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Best Avalanche Beacons Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated May 27, 2019

What is an avalanche beacon and what does it do? Avalanche beacons are used to send out and accept radio signals. An avalanche beacon has the capability of finding a lost person who has been completely covered by snow. They are also able to track normal signals of a group of people that are hiking; and should an emergency arise, such as an avalanche these beacons are able to modify their signals.

If a beacon is not covered, then it will automatically switch to search mode. When this occurs, those beacons which are searching will eventually be able to locate the exact location of the person and beacon in which is lost.

We have found the 10 best avalanche beacons that are available and are going to review each one, if you have any questions there will be a FAQs section at the end of the review.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research

icon
SpyTec STI_GL300
98.8/100 our score
Ease of Use
99
Features
98
Connectivity
99
Effectiveness
99
Portability
99
SpyTec STI_GL300
Why is it better?

Excellent unit to track anything or person

Small and can fit anywhere

Track in real-time with Google

Receive texts/emails if the subject changes locations

Affordably priced

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
SpyTec STI_GL300
Test Winner: SpyTec STI_GL300
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Researched Sources
16
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
14k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Ease of Use Features Connectivity Effectiveness Portability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Ease of Use
99 %
Features
98 %
Connectivity
99 %
Effectiveness
99 %
Portability
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
$67.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Ease of Use
98 %
Features
98 %
Connectivity
98 %
Effectiveness
97 %
Portability
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Backcountry Link
$242.21
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Amazon Link
$282.96
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Ease of Use
97 %
Features
96 %
Connectivity
97 %
Effectiveness
97 %
Portability
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
$334.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Ease of Use
96 %
Features
95 %
Connectivity
96 %
Effectiveness
96 %
Portability
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Ease of Use
94 %
Features
94 %
Connectivity
95 %
Effectiveness
95 %
Portability
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
$299.95
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Ease of Use
94 %
Features
93 %
Connectivity
94 %
Effectiveness
93 %
Portability
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
$246.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Ease of Use
93 %
Features
93 %
Connectivity
92 %
Effectiveness
92 %
Portability
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
$349.95
Backcountry Link
$349.95
See Deal
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Ease of Use
91 %
Features
92 %
Connectivity
92 %
Effectiveness
91 %
Portability
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
$390.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.2
Ease of Use
90 %
Features
90 %
Connectivity
90 %
Effectiveness
91 %
Portability
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
$287.95
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Ease of Use
89 %
Features
90 %
Connectivity
90 %
Effectiveness
90 %
Portability
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.01.20)
Amazon Link
$298.90

10 Best Avalanche Beacons

1. SpyTec STI_GL300

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
SpyTec STI_GL300
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
99
Features
98
Connectivity
99
Effectiveness
99
Portability
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$67.95
Pros:

Excellent unit to track anything or person

Small and can fit anywhere

Track in real-time with Google

Receive texts/emails if the subject changes locations

Affordably priced

Cons:

Poor support/customer service

Tracks in the wrong location

This is the perfect portable device to use when tracking vehicles for teenagers, married persons, or the elderly and protecting the assets they have. The size of this device is compact and will fit into anyone’s vehicle, backpack or fanny/belt pack.

Capable of Tracking Anything
This is a tracking device that is capable of tracking an object or person put in its path for 24 hours a day if needed. This little tracking device is activated by motion and the battery lasts up to two weeks or more in a lot of cases; therefore, it is not necessary to continuously re-charge it.

Small but Mighty
A small device, weighing only two ounces, it is three inches long and it is efficiently sized to where it can easily fit in a backpack or attach to one’s belt. This tracking unit can track and provide updates as to the location of who you are tracking every five minutes.

Cost and Value
You are going to love this handy little tracking device from the instant you turn it on and see all the excellent features available. There is no way to place a value on protecting one’s life; therefore, this little unit is going to prove it is invaluable.

