January 14th, 2009
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Are your beacon skills up to par?

It doesn’t matter what kind of beacon you have!  If you practice enough with it to become proficient, you are heads and heals over your friends!  This is the scariest thing!  I really want you to test your friends the next time you go ride!  REALLY!  I do!  I put on a little test with some of my friends last weekend and got the crap scared out of me.  
These are guys and girls that travel very regularly in the backcountry with the approach that if something were to happen, they know they can handle it.  Well, it was obvious they could not!  
I’m not mad at any of my friends, I simply want to encourage as many people as possible to get out and practice, or take a course, but most importantly PRACTICE with your gear.  
When is the last time you did a beacon search?
When is the last time you actually assembled your probe?
Are your batteries in your beacon over 65-70% full?
Can you find a single lost beacon in under 5 minutes?
Can you find it in under two?
A good goal to go by is if you can find two beacons in under 5 minutes!
Try it, practice it, stop being TOO COOL!
You might get hacked on for a few seconds, but when your friend can’t find the beacon for over 10 minutes, it’s time for you to do some MAJOR hacking!

That’s my rant!