November 04, 2010
When teaching survival classes, I commonly get questions about worst-case, "what if" scenarios. Many go something like: "What if you fell off a cliff where no one could see you, and you could not move?" My short answer would be: Carry a personal locator beacon (PLB). Specifi-cally, the ACR TerraFix PLB is designed with hunters in mind -- it is compact, simple to use, and built to withstand severe environmental conditions. When activated, the TerraFix sends out a distress signal to search and rescue (SAR) satellites and activates rescue efforts almost immediately -- between 15 and 60 minutes, depending on the features of the specific PLB.
Additionally, using that signal, rescuers are able to come virtually straight to your location, saving precious time that can make the difference between life and death. Each PLB has a unique identifying number (UIN), and UIN registration with the National Oceanic and Atmos-pheric Administration (a government organization that monitors search and rescue satellites) is free. Your registration can give rescuers important personal information -- unique medical conditions and even a trip itinerary -- when they receive your distress signal. As of this writing, the TerraFix PLB has recorded 25 saves in 2006, and counting. Prices range from $549 to $649, depending on the model (954/981-3333, www.acrterra-fix.com).