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Personal Locator Beacons

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  • 1 month later...

I find this to be a very interesting subject, and with well thought out replys. However, being a mountaineer, among other things, myself, I have a somewhat different view. The use of these PLBs is something that people who are pushing the evelope on an adventure probably ought to have. If there is a significant risk of becoming the subject of a hazardous search and rescue, as in high altitude mountaineering, canyoning, sea kayaking on the sea (not a smaller lake), or to a far lesser extent, multi-day white water rafting, then take one along.


For most Scout outings, training, well planned and organized trips, and leaders experienced in the type of trip, who know how to play the "What If" game and those who have trained their Scouts well, these devices should not be needed. Its not too many people that take Scouts on high altitude mountaineering trips, though its been done.


It is far wiser to become more expert as an adult leader (more fun too), and take or teach Wilderness First Aid (another fascinating technical skill that young Scouts love to learn) than to rely on PLBs, cell phones or other "come help me please" gadgets.


Do I wear a beacon when I ski backcountry, sure...but I do the rest too. Not getting in trouble, not exceeding your experience envelop on trips you lead, not letting your participants get out of hand by doing things inappropriate to the trip and its location, followed by skills at self rescue and WFA are more applicable.



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