Sure, we’d all like to have the state-of-the-art GPS-enabled Personal Location Beacons so if we got partly eaten by a bear out beyond the usual haunts of humans we could just push a button and wait for the helicopter. Those PLB’s don’t come cheap unless you want the bargain model that works only sometimes. There are alternatives that do make good practical sense and work lots better than cheap plastic whistles or a couple of rocks to bang together.
The ACR Firefly 3 High-Intensity Search and Rescue Strobe literally lights up the countryside when you’re in trouble. If there’s anybody within 1.9 km, there’s a good chance they’ll notice the powerful xenon strobe light flashing once a second for eight hours on a single set of AA batteries. Under perfect viewing conditions rescuers could see the Firefly flash from 3.2 km. The strobe bounces light off everything in the vicinity, announcing your presence even where you’re not in the direct line of sight. ACR manufactures the sat network PLB’s as well, but the Firefly 3 includes that same tough construction and fits in the budget a lot easier. With alkaline batteries installed the Firefly weighs only 4.3 ounces. Bikers can strap it to their packs as an intimidatingly obvious emergency warning light, but hikers will want to tuck this lifesaver away in the pack or the pocket just in case things go terribly wrong. Because it’s waterproof to a depth of 33 feet the rain and the sweat won’t corrode the works.
See the Personal Locator Beacon section of the Marked Tree A-Store for other types of advanced rescue beacons.