Locator beacon

Bullcan

Member
Oct 6, 2016
75
24
Last year I had an incident where I did not get hurt, but got me to thinking what if I had and could not walk to get help. ( I usually hunt solo ). I have started to look into getting a locator beacon of some sort, but wanted to get others opinions good or bad of what is offered. Any recommendations ?
 

taskswap

Very Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
523
377
Colorado
I use an InReach Mini. Smallest and lightest option for me. Battery life is "ok" - about a day if you actively use it for its GPS tracking, and two weeks if you only turn it on twice a day to "check in". I have a pre-programmed "I'm ok" message set to go to my wife for my check-ins, and an "elk down" that goes to my hunt buddies if I'm in a group and it's pack-out time.

In my opinion it's kind of a clumsy device, it has some features like weather reporting that are either frustrating to use or don't work well. But for checking the box of "I broke my leg and need help where there's no cell service" it's been great for me.
 
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buckbull

Veteran member
Jun 20, 2011
1,804
858
Another garmin in-reach here. We normally just keep it at the cabin since we have no cell or line service. I should probably carry it with me when I go to the deer stand and hunting alone.
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,610
1,783
Eastern Nebraska
I guess I embrace the back country experience knowing that I am on my own- having something like that would take something away from the experience for me. Not faulting anyone that does it, the thread just surprised me as those thoughts just don't cross my mind.
 

Bullcan

Member
Oct 6, 2016
75
24
Honestly it never did me either. I joined ski patrol recently and just responding to the injuries that "could never happen to me" also got me thinking about it more.
 

buckbull

Veteran member
Jun 20, 2011
1,804
858
Honestly it never did me either. I joined ski patrol recently and just responding to the injuries that "could never happen to me" also got me thinking about it more.
We got serious about safety when my sister almost lost her thumb to a crossbow. this was 2 years ago and her thumb is still f'd up.
35136
 
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tim

Veteran member
Jun 4, 2011
2,238
814
north idaho
I had a spot for years, just moved to an inreach.

personally i don't get the mini. I just recreate in wet environments alot. My phone screen just acts real funny when water drops get on it. So i went with the bigger inreach. it is not small, but a good piece of mind. I do not use the tracking side of things.
 

Ikeepitcold

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 22, 2011
9,597
839
Reno Nv
Inreach mini for me. I’ve always carried it while guiding clients and have now keep it with me on all my hunts.
 

87TT

Active Member
Apr 23, 2013
469
656
Idaho
I have an Inreach. It is 6 years old and still works fine. Battery lasts several days. I don't text too much but I leave it on all day and some times all night. I once dropped it while in the woods (didn't get it secured and was crawling through brush). I was able to return the next day and find it using my Ipad and the pinging feature. Zoleo wouldn't work for me as I don't have a smart phone and it would cost $20 a month vs $11.95.
I have mine velcro strapped to the side of my bino harness case. I turn the tracking on when I park my rig and let it lay one track then turn the tracking off.
I am now 69 and hunt almost exclusively solo. Don't leave home without it.
 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
7,176
2,098
www.eastmans.com
would like to hear more about zoleo? similar to inreach mini? faster, simpler, better battery life? specific data plans??
Brandon did a full review, IIR, but let me check on that. You can start and stop your plan at any point, mine is paused at the moment because it isn't hunting season. I will however launch it again sometime this summer and I believe I paid like $40.00/month and I believe I had unlimited text messages.

The battery issue won't be the Zoleo itself, rather it will be the phone that you use. The system is app based and it's really easy to get text messages out no problem. I turned mine on twice a day for both of my week long excursions and the batter never made it lower than 80%. My phone on the other hand was on a the solar charger regularly as it is pretty crucial for a LOT of things, Zoleo app being one of them.