Avalanches are the number one killer every winter in the mountains. Being properly equipped could save your life or the lives of your friends. One essential piece of gear is the avalanche beacon. Referred to as a transceiver by the hardcore snowmobilers out there this is the piece of equipment that has enormous benefits to being carried while riding in avalanche prone areas.
What Is A Beacon?
A beacon is the same thing as a transceiver. Call it a beacon around the wrong person and they may flex their “knowledge” on you and try correcting you for calling it a beacon. Anyways, a beacon is a device used to help locate buried riders in avalanche debris. Beacons send out radio signals to which can be transmitted by other beacons. This ultimately helps one beacon find another.
How Do Avalanche Beacons Work
Before your ride you and all your riding friends will turn your beacons on to their “send” mode. In this mode the beacons are sending out signals. This is the mode your beacon will always be in until you have to switch it to “search” mode. As you can imagine, this mode is used to search for a buried rider.
While searching for a buried rider and beacon the beacon you are using to search will make beeping noises while showing a number and a directional arrow to help guide you to the buried rider whose beacon is still in send mode. With this said, the different brands of beacons will all operate a little differently, but will work relatively the same way when it comes to their function.
The only sure way to make sure your avalanche beacon works properly is to use it. We can not stress enough the importance of practicing with your beacon so you know how to use it if the time ever comes where you need to use it in an emergency. The best avalanche beacon is the one you know how to use.
Why Snowmobilers Need a Beacon
If you do not have a beacon you need one. Here at Sledheadzzz we will not go up the mountain with anyone who chooses not to wear an avalanche beacon. Your life is worth more to us than this. A beacon is not only for yourself, but also for the other people you are riding with. If your buddy gets buried in an avalanche while wearing his beacon and you do not find him or her because you are not wearing a beacon, we guarantee you will have regrets for the rest of your life. Do not be selfish, get an avalanche beacon.
How To Care For Your Avalanche Beacon
It is vital you always make sure your avalanche beacon is fully charged. A beacon that is low on battery is no good. We highly suggest plugging it in after each ride to ensure it does not lose its charge. Store your beacon in a climate controlled area in its case when not being used. Doing so will help protect it from any potential damage.
We Hope this article has helped you understand what a beacon is, why you need a beacon and how to use a beacon. Having a beacon and knowing how to use it could save your life and the lives of those you care about. Stay safe out there!