2. Backcountry Access Tracker 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Backcountry Access Tracker 2
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
98
Features
98
Connectivity
98
Effectiveness
97
Portability
98
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$282.96
Backcountry Link
$242.21
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Pros:

Small size and lightweight

50-meter range

The digital display is in real-time

Certified North America and European norms

1-hour minimum battery life

Cons:

Doesn’t transmit well with multiple victims

The range is slightly below average

The Backcountry Access Tracker is a lightweight, only 9.0 ounces or 255 grams; when placed in its harness it weighs a mere 13.2 ounces or 375 grams. Do not be misled by the tiny size of this tracking device as it has a digital display in real time and has a 50-meter range.

Has a Third Digital Antenna
This device has a third digital antenna and because of this has the capacity for more accuracy which allows for a compelling indicator upon locating the target in search of. With a presentation in real-time, this removes the chance of any delays in search time.

Single Search/Transmit Switch
This switch makes it simple to learn and teach others how to use this unit. It also cuts down on any misunderstandings or slip-ups that may occur because of an increase in adrenaline while trying to locate a missing person or persons.

Cost and Value
You will soon learn that this device has a greater use and it will become invaluable to you whenever you are out in the wilderness. The cost is a little more than other devices may be; however, from the instant, you turn it on and see how useful it is, you will wonder how you ever got by without it.

3. Backcountry Access Tracker 3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Backcountry Access Tracker 3
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
97
Features
96
Connectivity
97
Effectiveness
97
Portability
96
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Amazon Link
$334.00
Pros:

Complies to North America and European norms

50-meter range capability

250 hours transmitting

457 kHz frequency

Lightweight and durable

Cons:

Has an unsafe glitch

The product arrived with scratches

The Tracker 3 Avalanche Transceiver made by Backcountry Access is a handy little unit that weighs only 7.6 ounces or 215 grams with batteries in it. The lightweight harness weighs only 3.5 ounces or 100 grams. This tiny device has a minimum of one-hour battery life when in search mode following approximately 200 hours’ of being in the mode to transmit.

Twenty Percent Lighter
The Tracker 3 is twenty percent lighter in weight and size than the Tracker 2. Just as the Tracker 2 has, this tracking device has a display screen that is in real-time, as well as an additional third antenna, and capable of indicating several buried victims.

Excellent Range
This device has a search range of fifty meters. That is one hundred and fifty feet! This is a remarkably large area in which to have the ability to search for lost or trapped victims following an avalanche.

Cost and Value
Backcountry Access makes wonderful tracking devices and the Tracker 3 is no exception. Once you try out this device (hopefully, the first time will only be practice) you are going to love how accurately it pinpoints whatever it is you are searching for. The actual price is a little more than other tracking units, however, this little tool is going to invaluable and you will be glad you invested in it should its need ever arise.

4. BCA Tracker DTS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
 BCA Tracker DTS
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
96
Features
95
Connectivity
96
Effectiveness
96
Portability
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

A needed item for Alpine sports

Simple to use

Excellent start-up kit

Functional and affordable

Has quick deployment

Cons:

Not as fast as other trackers

Pole is made cheap

The BCA Tracker DTS is an avalanche beacon and probe is the first digital receiver available worldwide with multiple functions. The digital revolution began with this tracking device by BCA; it has a history of fine products that are strong and reliable.

Real-Time Digital Display
BCA really outdid itself by creating a real-time digital display that shows in red LED lighting in both the direction as well as in distance. Showing distance in meters and the location is shown in lights which indicate which direction to go toward the beacons that are transmitting.

Two Antennas Transceiver
In 1997 this BCA Tracking device was the first of its kind to have a transceiver with two antennas.
The only downfall is the range is shorter than other tracking devices of its type and many of the other tracking units similar to this one have controls that are easier to use.

Cost and Value
This tracking device is going to prove it worth the moment you turn it on. With all its modern amenities, BCA has gone above and beyond in providing the best service possible. The actual price may be a little high at first glance; however, once you see what all is available for this price you will find that it is invaluable.

