The Electronic Halo Might Have Horns: Batteries, Beacons and Smartphones

Submitted by Doug Chabot on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:02

I never thought I’d be concerned about my electronics while cruising around the backcountry, but I am. Carrying a cell phone, satellite phone, GPS, avalanche beacon, SPOT Messenger, and a VHF radio means my electronic signature rivals a high tension power line. I hope I don’t have to start lugging around a car battery to keep everything powered. Most people in the backcountry are not as wired as me, but a smartphone and beacon are staples for most backcountry travelers. The beacon is a literal lifeline, the most important piece of electronic safety equipment we carry. Its function is crucial to survival. As I slowly added to my electronic arsenal over the years I began to wonder, “Do all these other devices interfere with the function of my avalanche beacon?”

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