I tend to hike by myself a lot.

Mark M
user 12445972
Vancouver, WA
Post #: 8
I'm thinking about getting one. Is it worth it? I tend to hike by myself a lot.


I also hike alone and ride a motorcycle alone a lot. I have thought of getting one too but never seem to get around to it. I looked at the ones you have to activate yourself and they are not too expensive but what if you are too hurt to press the button for help? So I then looked at the more expensive ones that people can track you on the cost of the beacon and subscription service is kind of spendy.
Some alternatives might be a gps enable phone and enable Google Latitude on it. Depending on where you hike, others could locate you. If you hike way off main highways it wont work.
I always email someone exactly where I plan on hiking and email them when I get back.
A former member
Post #: 75
I'm also a solo (+dog) hiker and/or snowshoer multiple times a week; my schedule gives me lots of camping and backroad travel opportunities too. 

My thinking is similar to Mark's. A detailed trip plan and an activate help if you don't hear from me time is my preferred method. When I get to where I'm heading off the well-beaten path and turning off my cell phone, I send a text message with my current location. If hiking with a group, I include a people, vehicle and dog count. 

My day pack is fairly well equipped, just in case something goes wrong ... even if I'm just in Forest Park. If you'd like to get an idea for what is in some of the hike leader's packs ... check out this link on the message boards:­
user 4250936
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 73
I think a locator depends on where you are headed. If you hike in established trails that have easy access, I think leaving details with someone and checking back when you get home is is safe. A locator would be more for those trips that are long in days and distance and/or you'll be in areas thatare not easy to access. In my case, If used a locator only once when I climbed Mt Hood. That time we just rented the unit in Government camp.
Bill K.
user 12602510
Portland, OR
Post #: 13
My thinking is that you can never be too prepared. I believe in the indispensable Primary Plan of alerting someone of your hike details with a definite check-in time. Having a personal locater would be a great Back-up plan for getting help even on established trails in that unfortunate circumstance that you wind up injured in some gully or thickly wooded area where you can't be seen or heard from the trail, or if you're too injured to signal. Like Chris I always carry a very comprehensive survival/emergency kit, on EVERY hike or outing. which contains the 10 essentials we often talk about, as well as a couple of uncommon items such as a flare and signal smoke -- just in case. Bottom line from me... if you can afford it--get it. You never know..and you can never be too prepared!
A former member
Post #: 2
I ordered an ACR Aqualink 406 from Amazon. Should come next week. Hopefully, I will never use it.­

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