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I live in Oregon and we have had a lot of people get lost and die this year. Two of my Co-workers are SAR members and I hear a lot of stories.
The day before they got lost, I was riding less than a mile from where that father-son pair was lost and the Dad died. I have actually been "turned around" and started down into the very basin that they died in. I have also been out in that area when the wind would cover your tracks in 10 seconds.

Anyway, I did a little research and discovered that for less than 700 bucks you can buy a radio transmitter that sends signals to satellites. It works anywhere in the world and is NOT dependant on cell service. The better ones have built in GPS and will transmit your location within 100 meters to the satellite, which will notify your local SAR that you are in trouble and where you are within 3 minutes time. You register the radio with NOAA and it also knows who you are.
The picture below show the GPS and non GPS system and the 15 and 60 minute refer to degees of latitude, not time.

[attachment=52774]


[attachment=52776]

Quote from the NOAA page:
http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/

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Around the world...around the clock...NOAA proudly stands watch. As an integral part of worldwide search and rescue, NOAA operates the Search And Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System to detect and locate mariners, aviators, and recreational enthusiasts in distress almost anywhere in the world at anytime and in almost any condition.

The SARSAT system uses NOAA satellites in low-earth and geostationary orbits to detect and locate aviators, mariners, and land-based users in distress. The satellites relay distress signals from emergency beacons to a network of ground stations and ultimately to the U.S. Mission Control Center (USMCC) in Suitland, Maryland. The USMCC processes the distress signal and alerts the appropriate search and rescue authorities to who is in distress and, more importantly, where they are located. Truly, SARSAT takes the "search" out of search and rescue!

NOAA-SARSAT is a part of the international Cospas-Sarsat Program to which 36 nations and two independent SAR organizations belong to. To find out more about SARSAT please feel free to explore our website. We hope you enjoy your visit!

SARSAT - A Lifeline To Survival!

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One of these beacons would have saved the lives of all of the people that have died here in Oregon, As I write this, 3 climbers have gone lost on Mount Hood. One had been found dead and the other 2 are still missing.


Here are some links that talk about it:

Buy a ACR TerraFix 406 from REI:
http://www.rei.com/product/47799531.htm

McMurdo's Version
http://www.comfortchannel.com/prod.itml/icOid/4047,

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I also found that people are selling 121.5/243 MHZ EPIRBs
(Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon) for a much lower price. These will become illegal to use after Dec 31 2006

https://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/786/139352

This is because they are not reliable and not registered with NOAA and get 50 false alarms for every real accident.

So... Don't buy one of them, get a 406 Hertz system.
 

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Great looking product.
That's something I'd look into.
Does it work as an avalanche beacon as well? or are they seperate?

For any one who cares about where REI spends the $$$ in making more non-motorized areas:
Buy it from someone other than REI please
 

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not to butt in, but they have not found them yet. Plus Mt.Hood has had 10 feet of new snow since they were lost.
 

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in my opinion, 700 is a lot of money for something you wont need unless you're a dumba$$. if i had 700 extra, i'd start looking into a 770 ub for the rmk. how about a topo map, compass, and a brain? all this new equipment (gps, avy backpacks, avalung, etc) shouldnt give you a reason to be stupid.
 

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You are right in that all the gear in the world does not trump common sense. If you ride in the mountains, avy gear (beacon, shovel, probe) are a must. They must also be on YOU and not on the sled. You MUST know how to use these devices. A great game to play is hide a flask/beer/other in a small sleeping bag stuffsack. Have a buddy hide it outside. Then go find it. Repeat.
Having a map of the area and compass is also crucial.
As far a high tech gadgets go a PLB is great. Pricy, but great. If I had the money though, I would go for a garmin Rino. Its a 2way radio and GPS in one. The new ones have UP TO 14 mile range with 5 watts of power. The best feature is it can ping another Rino radio so you can see their location on the GPS. Pricy at US $535.70 for the Rino 530. If you are lost, you gather up your crew and follow a breadcrum trail back to the truck.
http://www.garmin.com/outdoor/products.html#2-way
 
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