Advice on PLB’s

Trail Hiking Australia Forums Gear and Equipment Advice on PLB’s

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  • #140561
    Jake Leaney

    Hi all!

    I’m looking at a few hikes that are a little more remote and reportedly a bit patchy with GPS connection. I have a Garmin GPS watch and a radio, but I’ve wondered about getting a PLB – I’m confused as to what the require to work – if I’m in an area with no GPS signal are they useful still?

    Also I’d love any suggestions on what specifically (brands/models) to have a look at as a starting point. 🙂



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    • #140630
      Torsten Bunge

      I use a GME MT610 and personally wouldn’t be without it on remote hikes, could be the difference between life and death in a life-threatening situation. As long as you have a clear view of the sky GPS signal shouldn’t be an issue.

    • #140709
      Grant Hollingworth
    • #140708
      Darren Edwards

      Hey Jake. I am assuming you are aware that a PLB is not a navigation aid but it critical in an emergency situation. As Torsten mentioned, as long as you have a clear view of the sky, activating your PLB should result in the signal reaching emergency services. Personally I always carry a few navigation tools (such as map, compass and GPS) and I always carry a PLB on all my hikes. I figure there’s no point leaving it at home, even on day hikes. Interestingly, it is day hikes where most people find themselves in trouble. As a search and rescue volunteer, it is very seldom that we are called out to rescue people on overnight or multi-day hikes. I have the Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 and my wife has the GME MT610. We always carry one each event if we are hiking together. I figure if I fell off a cliff, it’d be a bit of a challenge for my wife to climb down to activate the PLB.

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