Rescue Beacon & Insurance

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Swineflu, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Swineflu

    Swineflu Supporter Supporter

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    I'm going to purchase a GPS rescue beacon and some insurance to help offset any search and rescue costs. Any advice on either? Any direct experience with either? i.e. anybody ever needed a rescue?
     
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  2. hillst1

    hillst1 Supporter Supporter

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    Where are you going to go? Around Austin I would just call 911. I have used a SPOT in the past.
     
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  3. Swineflu

    Swineflu Supporter Supporter

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    All over the US, was wanting it for back country travels, river trips where I sleep on islands etc.
     
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  4. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

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    You might reconsider the expense. A lot of the country is blanketed in cell towers. You have to get into some pretty deep woods to get out of range and then IMHO you should not ever go alone so self rescue would be an option. If you have to have one I would consider a sat phone. It’s good for a lot more than simply saying “help me”. You can also test it by simply calling people.
     
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  5. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    1. If you know where you are going, establish with some one that is extremely dependable, and plan you trip so that they know where you are and where your are going next ,to the end that if they do not hear from you they call SAR .
     
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  6. WFR

    WFR Supporter Supporter

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    InReach is probably the way to go. I’ve used it when leading 4 day backpacking trips and the check in feature worked great. I’ve had to evacuate people before but never activated the SOS feature.
    Can’t help you with the insurance part.
     
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  7. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter

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    I have a SPOT. Never needed to use it for an emergency. I did send location updates on a few trips.
    If I was going to look for a similar unit again I'd check InReach as well. One thing with the SPOT is that they jack up the cost of the service after the first year.
    Make sure when you shop you understand the service costs going out a few years.
     
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  8. Swineflu

    Swineflu Supporter Supporter

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    Realized maybe this goes in the preparedness forum, oh well. I decided on the Garmin Inreach mini. It is pricier than the spot, but seems to have better reviews, more features I'll probably wish I had after I've used it in the field a few times. I've also heard some not-so-good things about the SPOT offline as well. I'll probably end up purchasing the insurance that is tied in with the Garmin and the folks that monitor the SOS calls from the Garmin, but need to do more research to reach that decision.
     
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  9. MAD Punty

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    I read the title as "Rescue Bacon".

    Man, am I disappointed.:(
     
  10. Pokey

    Pokey Supporter Supporter

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    Mmmmmmmmmm! Bacon!
     
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  11. leopard

    leopard Tracker

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    From my limited experience just as a third party observer, sofar I never needed a rescue myself, but in order for you to get a full attention from the SAR team there is a lot of red tape, these SAR missions are expensive and risky and they won't deploy unless all boxes are checked, they need to verify certain information, and could delay your rescue, so your best bet is to have 2 way communication, so they can speak to you directly, this could be a cell phone, 2 way radio, or SAT phone, whichever works reliably. Or at least have someone who knows about y0u and is available for the SAR team to speak to , this could also be someone local who you hired as a SAR liason. It really depends how much of a trouble you expect or could afford. I have seen guys who had their own rescue helicopter waiting nearby for a call. They might not need it but as long as you can communicate with someone you are much better off then pushing a magical button.
    Try to find our what's the preferred way to talk to the Ranger, or Forest Service or whoever has presence in the area you are going for your adventure,

    I haven't used Spot for a while but their coverage used to be "spotty", and their terms are not so friendly. I don't have much experience with Rescue Beacon/PLB's but I think they only notify airforce so unless you are in their "contracted area" they don't have to rescue y0u, just notify local authorities, which makes it kind of vague what really happens to you .
    I think all these are expensive and you might never find out if the signal went through so having a 2 way communication is a better bang for the buck.


    I am to sure if there is such thing as Insurance for SAR costs. The companies that provide these services call it "Membership"
    That means they are not regulated so you need to have some legal background to figure out the terms.
    If you are familiar with SPOT, just try to understand their terms,
    Basically if you want them to cover the cost, you need to follow their terms and their terms only, from A to Z. Y0u can't just call 911 to be rescued, you need to read the "fine print" and call the "membership hotline" first and they will decide what happens next. They won't cover what's not "preapproved" ,
    Truth is it is difficult to insure someone who is on a private adventure trip because the risk is unknown and cost is high.
    When you are a corporate client, things are different.
    You need to do a lot of research to ensure you will be covered.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  12. Raymond Eisele

    Raymond Eisele Scout

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    I applaud your , what if, prep. Also think it is sad that this is a issue. If anyone anywhere is in trouble, we respond. Whether it be police, fire or wilderness rescue. There should not be a reimbursement involved. With tremendous amount of money wasted by our elected officials, I have a question. When there is a manhunt for a killer that spans weeks, does the killer's family get a bill. I don't know, but I don't think so. Please let me know.
     
