Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Should I take a PLB?

The people that care about me are pushing for my to carry a personal locater beacon (PLB) or some sort of satellite messenger (a la Spot, Their reasons are simple, in no particular order, save the first:
  • I could die
  • I'm alone
  • This is my first major solo trip
  • this is my first major (BWCA last winter notwithstanding) winter trip
  • Snowshoeing is completely different than ordinary hiking
  • I'm carrying more weight that last May
  • Did I mention I'm going solo?
  • Cell phone reception can be (read: is) spotty
That leaves me with a few options: Spot satellite messenger and ACR PLBs. While I don't understand the physics of it, the weight is similar (7 for spot vs. 10 or 12 oz for ACR's plbs). With Spot, I can send OK/Help messages. With a PLB, it's all or nothing. Spot is new and PLBs have proven track records. Its something that I need to do some serious research on.

Also - I'm going to go with vapor barrier clothing as made by Stephensons ( I e-mailed them inquiring about weights, and got a response that a medium VBL shirt was about 8 oz, and the pants a little less. This would weigh less than hand-sewn VBL clothes plus my wicking layer. (I'm 99 percent positive that Stephenson's VBL clothing is meant to be worn next-to-skin.) I'm going to get VBL socks from ID. I figure of any of the VBL clothing, that is the most important because I'm going to be wearing it day-in-day-out. They need to not kill my feet. As for the Steger muks, my father was very eager to drive to Ely with me to go try on a pair. More info as it develops.

1 comment:

Kevin Stoltz - PLB Rentals, LLC said...

Good reasons to take a PLB. To make it easier, e-mail me and I'll provide you a discount code to rent one from
Kevin Stoltz