I finally got an SOS Emergency locator beacon.

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,627
Southern California
I purchased the ACR Bivy Stick SOS Emergency locator beacon and used it on my last camping trip. I was impressed with how well it worked. Here is the short video I made telling a little about it. I think the Android app needs a little work. It does have some minor bugs in it. But I've been working with the ACR Bivy stick Tech Support folks regarding those bugs. They assured me that the issues will be corrected in the next update to the app.

 

Oldspurs

Active Member
Jan 2, 2022
105
Central Texas
Glad to hear it. Please update when you receive the next update. I watched your video when you put it out. I asked several questions, I am very interested in the Bivy Stick. Thanks for the information Brother. See you on the trail.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,627
Southern California
I think it works as well as anything on the market. Something that I especially like about it is the credit roll-over feature. I started out with 80 credits on my account when I activated it. I did not use all of the credits last month. So the remaining 15 just rolled over to this month. Even on the cheapest plan, I don't think I'll ever use all of the credits. I used the Weather feature once or twice just to see how it works. I will never use the Tracking feature. I have another app that will do that off-grid. The only drawback to the Stick is that to get all of the benefits out of it you need to Pair it with a smart phone. In the stand-alone mode, meaning no cellphone, about all you can do is send out an SOS asking for help, and send out pre-programmed Check-in messages. Two-way communication is not possible. The Spot-X and the Garmin iReach give you the ability to write a TEXT message on the device itself. But believe me, it is far easier to pair them with a smartphone to communicate with. As I said in the video, my cell phone has a "Voice to TEXT" app. Meaning I just speak the message I want to send and the phone automatically types it in the Stick for me. It even spells better than I do! I can see where this can be a big advantage if your hands are cold or you are badly hurt and just can't type on the very small keyboard on the other devices. So even if you do have the Garmin or the Spot-X, you are going to want to pair them with your phone.

In much of the advertising for the other devices, they talk about the need to use your cellphone for two-way communication. And that "their Device" has its own keyboard that you can use if your cellphone battery goes dead. All of that is true. But the SOS communicator also has a battery that can go dead over time as well. A dead battery is not limited to just the phone. So no matter which communicator you buy, I suggest investing is some sort of small Solar powered phone charger to re-charge both if necessary. If you are going on a short off-grid day hike you may not need one. But if you are walking the Pacific Coast Trail for example and will be off-grid for a week or more, you are going to need to re-charge at some point. I'm looking into buying one now.

When I purchased my Stick, the price was $199.95 on Amazon. I see that the price has been rasied back up to $274.95 on the ACR Bivy Stick we page. If you are going to buy one, shop around on other sites. Many of the other outlets sites have not raised their price yet. But I'm sure they will soon. I just did a Web search and found that a site called BlackOvis.com is still advertising them for $199.99. I am not promoting that site. I'm just saying that other sites are out there. I even found a site called SACKLELE that has them for $98.00. I would be very suspicious of that site though. Just saying...
 




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