As rewarding as hiking adventures in the backcountry can be, they come with risks. The inshore wilderness and environs around the offshore can be largely unpredictable. It is therefore important that you don’t go on such adventures without an emergency beacon.
An emergency beacon comes in handy in hunting, sailing, or hiking adventures. It gives you that sense of security to reach even where your phone’s signal is limited. In cases of a dire emergency, it can come in as a lifesaver. We will therefore be showing you some of the best emergency beacons available.
List of 8 Best Hiking Emergency Beacon and Buying Guide
We will be reviewing eight of the best emergency beacons available that you can readily use for your hiking activities.
They come with satellite messengers that will help you communicate with your family and friends in locations where there is no phone signal.
So, let’s dive in.
1. Spy Tec STI GL300 Mini Portable Personal Locator Beacon
A compact, weather resistant beacon that provides hiker’s with a fast and effective way to be rescued in the event of an emergency.
The STI GL300 locator beacon comes in handy to help you keep track of a child, an elderly or a spouse’s location. It could also help your loved ones keep track of your journey and location as you go on about your hiking adventures.
It features satellite technology and motion-activated tracking. This helps the device to keep track of movement accurately and also, delivers the location to you in real-time. This locator gives you updates as frequently as every 5 seconds. It also comprises a geofencing feature that sends you an email or a text once the person you are tracking moves.
This Spy Tec locator beacon is a lightweight and compact device that does not weigh you down. So, for your outdoor expeditions like backpacking and hiking, you can trust that it won’t add unnecessary weight. You can access the tracking reports of this beacon from any device. This beacon also does not produce unnecessary loud sounds.
The stated battery life of the beacon is two weeks but it could last longer depending on its usage. You can keep track of the charge level from the tracking website. Activating and cancelling a subscription for this beacon is free.
- GPS technology.
- Motion-activated tracking.
- Compact and lightweight.
- No loud sounds.
- Long battery life.
2. Standard Horizon HX870 VHF Personal Locator Beacon
It’s designed to fit perfectly into your backpack and it’s also lightweight. Affordable and one of the best available in the market.
This VHF marine radio is a very effective emergency device for your hiking adventures, particularly in water-dominated areas. It comes with some amazing features but it still is quite affordable. With its solid and durable construction, you can be certain that this emergency beacon can go the mile with you.
This VHF marine device comes with a digital selective calling (DSC) capability. In an emergency, you can simply push the red button on the device and it will send a distress signal with your location to those keeping track of your movements. The built-in GPS feature can determine your position accurately.
You can also make position requests for your buddies that you are hiking with. You could even decide to send your position to a specific person. This beacon is also a communication device that allows individual and group calls.
The noise cancellation feature of this beacon ensures that your voice is as clear as possible. The compass, waypoints, and route’s function are features that aid in navigation. This beacon also comes with an intuitive interface and large screen that makes it easy to use.
- DSC calling and GPS capability.
- Intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
- Waterproofing abilities.
- Clear voice transmission.
3. ACR PLB-375 ResQLink+ Personal Locator Beacon
This is a GPS-enabled rescue locator beacon, designed to provide crucial position information should you be in an emergency situation.
The ACR personal locator beacon is a great emergency device that will come in handy when you are going for hiking adventures in water-dominated areas. It could come in as insurance or a form of last resort if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation and you need immediate rescue.
This beacon is waterproof and it floats. It also comes in top-rated because of its size, ease of registration, and price. This device features GPS positioning, a 406 MHz signal, and a 121.5 MHz homing signal. In using this device, you can be certain that it will readily call for help in a worldwide location of search and rescue satellites.
The GPS feature helps rescue to within 100 meters of your location. It also features a probe light that makes it easy for you to be accessed at night. You do not have to bother about the weight of this beacon as it is incredibly lightweight and compact. You can easily have it on you all the time.
This beacon requires some simple manual activation though. All you have to do is deploy the antenna and press the ON button. It also comes with built-in tests for internal electronics and GPS features. You will have to register this device once you acquire it.
- Long battery shelf life.
- Waterproof and buoyant.
- Compact and lightweight.
- GPS enabled.
4. SPOT 3 Satellite GPS Messenger Personal Locator Beacon
It sends out an alert signal to a worldwide network of search and rescue authorities. It also positions your exact location to help rescuers reach you faster.
SPOT satellite trackers have been quite useful for many hiking enthusiasts. When you go for hiking adventures where there is no cell service, you can be sure that having a SPOT beacon can ensure that you stay connected.
