top of page
  • Writer's picturebalzaccom


As part of my work as a wilderness volunteer with various national forests, I have started to carry a PLB--a personal locator beacon. I do it mainly because when people see me in the backcountry, they expect that I will be able to help them. And while I have taken a short wilderness first aid course, the PLB is one more way of offering assistance.

(Image from Andrew Skurka)

I initially chose an InReach Mini, but quickly learned that there were some registration issues that were unresolved...and I needed the thing to work. So I returned it and bought a Zoleo. It's half the price of the InReach, although the monthly charges are slightly higher. It would take five to seven years for there to be a real savings with the Mini, so I'm fine with the Zoleo. In five to seven years, I may just be able to use my phone!

But I've noticed that carrying the Zoleo has changed my thinking just bit on the trail. When I am deep in the backcountry, I still worry about getting hurt and needing help. But now, instead of thinking that I would be a dead duck, I have started thinking about how long it would take for rescue to arrive, and how they would ever find me in the remote and rugged landscape.

Make no mistake, I would still be a dead duck. But at least with the Zoleo, they'd have an idea of where to start looking for the feathers...

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Those expensive multi-tools are beautiful little things, combining knife, saw, screwdrivers (both phillips and slot), pliers, and just about everything you could possibly want in a tiny little package

Have you ever noticed this? The minute a story comes out about someone who needs rescuing in the mountains, the internet message boards are filled with people who never, ever make that mistake, and he

As we are traveling a great deal in 2023, we are republishing some of our earlier blog posts---ones that not only still make sense (there are a few!) but that also still have some validity today.: We

bottom of page