A GPS beacon is a must-have device for hikers and backpackers who trek into wilderness, mountains and far flung places. GPS beacons are used to communicate locational and related data such as coordinates,speed, altitudes, temperature to a server that can store and analyze data. You can send the data tracked by a GPS beacon to remote services and devices to communicate and alert your loved ones or authorities in case of emergencies or just to send regular updates about your progress and status. There are three choices when it comes to buying a good GPS beacon: SPOT, inReach SE Explorer and PLB (Personal Locator Beacons).PLBs are the most widely used GPS beacons for backpackers. They relay information to satellite constellations and auspices. Distress or SOS calls are send to CORPAS/SARSAT satellite networks, resulting in alert messages to the nearby rescue teams. SPOT and DeLormerelay information to service providers or device companies first, which then route the message to appropriate authorities based on the urgency and nature of messages. In this article we will incorporate all of these types and recommend you the best GPs beacons for backpackers.
DeLormeInReach SE Satellite Messenger
This is a pretty famous, but high-end GPS beacon that is known for its reliable performance and durability. DeLorme’s beacon could be easily handled with a single hand, and has a highly efficient SOS operation and awesome two-way messaging. You can also pair this device with your smartphone. This GPS beacon, however, is expensive. It costs around $300 and then an additional cost depending upon the data connectivity plan.
ACR PLB-375 ResQ Link Personal Locating Beacon
This is one of the best personal locator beacons in the market. It costs $235 on Amazon. This beacon is quite famous in the backpacker community. It’s durable, lightweight and firm in cases of shock, rain and harsh conditions. ACR ResQLink GPS Personal Locator Beacon is a complete suite in itself that is powered by GPS and high-class connectivity specially designed for agility in the times of emergency.It has a powerful 406 MHz signal, and 121.5 MHz homing capability. It also has a strobe light which helps during the night time.
SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger
This beacon is lightweight and supports two-way messaging. You can launch an SOS call with push of a button. It relays your coordinates to GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center for early response. You can also send text messages, and pair the device with your mobile. This beacon has a budget price tag, but SPOT beacon always have hefty service charges.
Spy Tec STI_GL300 Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracker
This is one of the best GPS beacons for backpackers. It has a feature using which you can set a timer and to send your location coordinates to your loved ones regularly. This device also supports geo-fencing, which launches alertsas soon as you digress from the area within you are supposed to stay. You can define and demarcate this area before starting your adventure.
Fast Find 220 Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
This PLB can also be used in the water. It is lightweight and smaller than the size of a normal mobile phone. It relays data with a powerful 406MHz frequency. It has the ability to send location ID and coordinates to nearby and global network of search and rescue satellites.