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Personal Locator Beacons?


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Hello all.

I'm planning to do some serious digging about in Cape Breton next summer and some of the area I'm planning on exploring has no cell phone coverage.

I'm wondering if it may be prudent to consider investing in a PLB just in case. I can't help think about that poor guy in the US who had to self-amputate a few years ago.

Has anyone purchased one of these units for themselves?

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Thanks Steve!

I was actually thinking of the ACR ResQLink 406 or the Ocean Signal RescueME. The one I purchase has to be coded for Canada.

Unfortunately, they are pricey. While I don't put a premium on my life, I just don't know if I can justify the expense for the few times I will be cut off from civilization.

Of course, Murphy's law states that's exactly when I would need it.. :D

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Kind of where I am. I have the Delorme Inreach and am happy enough with it, but I have not used it for almost two years. But I can't make myself sell it yet because I keep thinking a crazy remote and halfway dangerous trip might come along. If not for yourself, do it for those who care about you.

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Good advice actually.

My elderly father may join me on one of those trips and I'd hate to think what would happen if I couldn't get word out during an emergency.  I think I'm sold then.

I can get the ACR ResQLink for $350 from a dealer in Calgary. Not too bad.

Edit: Done deal. Peace of mind has no price lol.

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I love the InReach, now owned by Garmin.  I have used it all over Alaska without issue.  Two-way communication by texting is far superior to a one way transmitter like a regular beacon.  Saying your in trouble is one thing, being able to communicate what is going on to family, friends, and rescuers is invaluable.  If you trigger a Beacon, the first thing they do is call you to see if it was accidental, then your emergency contact and tell them you are in trouble.  Then it is hours of stress and worry for friends and family who know nothing of what is happening.  Also you cannot alert rescuers as to what is going on, are you stranded? are you injured? is there a medical emergency?  Also nice just to be able to touch base or send folks a location to where you are camping, etc.  The lowest monthly plan is fairly reasonable and there is a newer model that incorporates a fully functional GPS.


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I weighed the two-way systems pretty hard a few months ago and they were my original choice actually. I like the idea of being able to send a quick message from the boonies to say I was ok.

If it was twenty years ago (and if they existed then), there was no doubt I would have got one because I was in the deep bush far more often that I am today. Then I thought about paying a monthly subscription for something that I would use infrequently now. There are plans where you can deactivate the device while you're not using it, but then they nail you with an "activation" fee when you want to use it again.

I decided that the beacon would be more cost-effective for what I was going to use it for. The beacon's battery is good for five years so I figured the one-time fee to purchase it was a good deal after all.

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