Whether you yourself are traveling off the beaten path or you know someone who frequently is, this may just be the best purchase you make in your life.
A personal locator beacon can offer peace of mind not just to the traveler carrying it, but to parents, kids, or whomever else might be concerned about the adventure traveler/thrill-seeker they know.
Designed for backcountry sportsmen, pilots, and anglers, if you get yourself into an epic pickle, the GPS-integrated and waterproof ACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon can alert search and rescue personnel in as little as 5 minutes in the continental U.S. and guide rescuers to within 100 meters of your location.
How it Works: Watch the Video
It’s Well Rated
Only a small amount of research will show that this is the product of choice when it comes to personal locator beacons. You’ll see mention of the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger in the ResQLink’s reviews, but satisfaction ratings aren’t as high for the SPOT, and the device works a bit differently.
Read the reviews of the ResQLink on Amazon, currently averaging a 4.5 star rating, here.
Registering Your Beacon
Registration is required by law in the U.S. and most other countries, and you must re-register your beacon every two years. If you ever activate your beacon, your registration info is used by search and rescue teams to identify you and to help locate you more quickly by getting in touch with your emergency contacts. When you register your device, be sure to supply contact info for the people you always tell about your travel plans.
Registration in the United States
The national authority that accepts beacon registrations in the United States is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The fastest and easiest way to register is online at www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov. Your registration info is entered in the registration database within 48 hours of receipt, and a confirmation letter, copy of your registration, and a proof-of-registration decal is mailed to you within two weeks.
Registration outside of the United States
In countries other than the United States, 406 MHz beacons are registered with that country’s national authority at the time of purchase. Alternatively, many countries allow online registration in the International 406MHz Beacon Registration Database (IBRD) at www.406registration.com.
FAQs from the Manufacturer’s Website
The below questions and answers are copied directly from acrartex.com.
Q: What do PLBs do?
Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are distress radio beacons which transmit location information about individuals directly to Search and Rescue forces letting them know that the owner is in grave and imminent danger.
Q: When do you use a Beacon?
Most Search-and-Rescue (SAR) organizations instruct that beacons are satellite signaling devices of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted, where the situation is grave with imminent danger and the loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance.
Q: Is there a subscription fee for beacon registration or rescue service?
Beacon registration is free, and should you ever have to activate your beacon, rescue is free in most parts of the world.
Where to Buy
Personal locator beacons are available to purchase in the U.S. at outdoor adventure stores like REI, marine supply retailers, and the like. Locate your nearest U.S. retailer here.
If you want to support our travel blog, you can also purchase a beacon at Amazon.com with this link, and we’ll receive a small commission from the purchase.
About the Author
- In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.