There are so many benefits to carrying a PLB and the importance is becoming more and more obvious all the time. Most recently, in watching Claire Nelson’s anxiety-inducing story on Channel 7’s ‘Sunday Night’. Claire embarked on a day hike in Joshua Tree National Park in California, USA, and fell down an embankment and laid there, on her certain deathbed for four days. Fortunately she was found. But, that would have been more certain if she had been carrying a PLB.
I posted the video on the group. Indeed, the consensus was that if you’re going to hike solo especially, you must carry a PLB.
It has me thinking back to my piece on the benefits of carrying a PLB I wrote for the Snowys Blog back in 2016. I’ve created an abridged version of the article below.
The popular ResQLink 400 PLB. Image: ACR. Available at Snowys Outdoors.
There are 3 key benefits to carrying a PLB:
1. For Your Own Safety
It could be the difference between life and death. Put yourself in Claire Nelson’s shoes.
Fact is, when we go hiking we tend to go to areas that (1) don’t have mobile reception, (2) are inaccessible by car, and (3) see few people. We hikers are drawn to the remote wilderness. However, the more remote we are, the more risky if we happen to find ourselves lost or injured, or ill.
Having a PLB gives us the best chance of reaching the outside world should the proverbial hit the fan.
Ideally, keep your PLB securely on your person. What good is it if you have taken your backpack off to have a rest, and have gone down to the riverbank to have a look, and then you have been swept down river. Or, in an accident, you and your pack become separated. There you are, laying on your back with a broken neck, unable to move, and your backpack is metres away with your lifeline in it. Wouldn’t that be the most disheartening situation ever?
2. To Reassure Your Loved Ones
It gives them the peace of mind that should you find yourself in trouble you have the best possible chance of being rescued.
We all have partners and family members that nag us about the riskiness of our hobby. Knowing that we’re more likely to be discoverable in the event of an emergency is one way to get their endorsement before we set off on that big hike.
3. To Make It Easier for Rescuers To Find You
They can more easily pin-point you and thus aren’t putting themselves at unnecessary risk searching high and low with no idea where you are.
It’s not all about you. It’s about those heroic and generous people that are going to come looking for you. They have families too. Don’t put their lives at risk by making it impossible to find you.
So, I have convinced you to buy a PLB? Great. Now, which one? The KTI Safety Alert PLB is one of the best PLB for bushwalking in Australia and it’s Australia made, boasts a 10 year battery life, and is the cheapest on the market.