5. Pieps DSP Sport

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Pieps DSP Sport
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
94
Features
94
Connectivity
95
Effectiveness
95
Portability
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$299.95
Pros:

3 Beacon antenna

60-meter digital range

Send mode has 600-hour battery life

Lightweight, yet sturdy

Transmits outside standard human frequency

Cons:

The plastic piece on the unit was broken

The screen died after a short time

The Pieps DSP Sport Avalanche Beacon is the ideal tracking device for those people who are avid outdoor and mountain professionals, backcountry skiers, and split boarders. This brand of avalanche beacon is rated at being one of the highest levels of beacons designed for the backcountry. This beacon has a three antennae system which assures a more precise search than two antennae can afford.

Sixty-meter Range
This device offers the user a full sixty meters of range when doing a search for lost or buried victims. It has a variety of functions available to allow for flagging down where each victim is; this allows for the person you are working with to be able to start digging them out as you continue the search for more victims.

A Victim Selection Scanner
This is a feature which is capable of doing an overall scan of the area and finding the three victims that are closest to where you are looking. Another great feature is if you are in receiving mode and get trapped up, after a few minutes this beacon will switch to send automatically, sending your rescuers a signal to lead them to your location.

Cost and Value
You will find this handy little unit has extreme life-saving value. It weighs only eight ounces when the batteries are in it; however, it is huge in its abilities to save your life or the life of others.

6. Ortovox Zoom +

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Ortovox Zoom +
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
94
Features
93
Connectivity
94
Effectiveness
93
Portability
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$246.95
Pros:

Smart antenna

Has secondary switchover

LEDs to improve visibility

Visual and acoustic search modes

40-meter search range

Cons:

The holster is a little too tight

Older units may have weak reception

This is an avalanche transceiver made by Ortovox and it has Smart Antenna Technology. What this means it has the capability to examine the precise location in which the antenna is in regards to responding to an avalanche and will routinely adjust itself to the antenna with the most optimal transmission.

Has a Secondary Switchover
If the transceiver does not register any form of a motion for 120 seconds when in search mode, it will switch itself back to transmission mode automatically. This guards the rescue team at all times from follow up avalanches.

Searches are visual and Acoustic
In order to make it easier to locate the victim, there are LED lights available. These LEDs are large and simple to decipher, particularly when there are dimly lit or poor lighting situations. Acoustics aid the unit when it is in a visual searching mode. As you approach the victims of an avalanche this mechanism will start to transmit some high, rapid noises to make you aware you are getting close.

Cost and Value
The Ortovox Zoom+ is going to prove its value to you the moment you turn it on to use it. This handy little device is small and easily fits in your backpack or pocket. The switchover buttons alone make this item invaluable because just the push of a button one can go from transmission to search mode.

7. ARVA Neo+

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
ARVA Neo+
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
93
Features
93
Connectivity
92
Effectiveness
92
Portability
92
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$349.95
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$349.95
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Pros:

70-meter range

Numerous buried pointer

4+ marking position

Auto switchback after 4 minutes inactivity

Alarm alert when passing a buried victim

Cons:

The plastic harness may crack

Pricier than other beacons

This avalanche beacon made by ARVA is one of the strongest made. It has a range of seventy meters—the most of any other beacon made by ARVA. It is finely tuned with a triple antenna to ensure the effectiveness of the product.

Search to send switch
With the ease of pushing a button, you can go from burial marking to searching while the unit is still in its harness. Beacon adjusts from search to send after just four minutes of no noticeable movement, in the event you should get caught up yourself in an avalanche while searching for others.

A harness like no other
Made durable, this harness allows the wearer to put it on and take it off with ease, without the chance of it turning off. While you are in the mode for searching, should you be about to pass up another beacon, the Neo+ will give you an alert to notify you.

Cost and Value
The Neo+ Beacon is an invaluable piece of tracking equipment that goes beyond monetary values. Once you become aware of all the features available to your with this device, you will wonder how you ever went skiing, snowboarding or hiking without it.

