Not exactly vstrom related. But if you use a PLB do you carry it on the bike or in your jacket. In jacket I am concerned about damage in a get off. On the bike concerned about being separated from the bike. Thoughts? ?
Yes, there is no annual subscription cost for a PLB but it is not truly a "one time expense" as the batteries in the models I have researched are good for 5-6 years and then the unit has to be sent away to have the batteries replaced. According to the dealer that I bought the unit from (mountain equipment coop in Canada): Replacing the battery costs almost 80% of the unit, so replacing the whole unit for a fresh one is a popular route to take. I paid $210 for mine, a newer unit is now $285 so that produces a yearly cost in the $30-$50 range.A PLB is great and a one time expense. But it's nice to be able to send that "OK" message out when in the middle of BFE setting up camp with no cell signal. It's also nice to be able to look back at how much ground you covered on those days. I'll always have a SPOT, 150 dollars a year is penauts compared to how much I spend on gasoline and booze anyway.
Everyone argues that the PLB gets help more relaibly since the PLB goes though the Air Force. In the end Air Force or private company the same people get called and that's the local authorities who will send out a local SAR team if needed. Or you could just get Sheriff Bob in his Pickup that shows up to help you.
If I didn't have a SPOT I would at least carry a PLB with me. But I like the extra abilities of the SPOT device in the end.
Is it true that for a PLB to work, someone has to report you missing first, then the authorities look for the signal, or react to the signal you have activated on your PLB?
I have seen one of the PLB's on Amazon explain that in their description.
If that is true then it is really a back up to a SPOT type device, as you need a responsible party and known checkpoint times in your plan. For day travel, sure, you don't come home, wife calls authorities, on a multiday without comm that could mean days before they even look for you.....the devices only last 48 hours once activated.
Being lost is one thing, going down on a bike usually means you need help asap, even waiting the few hours for SPOT rescue could mean death from injuries but its a fighting chance.