Tacoma mushroom hunters could have used a PLB

The Tacoma News Tribune just had an article about two men who got lost while hunting mushrooms.  Fortunately they had enough supplies to survive a night in the woods. Our days are getting shorter and the nights colder, pretty soon spending a night outdoors will be difficult without good gear.

Ocean Signal rescueME Personal Locator Beacon
Ocean Signal rescueME Personal Locator Beacon

If you are going out in the woods consider adding an Ocean Signal rescueME Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) to your kit. Weighing in a bit over 4 ounces it will not slow you down (or reduce the number of mushrooms you can harvest). It is a good piece of gear if you are backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, or even driving  during the winter.

There is no annual charge involved with the rescueME PLB. $249.00 (current price as of October 2014) and a seven year life it works out to $35.58 per year or about 10 cents per day. Truly an affordable piece of safety equipment.panduan android

PLB’s work using a satellite system, owned and operated by governments and provide world wide coverage. You don’t have to worry about cell coverage, as long as you can see the sky, it will work. If you want to get rescued, this is the piece of equipment you want in your hands.

Personal Locator Beacons and bicycling

The other day I was out riding my bike with my buddy Ed. He is one of those guys who can (and does) talk with everyone which over the years has made for some interesting rides. It was one of those typical Northwest days, grey and damp and we were climbing a fire road in Capitol Forest looking for an area that had a recent fire. We were passed by a number of four wheel drive trucks and of course Ed had to find out what they were doing. It turned out that one guy was lost the previous day and this group was on a search and rescue mission. We were told to look out for the lost guy and call 911 should we find him.

Once we got to the top of the hill two motorcycles came along, OK they also had riders. They were lost and Ed got them pointed in the right direction and made sure they had gas (afterwards we wondered what we would have done if they didn’t have gas since one hardly carries that on your bicycle) and sent them on their way.

All this got me thinking, what would happen if I was out in the middle of nowhere and got turned around, injured or came across someone in need of help. Would my cell phone be enough to suffice? It has GPS and downloaded maps so I should be able to find my way home but what if I am hurt? After talking with my wife, we decided that I should carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).

Ocean Signal rescueME Personal Locator Beacon
Ocean Signal rescueME Personal Locator Beacon

The Ocean Signal version only weighs 4.1 ounces which is less than many multi-tools that we pack around. This unit provides world-wide coverage, does not have an annual service contract and works using a dedicated government owned an operated satellite system. Best of all it connects directly to search and rescue. Somehow this seems like a reasonable addition to my Camelback.


Of course we sell these units. Full information on the Ocean Signal PLB is on our web site. The unit has a 7 year battery and 7 year warranty so the cost works out to $3.56 per month, about the same as a small latte. Then again if I skip one latte per month I would lose more weight than the 4.1 ounces I have added to my gear.

Pacific Marine Expo 2012

Pacific Marine Expo has come and gone for 2012. It was strange having it Tuesday-Thursday rather than its normal Thursday-Saturday but it seemed to work. As always this is a show where one gets to see ‘old’ friends and customers and check out what is new in the industry.

Sorry to say but there is not much to report on the new equipment front. The marine safety industry is still in consolidation mode and it seems that the remaining manufacturers are spending their time dealing with all of the aquisitions rather than developing new items to sell. There was some talk about a new Personal Locator Beacon with AIS for use in crew overboard situations. This would be a great piece of equipment allowing a victim to alert both Search and Rescue and vessels in his vicinity. As I learn more I will keep everyone advised.