What is a PLB?
A PLB is a personal location beacon. They tend to work from satellite communication rather than using mobile phone signals. When you are out walking in remote areas then it is important to have the ability to contact the emergency services, even if you do not have mobile phone signals.
Reality struck big time!
Back in January, a small group of us decided that it would be a good idea to hike Kinder Scout, in the Peak District. A friend of my gave me her PLB to borrow in case of emergencies and I never really gave it a second thought. I just threw it in my pack and off we went. The day started well and as we commenced the climb of Jacobs Ladder the weather began to turn. The mist came in and the icy rain started. The GPS on my mobile phone was hopping around all over the place and I was starting to think “why on earth am I here?”. We reached the summit then started our descent and that is when things got even more tricky. All of us fell over in the peaty bogs, we slipped and slid over wet boulders and how no-one broke any bones on the way down was not short of a miracle. As we were wandering around the boggy fields on the top of the peak we kept passing a familiar rock and I knew we were a bit lost. We didn't need the PLB in the end (thankfully), but it certainly gave me peace of mind knowing that I had it on me if I needed to use it.
Why did I choose the RescueMe PLB?
#1 – No monthly subscription
The majority of my hikes are short, local walks. I perhaps have a longer, more remote hike of over a week maybe twice a year. With this in mind I was not keen on paying a monthly fee, as you would for a Garmin or similar model. The RescueMe is a one off payment – job done.
#2 – It does what it says on the tin
My phone is great for navigation and if I get stuck then I always have a map and compass in my bag. All I wanted was a simple device that I could activate if I am in an emergency. Pull up the ariel, press the button – job is done! It is easy to use and does not need any brainpower, which in my opinion is crucial if you are in an emergency situation.
#3 – I wanted something lightweight
I did not want anything that was bulky, so compared to all the other PLB's this model was perfect. It fits snuggly on my shoulder strap of my rucksack and I can just forget about it.
#4 – I did not want anything that I needed to charge.
I already have lots of gadgets to charge up every day when I am out on the trail, so I didn't want to worry about charging another device. The battery life in the RescueMe lasts for approximately 7 years! That'll do!
#5 – Reliability is essential
This particular item is registered with the UK Government website. It is government approved and therefore it comes with peace of mind that you will be contacting the correct people in the state of an emergency – even if you are in another country. The process is simple to register.
In this gear review video for the Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB, I talk about the specs, and the pros and cons of the unit. Please note that you do not need to have a vessel or use this on the ocean/sailing – it is the perfect location beacon for those who are travelling on their own or leading groups. Register in the UK, but use all over the world. A one-off payment, and NO MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION!
Amazon link is here: https://amzn.to/2EyLddI