Are your beacon skills up to par? | Mountain Sledder
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Mountain Sledder | November 16, 2018

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Are your beacon skills up to par? | Mountain Sledder

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! 


Dave Best says:

agreed to all. if anyone tries to say "but I’ve only got one beacon – how do I do a test?" – do them at the trailhead using your buddy’s beacon. If your riding buddy says that they don’t have time to do it, you shouldn’t be riding with them. What’s 4 mins on a full day of riding to feel safe? And maybe, if people see you doing it, it’ll become more normal for other people to get involved, or even (yeah we all know it’s true) ask what you’re doing!

RJ says:

agreed. scary how many people have beacons that are not effecient with them. It for sure is something that is easy not to practice, because hopefully you don’t have to use them ever. but if you do, your gonna be haunted for ever if you kill your friend cause it took 15 min to locate him when it coulda taken 2. good article A-run.

Sean McCaig says:

great point shreddogg, hopefully more people follow your lead, i will

shreddogg says:

I was also shocked at my own performace after recently completing a test run. I have now decided to play at least one game of hide and seek with beacons each week prior to heading out. This shouldnt be viewed as chore but rather a necessity just like topping up oil.

Tamara says:

Same here…did a little test run…scared the crap outa us as well! Worth keeping up on the practicing. You never know who in the group is a little rusty!