8. Black Diamond Guide BT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Black Diamond Guide BT
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
91
Features
92
Connectivity
92
Effectiveness
91
Portability
91
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$390.95
Pros:

Permits usage with older analog beacons

Points are a soft touch for easier management

The storage pouch is comfortable

Well-suited to work with Pieps TX600

Can update software with Bluetooth or USB

Cons:

Processor is slow

Hard to set device from sent to search

The Black Diamond Guide BT is a beacon that has a 60-meter range that is circular. It has functions for marking buried victims as well as scanning the area for other victims. It also has Bluetooth capability and an antenna with an automatic switch. This beacon offers industrial and professional performance to the user.

Bluetooth Function
Beacon has Bluetooth connection which permits the ability to control the settings, update software, and optimizes the use of your smartphone's battery. There is also a self-check capability which makes sure the antennas are consistently on target.

Flag Numerous Burials
The Black Diamond beacon provides a feature which allows the user the capability to flag a number of buried victims following an avalanche. This device gives consistency in the tracking and signaling of which areas the victims are buried.

Cost and Value
When you purchase the Black Diamond beacon, you are going to be very pleased with this tracking unit. You will find it to be invaluable in locating buried or lost victims following an avalanche.

9. Pieps Micro

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.2
Pieps Micro
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
90
Features
90
Connectivity
90
Effectiveness
91
Portability
90
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$287.95
Pros:

The chest harness is light in weight

40-meter search range

90-day return/exchange policy

Large digital display

Bluetooth wireless updates

Cons:

Difficult to use

The trouble with it switching for a search to send

This tiny micro transceiver made by Pieps is the lightest weight, 3-antenna beacon you can buy. This tracking unit has all the technology of a patented sensor along with wireless device organization that one can expect from a next-gen Pieps transceiver.

Large Display
This Pieps device has an extra large display for such a tiny little unit which makes visibility and readability much easier. It is able to clearly flag for any lost or buried persons following an avalanche or other emergencies.

40 Meter Search Range
This micro transceiver has a 40-meter circular search range and can flag for numerous burials if needed. Bluetooth wireless app capability for managing wireless updates is another feature that aids in the rescue effort.

Cost and Value
The Pieps Micro is a mere 106 x 74 x 20mm—for those not familiar with metric measurements, that is 4.2 x 2.9 x 0.78 inches! This little tracking device will prove its value beyond monetary means the instant you turn it on.

10. Black Diamond Recon BT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
 Black Diamond Recon BT
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
89
Features
90
Connectivity
90
Effectiveness
90
Portability
89
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$298.90
Pros:

60-meter circular search range

Multiple burial markings

Comfortable carrying pouch

Pieps iProbe compatible

Updates via Bluetooth or USB available

Cons:

Battery power will not last in Bluetooth mode

Cannot track analog transceivers

If you are looking for a way to get rapid, efficient searches, then the Black Diamond Recon BT Avalanche Beacon is just the device you have been searching for. Streamlined with Bluetooth capabilities; this unit even has soft-touch contact points which allow for even better management.

Multiple Flag Capability
The device comes equipped with a marking task which allows for the flagging of numerous burials at one time. It also has a circular range of sixty meters for searching lost or buried victims.

Bluetooth for Software Updates
There is Bluetooth capability available for making updates to the device’s software. However, you should never have it in Bluetooth mode when in avalanche terrain due to the battery will lose power.

Cost and Value
A tracking device which is best for backcountry skiing events, you are going to love the way it can quickly track what you are searching for. In a life-or-death situation, this little machine is going to prove to be an invaluable resource to have.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Ease of Use

When looking for the best product, it is important that they are easy to use. The best are capable of handling many rigorous tests within the Cascades, Alaska, and Sierras. These were put to the toughest of tests, using new users to complete some test to determine just how easy these systems are to use. Following that, there are even tougher users permitted to test the beacons; users such as certified AMGA and ACMG ski guides, forecasters of avalanches, all this is done to prove just how simple their ease of use can be.

