Calling 911 in the wilderness can be spotty at best. Even with advancements in cell phone services, the natural topography of the landscape and forest growth can inhibit your ability to call for help in an emergency.
Although commercial and military distress beacons have been used for decades, the FCC has only approved them for individual use since 2003. Since their introduction to the consumer market, the devices and services used to provide this lifeline to civilization have evolved into something everyone should have. Knowing what these top devices and services offer will help you select the best one for your needs.
No hidden fees — ACR ResQLink+ Personal Locator Beacon ($241)
At 5.4 ounces and only 4.5-inches long, the ResQLink+ is both a small and buoyant Personal Locator Beacon. With three levels of integrated signal technology, 66-channel GPS, a powerful 406 MHz signal and 121.5 MHz homing capability, the ResQLink+ quickly and accurately relays your position to within 100 meters or less to a network of internationally monitored, government operated search and rescue satellites.
ACR Electronics Inc., the ResQLink+ manufacturer, stands behind their product with a 5-year warranty against factory defects in materials and workmanship from date of purchase, and will repair or replace it at no cost. There are also no other fees, beyond the purchase price, to operate. Simply register your ResQLink+ PLB online with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at and hit the trail.
Backed by the most reliable network of search and rescue satellites, the ACR ResQLink+ is right for you if your top priorities are safety and peace of mind, and you want no extra fees or hidden costs. It is also highly recommended if you plan to adventure beyond the borders of the continental U.S.
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