Wilderness Safety: Backup Signalling and Communication Devices for Emergencies

a call from the summitHiking through lush forests, scaling mountain peaks, and trail running across rivers are just some of the favourite pastimes of many people who love the outdoors. Going on these outdoor adventures can take you to breathtaking wild spaces and give you an experience like no other.

However, exploring the wilderness may also mean going out of the range of most cellular networks, making you unable to call for help in the event of an emergency, like an accident that requires immediate rescue.

It will definitely help if you have some sort of emergency signal, a satellite mobile, or other signalling devices that work using satellite technology.

Here are some of the emergency signalling devices you can consider as a backup to your cellular phone (or smartphone) if you love venturing into the outdoors.

Amateur radio

A two-meter amateur radio can be utilised by a licensed operator to call for help with the use of emergency frequencies, usually in a range of about 100 miles. This radio device is easy to use and reliable, allowing you to reach rescue teams and describe the emergency.

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Satellite phone

A satellite phone is a hand-held device that has the capability to tap into a mobile satellite communications network. With this device, you can call the nearest public safety office and inform them of the emergency. You would need to find the most open area to make your call and wait for a satellite signal.

Satellite emergency notification device

A satellite emergency notification device, or SEND, is a compact communication device that allows for two-way messaging with rescue teams or family members via satellite. Some SENDs even enable users to post updates to their social media accounts.

You can use SEND to update family members even if it’s not an emergency. Messages sent over SEND are limited to 160 words. SENDS also have a tracking mode that allows family members to follow your steps.

Personal locator beacon

A personal locator beacon, or PLB, is a small, compact, and lightweight device that sends a one-way emergency message to alert rescue teams of your current location.

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PLBs work by transmitting a signal that is received by an international network of government and military satellites, and then sends responders your GPS location.

It’s best to choose the right device that will function best where you’re going. Make sure you understand how the device works and how to operate it. You should be comfortable using your chosen device properly before your trip, and don’t forget to carry a solar charging panel or extra batteries. Stay safe!