Features

There are several key features that are required if it is to work appropriately during heavy snowfall. Some of these features include a DTS and BCA tracking device, a device which shows digital features in real-time, a BTA Stealth probe, technology for dual antennas, and 240cm probe.

Connectivity

Modern beacons use several antennas in order to get an exact location; these beacons also have batteries in which hold a long life. This aids whenever there is a life-or-death situation which requires it to operate for long periods of time. It is imperative in life-or-death situations that these products have has good connectivity and are able to function well even in the deepest of snow settings.

Effectiveness

You will know that your product is effective if it is able to transmit and pinpoint the exact location of a person that has been lost in the snow. You do not want it to be constantly transmitting default signals if you want it to be able to pinpoint exactly where you are. How can you be certain it is effective? For example, if you are at a ski resort and you and twenty other people all have their own beacons, all are set to transmit as you were advised to do to protect yourself. Now, what if your friend goes off the trail and gets lost? How will your friend be located if there are nineteen other beacons transmitting in the same area?

In order to ensure it is effective always make sure you have it in the on position and set for transmitting anytime you are wearing it. The reason you should always have it turned on is that should you get injured, and be unable to turn it on, it will be continuing to transmit your location so that you can be found and rescued.

Portability

These products should be completely portable so the person wearing it can be assured that their location will be found should they ever get lost following an avalanche or any other emergency situation. The portability should be able to tell your location with a range of 30 to 60 meters.

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expert tips icon
Know What Gear to Have

Before you hit the slopes you need to know what type of transceiver you have. Some can automatically switch from digital to analog; others are continuously transmitting signals the instant they are placed in their holster.

Whenever you go out in the snow, you should never go alone. The people you go with should also be experienced and travel with the right equipment for rescuing such as shovels, beacons, probes, and some need an airbag. You need to ensure that when in avalanche territory, you carry all required equipment on your body. Even if it is hot and you are not wearing a lot of clothing; you still need to ensure you have your beacon strapped close to your body so if you get lost or injured, you will be able to be tracked by rescuers.

Digital Beacon is Best

With so many different manufacturers and brands to choose from, just picking out the right beacon to buy can be a contest itself. The best beacon to purchase is a digital one; and if possible, one that has three-antennas. This type of avalanche transceiver will cut down on the search time it takes to find buried people and beginning the digging out process faster to save lives.

While you are doing your research about the type of beacon you should buy; check out with friends what brand they own. All beacons work well together, so you do not really need to worry if your beacon will be compatible to theirs; you just need to ensure that the one you buy has the specifications that fit your needs.

Once you buy the beacon you feel fits your exact needs, do not just think that is it. You need to read all about how it works and how to effectively use it. You will need to learn what batteries the manufacturer recommends and how often you should change them out. Do some practice searches outside, by playing “hide and seek” with some of your friends, this ensures you know how to operate it.

Other Factors to Consider

Battery Life

The tracking device you purchase should have long battery life. The reason for this is that when you are out in the wilderness tracking buried victims following an avalanche, you do not want your device to lose power which could also result in lost lives. You want to find a beacon that has several hundred hours’ battery life while in search mode; this will ensure you have plenty of power to conduct a good search.

Never use rechargeable batteries in this type of transceiver. Not only do these have an issue with discharge, but their initial voltage output is much weaker than the alkaline type batteries. Another way to maintain and extend the battery life of your transceiver device is to always change all the batteries in the unit at the same time. Also, it is imperative that you use the same brand batteries, digital transceivers are sensitive to the change in amperes that different batteries carry.

Advanced Features

When looking for the perfect option, you need to check out any advanced features that the device has. Advanced features such as Bluetooth or USB capability for doing updates to the software of your transceiver is one feature that is good to have. When you are out in the wilderness, you are going to want to ensure that the tracking unit you use has the necessary updates to the software that are required for it to work sufficiently.

Compatibility

Is the tracking beacon you plan on purchasing compatible with other digital or analog beacons? This is an important question you should know the answer to. The reason this is important is that if it is not compatible with other devices you will have difficulty locating victims that are buried in the snow if their device is not compatible with yours.