This beacon is a very tough and pocket-friendly device that you can easily take on your motorcycle, hiking adventures, or even backcountry sojourn. It helps your family and friends keep track of your location using satellites and GPS features. It comes with an SOS button that you can press in case of an emergency. It will send signals to emergency responders.
This SPOT 3 beacon offers improved performance, motion-activated tracking, and good battery life. However, you will need to choose a level of tracking and tracking intervals. You can also work around the beacon to send signals when you are moving and when you stop too. this device requires a yearly subscription.
- Precise GPS tracking.
- Motion-activated tracking.
- Good battery life.
- Strong and compact device.
5. Garmin inReach Explore+ Handheld Personal Locator Beacon
This durable device works in any weather condition. It has loud alarm and user-friendly interface which makes it a perfect choice for hiking.
This Garmin personal locator beacon is a very versatile hiking beacon. It can be used for planning, navigation, location tracking, and as a sharing device. This beacon is rugged and lightweight and it comes loaded with many features. It is very good for all your wilderness hiking endeavours.
This Garmin beacon features a highly sensitive GPS, a GLONASS receiver, and a quad-helix antenna. It receives satellite location quickly and identifies your precise location even in the oddest of places like under a heavy tree cover or deep canyons. This beacon features the TOPO map of the US alongside a Birdseye satellite imagery subscription for access to more maps.
This beacon also comes with a barometric altimeter to aid you in navigation during your hiking activities. With this Garmin emergency beacon, you can create, save and share your adventure’s waypoints, routes, and tracks with your family and friends.
The Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity help this beacon function as a health and activity tracker. It is a very rugged and durable device. Yet it is still very lightweight. This beacon makes use of two AA batteries or a rechargeable NiMH battery pack to have a battery setup that can last up to 16 hours. It also comes with a sunlight-readable colour screen.
- GPS and GLONASS receiver for excellent reception.
- Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity to aid its health and activity features.
- Preloaded with high-quality topographical maps.
- Comes with a barometric altimeter for ease of navigation
6. SPOT Satellite and Personal Locator Beacon
Sturdy and reliable rescue beacon. It can send out alerts signal in any conditions and it comes with a built-in GPS that helps rescuers find you in minutes.
This SPOT’s beacon can come in handy to serve as a simple device to track and share your location with your family and friends. It can let them follow your progress. You can also readily make a distress call if you need help urgently. This SPOT beacon is ready to fulfil all your needs as you go hiking.
This SPOT satellite beacon comes with GPS technology so that it can track and share your location. The OK help button that you can press if you are in a non-life-threatening situation.
If you feel that the situation you are in is very dire and it needs urgent rescue or help, this SPOT’s beacon comes with a 911 setting that you can press for life-threatening challenges. It serves as an emergency GPS locator as it will send your distress message alongside your GPS location to the GEO emergency centre. GEOS will then help you reach the appropriate agency and your emergency contact.
This beacon is very rugged and it comes with a very good constructed frame. It is compact, lightweight, and easy for you to carry around. The interface of this beacon is simple and very easy to use. It always performs a self-diagnostic test whenever you turn it on so you can know if it is still in good condition.
- It has good GPS tracking abilities.
- 911 setting that helps you locate the GEOS resource centre.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Easy to use interface.
- An OK feature that helps your loved ones know you are in good condition.
7. ACR GlobalFix Pro 406 2844 Personal Locator Beacon
This locator beacon is a small, lightweight and portable device that can be carried on any outdoor adventure including hiking, backpacking and boating.
This ACR personal locator beacon comes in handy when you are hiking around marine areas. It serves as some form of security even in the most treacherous sea environment. Once you are in an emergency, this beacon turns on automatically once it comes in contact with water. It might however require manual deployment.
This beacon sends a 406 MHz signal and a 121.5 MHz homing signal once you activate it. The GPS feature helps the search and rescue team precisely know your current location. The beacon usually broadcast for 48 hours on one charge. The strobe helps to attract the attention of the rescuer so they can locate you faster.
This is a highly rated emergency beacon because of its construction and design features. It also comes with a self-test feature that helps you ascertain if the beacon is still functioning properly. Many people who have used this ACR beacon how found it to be a lifesaver.
This ACR beacon requires a subscription however, it saves you the burden of recurring subscription fees. The battery will need to be replaced fives years after the beacon has been placed into service.
- Strobe for visibility.
- GPS feature for ease in tracking.
- Long broadcast duration.
- Powerful transmitter.
8. Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Personal Locator Beacon
This is a feature-rich Personal Locator Beacon you will find on the market, it has everything you need to go hiking, and be safe.
This Garmin Mini Beacon is a pocket-friendly device that you can take along for your hiking adventures to stay in touch with your companions and for safety purposes. You send and receive messages and also share your location with those you are hiking with.
