Avalanche safety is all about team work. You need to know who you are travelling with, that they are carrying the right gear, and they know how to use it. The reality is if you are in an avalanche scenario and buried, your chance of survival is with your team members. Do they have an avalanche transceiver, know how to use it and know how to dig a victim out. The Snow-Beacon goes against this process. The Snow-Beacon only transmits a signal and does not have a switch to receive. This means that someone who has one cannot participate in a rescue.
One could argue that the Snow-Beacon Priced at $75 is a way to add safety to those who can't afford a $300 BCA beacon, but isn't a life worth more than $225. My answer is yes. If you are anywhere near an avalanche you need to spend the money and time to have the proper equipment and know how to use it.
I also fear that people buying these, being "less educated and in less dangerous areas" will miss the point that these do not work for rescuing someone. What happens when the kids leave Dad, who has the only beacon that can receive a signal. Do they have a false sense of security? Do they realize that they can't perform a recovery? You should not be in avalanche terrain if you do no know the signs and consequences.
This product is a total miss in my opinion and has the potential to endager more lives than not.
Harsh. Yes. I am only trying to spread the standards of the avalanche industry.
Here is a video of the TGR Team training together in avalanche and backcountry safety. We recommend anyone travelling in avalanche terrain to find a course, read books, and get the proper gear.
And a few tips from Jeremy Jones