Also, are the new beacons available compatible with older versions? The answer to this question is an important one. Sometimes when a manufacturer makes a new, improved version of a current device it may not have any compatibility with the older versions that others may already have. This would not work to your advantage if in a life-or-death situation your beacon had no compatibility with your victims.

Responsiveness

When you are looking for an avalanche beacon, you need to ensure that the one you choose has good responsiveness. The way a transceiver responds to the signals received from other beacons can literally be the difference between a person’s life and death.

Terrain

A good option is going to be one that works well in any terrain, especially mountainous terrain such as where avalanches happen. Beacons are carried by skiers and snowboarders in the event they are trapped under the snow. The beacon they purchase and carry with them should be able to be picked up by rescuers in all terrains.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: If a person has a different beacon than the others in a group; will it still be compatible and pick up a signal?

a:

Yes. All beacons generally pick up a standard signal to send and receive.

q: What if someone is out hiking has no cell coverage and breaks their leg? Will the Black Diamond Pieps DSP sports beacon tracking device be able to find them?

a:

Unfortunately, no. This beacon is not a satellite tracking device. It is meant for backcountry use while skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. It is used to help find someone who has been trapped underneath the snow. This device will only work in finding a person within 60 meters of the search team; so the person would need to be within this range to be found.

These products are only designed to find a person buried in the snow. The situation you mention in your question would need more of a GPS tracking system to find them.

q: If you have a Backcountry Access Tracker 2 or 3 is it necessary to also have the same tracker or can any other manufacturer’s device work as well?

a:

The answer to this question is yes. Beacons made within the last fifteen years that have a frequency of 457 kHz are all interchangeable with one another. However, any models that are older than fifteen years have one of two standard frequencies—one is European and the other North American. These may or may not be compatible with each other.

q: Do all trackers come with a harness to hold the device in?

a:

The harness for trackers is slowly being phased out. The reason for this is that they are now getting small enough to fit in one’s pocket and when the device is kept closer to the body it is easier to locate the person trapped.

q: What makes the Backcountry Access tracker 3 better than the tracker 2 device, even though the description of them makes them seem similar?

a:

The BCA Tracker 3 has three antennas which give it a slightly better appeal than the tracker 2. The devices with three antennas are better because they have the capacity to track the number of burial sites, and you are able to segregate one signal from the others. There is a digital distance readout that is also supportive as well as there being audible assistance. The audible assistance creates a beeping sound as you near the subject; the frequency increases the closer you get which makes it quicker to recover a burial site and its victim(s).

q: What are transceivers and what are they used for?

a:

Wherever you go skiing in the backcountry, it is imperative that all members of the party are wearing some form of transceiver device. An avalanche transceiver is used to track a person who has been buried in the snow. An avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe are all necessities when in the backcountry.

q: How do these transceivers work?

a:

Electromagnetic signals. The person who is trapped has a transceiver that emits signals in which are picked up by the transceiver belonging to the person who is looking to rescue them. If it is an analog transceiver it sends out audible sounds along with LED lights as a signal. A digital transceiver has the technology to locate the exact distance and place the victim is located at.

q: How much has the avalanche transceivers evolved over the years?

a:

The first transceivers transformed the signals from a radio into easy to hear sounds that grew louder as you got nearer to a buried victim. As the years passed, LEDs were added to analog transceivers, allowing for more visibility in signals besides just audible ones. Ear buds were then added, which gives the user an even clearer sound.

Digital transceivers have improved even more by the many advances in technology. These advances allow for the buried persons transceiver to send a signal that can be picked up by the rescue workers transceiver.

q: What are the differences of transceivers that have one, two, or three antennas?

a:

The search mode is the biggest advantage there is when your transceiver has multiple antennas. When your transceiver has two antennas guide you on how to adjust the position of your antenna to line it up with the flux lines of the transceiver involved in your search. The third antenna, which is found on the new transceivers, is used in the last stage of the search and aids you as you are getting closer to the victim.