Never Be Complacent In The Great Outdoors

Complacency kills. Many of the people who have lost their lives in New Zealand’s outdoor regions have fallen victim to being unprepared and not expecting the unexpected. The use of PLB in NZ is a case in point. Personal locator beacons save lives, but they are not used as much as they should be. We Kiwis are remarkably laidback, and this is a good thing on most occasions - but not when it comes to hiking, climbing, sailing or any other outdoor activity that challenges us physically and takes us well beyond our own back yard.

A modern PLB is hardly a hindrance to purchase or to carry. It is smaller than the older-style beacons, lightweight and highly portable, incredibly accurate in telling searchers where the device (and the lost person) are located and extremely reliable in terms of performance, functionality and battery life e.g. a 10 year battery life is not uncommon in the beacons we sell. 

We firmly believe that a PLB in New Zealand should be an essential item for everyone getting off the beaten track, or heading out to sea. Even when going into areas that are familiar, things can change, making a well-known setting a dangerous and challenging one. Sudden weather changes are hardly uncommon in New Zealand and can make conditions so treacherous that it’s impossible to continue. Meanwhile, injury can render someone immobile and if this happens, a Personal Locator Beacon can lead searchers to their stationary target.

As we’ve said, complacency can be a killer. Not investing in a PLB is one instance of that “it’ll be right” approach that can be a highly dangerous one when the unexpected occurs. It’s part and parcel of that presumption that everything will be OK. That’s why people head into the outdoors with inappropriate clothing, inadequate supplies, and inferior equipment. Weather forecasts aren’t checked, routes aren’t planned and people are not advised as to what’s happening. There’s an alarming lack of knowledge about the symptoms of dehydration or hypothermia, or local climactic conditions. When the basics are ignored, it’s little wonder that bad things happen when everything turns to custard. And in this country, were maritime and alpine conditions can change in an instant, things can turn to custard before we even know it.

It would be great if we could all take a more sensible approach to outdoor activities. We’ll certainly help you get prepared if you’re keen to get out there in safer style. Because while it’s fun to enjoy New Zealand’s beautiful backyard, it’s also a cool feeling to get home safely again.