In case of an emergency scenario, the Mini feature helps you send an SOS to the GEOS resource centre. The GEOS centre will help you reach the necessary emergency centre. The good thing about this beacon is that you can readily receive delivery information and updates about the rescue team.
This beacon also features a digital compass, trip planning, and weather forecast services. For even greater compatibility and convenience options, you can connect it to your smartphone via your Bluetooth and earth map.
This beacon is tough, water-resistant, and outdoor resistant. This means that it can handle outdoor elements conveniently.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Built-in GPS tracking.
- Two-way messaging features.
- Water and impact-resistant abilities.
Factors To Consider Before Buying Emergency Beacon for Hiking
If you are planning a trip that requires you to be on the lookout for trees, rocks, and even buildings, you will need to know what kind of beacons to look for and how to select the right one. Beacons are used to signal hikers or other rescue personnel so they can get to you more quickly.
However, beacons are much more than that. They are also used to communicate the location of the beacon with other hikers, emergency personnel, and even other users of the beacons system. Beacons are generally classified by the type of emergency response they are used for.
Do you need a hiking beacon? How about a traffic sign? Do you need a speed beacon for hiking or a storm shelter for storm-weary travellers?
If you are planning a hiking trip and you are not sure what kind of beacons to look for, keep reading to know more.
You’ll want to consider the size of the beacon, the type of beacon (visual or audio), and whether or not it costs money. Additionally, you’ll need to decide if you want a live or passive beacon. A live beacon will send out a signal that can be received by other hikers, while a passive beacon won’t send a signal at all.
You also need to decide if you want an emergency beacon or not. If you have an emergency situation that needs to be addressed, a live Beacon will send out a signal that can be received by other hikers. Paramedics will be able to find you in minutes if your Beacon is activated.
However, a passive Beacon won’t send out a signal at all and won’t help you if an emergency situation does occur.
What Type of Beacons Should You Look For?
Hiking beacons are generally classified by the type of emergency response they are used for. Do you need a hiking beacon? How about a traffic sign? Do you need a speed beacon for hiking or a storm shelter for storm-weary travellers? Here are some general categories that hiking beacons can fall into:
-Traffic signs: These beacons signal hikers or other rescue personnel so they can get to you more quickly. They can also be used to indicate the location of the beacon to other hikers and emergency personnel.
-Hiking beacons: These beacons are used to signal hikers or other rescue personnel so they can get to you more quickly. They can also be used to indicate the location of the beacon to other hikers, emergency personnel, and even other users of the beacons system.
– Beacon training: Some hiker beacons come equipped with training features that help you learn how to use them correctly.
-Beacon technology: Beacons are constantly developing, so if you are looking for a new type of beacon, it’s important to check out what types of technology is being developed.
Hiking Beacons Pros and Cons
Beacons are a valuable addition to any hike. Not only do they alert hikers about danger in the woods, but they also help hikers stay on track. Hiking beacons emit a sound that can be heard by other hikers as well as animals in the area.
This means that even if the beacons are destroyed, the sound will still be detectable. Additionally, hiking beacons emit a signal that can be detected by satellites and smartphones.
Hiking beacons are a great way to help you avoid getting lost and alerted if there’s a bear behind you. However, they have a few potential drawbacks. First, they can be quite expensive to purchase.
Second, they may not be as effective as a regular hiking map or compass. And lastly, they may not work as well in cold weather.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answer
Are you looking for more information on choosing the right emergency beacon for hiking? Don’t worry, we have collected some of the common questions that will interest you and answered them in that you can easily understand.
What is a Hiking Beacon?
A hiking beacon is a device used to signal hikers or other rescue personnel so they can get to you more quickly. Hiking beacons are usually classified by the type of emergency response they are used for.
For example, a traffic beacon signals emergency responders to stop and investigate a car that has broken down. A speed beacon signals emergency responders to slow down so they can catch up with a speeding vehicle.
A hiking beacon can also be used as a personal SOS signal in an emergency. If you are lost or stranded, you can use a hiking beacon to signal for help.
What is a safety beacon?
A safety beacon is an emergency signal beacon used to communicate the location of a beacon system with other hikers, emergency personnel, and even other users of the beacons system.
Safety beacons are generally classified by the type of emergency response they are used for. For example, a speed beacon is used to communicate the location of a vehicle or hiking beacons are used to communicate the location of a shelter.
An emergency beacon can give you the peace of mind you need in hiking locations where there is no cell signal. You can rely on it to relay a distress signal whenever you need it.
We have reviewed some of the best emergency beacons available. So, make your choice and go on your hiking adventures confidently.