I have an older BCA Tracker beacon and have been using the harness/case with it since I bought it 6 years ago. Over time it has gotten annoying having the beacon on the side of my ribs, which is where the harness is designed to carry the beacon. It makes it uncomfortable to put my skins in my midlayer jacket with the beacon there as well. I am thinking of modifying the harness so the beacon is over the center of my ribs or just put it in my pocket jacket (zipped pocket) and sew in something to clip the lanyard to. Any thoughts on options?
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm Posts: 1416 Location: UT
Zipped pants pocket. The idea of having anything on my chest, diaphragm or stomach during a burial freaks me out. Luckily many apparel mfg are starting to address this with dedicated (pants) beacon pockets with clips.
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Thanks Snurfer. I saw a guide do that and it seemed easier but I wasn't sure about lifting the beacon with every step while hiking. I have hiked with my cell phone in my front pocket before and it seems to restrict movement just a bit. I'll probably try it in my back pocket next time out and see how it feels. I can pretty easily sew a clip into a pocket.
I keep mine in my front pocket. It prevents fumbling with your chest zippers and loosing much needed heat, and dexterity during a rescue. I've talked to the owners of a few companies who make transceivers, as well as guides and other experienced pros. It is becoming the preferred mode of carry to carry it in a interior pocket of your pants, not an exterior pocket like a cargo and definitely held in by a zipper, not just velcro.
One downfall is that it is locate further from the center of your torso if you are buried. which can lead to a slightly longer time for a rescuer to reach your face, as well as longer to reach the beacon to turn it off.
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:08 pm Posts: 163 Location: Squamish, BC
In its harness. I feel so...conventional. Mammut Element, dunno, I kind of like wearing it. I sewed the adjustable strap so it always sits right where I want it. I guess it rotates around towards my side a bit sometimes but it's low on my list of things I'd improve.
If I had bibs with a chest pocket that's big enough then I would keep it there but my touring bibs are Arc'teryx Theta SVs and the pockets are barely big enough to fit my phone, no way my transceiver is going to fit. I also wear different pants for lifts and it would be kind of annoying switching back and forth. I guess 15 years of strapping beacon over one shoulder and around the waist has made me pretty comfortable with it. I did switch it from my right side to my left side this year to get it further from my cell phone and put my body in between the two.
I use the harness for my beacon. It doesn't annoy me either. I would recommend using gear with "beacon" pockets if you go that route. I believe those pockets are reinforced to take a little more abuse than standard gear.
It is kind of a weird thing and obviously you need to do what you are comfortable with. Better to have your beacon in a pocket than to not bring one at all...