UPDATE: Check the comment by Kevin Stoltz. He is very negative on this device:
… how TERRIBLE this device is as an emergency rescue device. The ONLY positive thing is itâ€™s size. It is a low power radio beacon which means someone else has to initiate the search (whether or not youâ€™re actually in need of help). The TracMe is only useful once rescue parties get close. PLBs on the other hand are activated by the individual in distress and result in a distress signal (including location coordinates) being sent to satellites which in turn are relayed to the appropriate search and rescue organization. PLBs operate at 406MHz and have an extremely low false alarm rate.
The Hiking Ideas – Wilderness Trailcraft blog is investigating methods of sending for help in case of emergency.
This is the first device small enough for me to seriously consider:
On Monday I posted a story about the Spot Satellite Messenger device and I got a comment from Kevin Stoltz from PLB Rentals. He helped differentiate the category of PLBs from other messenging devices by saying the PLBs have more transmitting power – therefore they are a better safety device.
He also mentioned to me to check out another device called TracMe.
So I did. Here is a shot of the TracMe and here’s what the TracMe website lists as the unique features of their device:
â€¢ Voice beacon – can be monitored by anyone on the existing radio emergency channel.
â€¢ Does not automatically instigate a search and rescue – about 98% of distress alerts detected from inadvertently activated beacons are false.
â€¢ Extremely small and light weight.
â€¢ Low cost – less than half the cost of existing beacons.
â€¢ Very low cost for the Search and Rescue (SAR) crews.
â€¢ A search can be performed with a single aircraft and one ground crew of 2 to 3 people.
â€¢ Will operate continuously for about 7 days – this gives the rescuers ample time to locate the beacon.
â€¢ Single use – once the unit has been activated, it can be deactivated but not reused.
â€¢ Shelf or storage life should be up to 10 years.
– Hiking Ideas – Wilderness Trailcraft