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  13. MAD Punty

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    No, because the killer's family is not responsible.

    That would be like sending you the bill when your cousin crashes the car on the highway. If you're cousin can't pay for the emergency response and repairs...maybe you should, because you have the money.
     
  14. John from Alberta

    John from Alberta Supporter Supporter

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    I would be interested to hear from someone who is actually an SAR member on this. Maybe it's different in the USA, but around here SAR seems to be deployed immediately and often. It seems to me that if there is "red tape" to go through before an SAR response occurs they are losing valuable time. There is a HUGE area of the Canadian Rockies that isn't covered by cell towers (the vast majority of it actually), much of it front country recreational area (along with the massive swath of backcountry), so cell phones are essentially useless for communication out here, aside from their GPS function and the ability to pair them with certain emergency devices. I've been on the fence about getting a beacon for sometime now, and probably will have to bite the bullet next spring.
     
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  15. Swineflu

    Swineflu Supporter Supporter

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    I would like to hear from them as well. The point I got to in my research before I bought my beacon and got distracted by other things was basically:

    1) It's all local, what one region decides to do in regards to response and charging for rescue is different from another region. Even the same area doesn't respond consistently from one event to the next.
    2) Insurance is pretty cheap and global, but lots of details needed to research. e.g. what I've bought insurance for myself but push the button to rescue another member in my party.
    3) I also have my own insurance through my employer, need to research that too.

    Pretty awesome getting in bushcraft/survival and end up reading fine print.
     
  16. Paul Caruso

    Paul Caruso Being all that I am. Supporter

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    I’ve used a spot to get me out of trouble. I had a preprogrammed message go to my wife that said “I’m not in danger but I need help” My wife was able to get a local police officer to find me without getting a full fledged SAR response.
     
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  17. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    Around here in NY once I am in outskirts of towns I lose signal, and rarely have any signal once on the trails
    Adirondacks has large sections that have no cell towers at all
     
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  18. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    as for insurance
    read the fine print carefully,
    most plans are for international travel,
    in US SAR is free, very limited instances do they charge for SAR,
    there technically is no blanket insurance that covers such,
    so even if you require SAR does not mean they will get reimbursed for their services by your insurance
    insurance will only pay if they actually bill you, which is very very rare
    also, once rescued transfer to medical facility falls under your health insurance, not back country insurance
     
  19. Swineflu

    Swineflu Supporter Supporter

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  20. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    Better than insurance i would say get a subscription to 2 way messaging service
    Allows you to message family and friends for assistance without having to resort to full blown sar
     
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  21. Swineflu

    Swineflu Supporter Supporter

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    Agree, and I did this with my Garmin in-reach. It works OK.
     
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  22. leopard

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    I think there are 2 or more versions right?. Does your unit have the SOS key on the side?
    What subscription would you recommend?

    I see they offer a rescue insurance as well $18/year, it's worth reading the terms, wow, checkout the pre-existing conditions, and exclusions.
    I didn't even know that if you have a pre-existing condition or in case of a natural disaster, or you are training for an expedition, you are "!@$#" out of luck.
    Some of the other exclusions are kind of amusing like drunk, exposure to nuclear radiation, not prepared, run out of water, going off the beaten path, or even if you decide not to keep going you won't be covered.



     
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  23. Swineflu

    Swineflu Supporter Supporter

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    I have the Garmin In Reach Mini
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CR7PL54/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Has an SOS button and a screen but you can bluetooth it to your phone and use your phone as a better screen and input device. You have to subscribe to the Garmin messaging service and they have several levels depending on how many messages you want to send etc. I haven't bought any insurance.
     
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  24. leopard

    leopard Tracker

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    That's a really neat one :dblthumb:

     
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