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Safety Equipment for hire

406 MHz EPIRBs and PLBs; Avalanche transceivers

Part 1 - Decision time: Do you need an EPIRB, a PLB, or an avalanche transceiver?

Important decision! The fact that you have already found our page suggests that you already know something about emergency beacons/transceivers, so we won't put a lot of detail about them here. Each type of device is suitable for different situations. Remember, though, that carrying or activating an emergency device cannot of itself guarantee a timely response.


image of fastfind PLB image of KTI PLB image of KTI EPIRB

It is important to understand the main differences between EPIRBs and PLBs (we won't cover Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) here).

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is an emergency beacon designed to float in water and operate for a minimum of 48 hours.
A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is an emergency beacon for personal use, designed to operate for a minimum of 24 hours. PLBs are often carried:
If you do not have a specific need to carry an EPIRB, we recommend that you carry a PLB as they are much smaller and lighter. Obviously this doesn't apply if you are required to carry an EPIRB.

Digital (406 Mhz) GPS-enabled beacons determine their location prior to transmitting this location and the beacon's unique reference number. This signal is received and actioned by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) in Canberra, ACT.

More detailed information is available on the website of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (opens in a new tab).

  1. Carrying an EPIRB or PLB does not mean that you should exceed your ability. Always be safe, know your limitations and respect the conditions.
  2. Outdoor activities can be dangerous. People have been badly hurt or have died in accidents, severe weather conditions, or due to medical conditions where medical assistance was not available.
  3. Carrying or activating an emergency device cannot of itself guarantee a timely response.

Avalanche rescue transceivers and related equipment

image of Mammut Barryvox transceiver
Mammut Barryvox transceiver

Snow sports are dangerous. People have been badly hurt or killed in avalanches.

In some places there is a risk of avalanche, and people can be buried under the snow. One of the ways that someone in this situation can be found is by using avalanche transceivers to locate the person.

An avalanche transceiver is carried by someone and set to the 'send' mode. In order to find a person who has one of these transceivers, the searcher sets their transceiver to the 'search' mode. The transceiver helps the searcher focus their search. The search can then be finetuned with avalanche probes, and finally, snowshovels are used to recover the patient.

We offer the Mammut Barryvox rescue transceivers for collection in Melbourne CBD and Cheltenham. Please refer to the Barryvox user manual (opens in a new tab).

  1. Transmitters and magnets will interfere with the performance of an avalanche transceiver. Don't carry other transmitters within 30cm of an avalanche transceiver.
  2. Disable non-essential phones and smart watches when you are using an avalanche transceiver!
  3. Ensure that a transceiver is functioning properly prior to use.
  4. Learn safety techniques - undertake an Avalanche Safety course.
  5. Carrying an avalanche transceiver does not mean that you should exceed your ability. Always be safe, know your limitations and respect the conditions.
  6. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions - there are special instructions for users who have a pacemaker.
  7. Carrying or activating an emergency device cannot of itself guarantee a timely response.

What about Satellite communications?

We don't offer satellite phones. However, the ZOLEO ZL-1000 Satellite Communicator is a great alternative.

image of ZOLEO ZL1000 Satellite communicator
ZOLEO ZL-1000 Satellite communicator

This excellent device allows you to send messages and one-press check-in messages via the Iridium network.

Check out these features:
  1. Free ZOLEO app available from Apple and Android stores
  2. Send and receive SMS-type messages via Bluetooth connection to your phone
  3. The ZOLEO app automatically uses cellular/wifi where possible, and via satellite when cellular/wifi is not available
  4. One-press button to tell your nominated contacts that you are OK, with your location
  5. Access your phone contacts in the ZOLEO app
  6. Dedicated SOS button
  7. Recharge via USB
The device has a RRP of $345 (incl GST) and plans start at $32/month (plus $40 once-off activation fee).

More detailed information is available on the ZOLEO product website (opens in a new tab).

Part 2 - Hire rates

Item 2 days 3-6 days 7-13 days 14+ days Information
PLB or EPIRB 50 55 60 for the first 7 days and then $5/ day Ask us instructions
Avalanche pack (1) 110 130 130 for the first 7 days and then $10/ day Ask us
Avalanche transceiver (2) 75 95 100 for the first 7 days and then $8/ day Ask us instructions
Snow probe/shovel/etc Please see our hike/camp/snow page

(1) An avalanche pack comprises an avalanche transceiver, a snow probe, and a snow shovel.
(2) The Mammut Barryvox transceiver requires 3 AAA Alkaline batteries. You should fit 3 new batteries prior to use of the transceiver.

Prices do not include delivery and are as at July 2020.
In addition to our hire fee, we require a deposit, refundable upon return of the equipment.

Special offers:

Hires for end-to-end long distance walks:
AAWT (up to 60 days) - $110
Bibbulmun Track (up to 60 days) - $110
Heysen Trail (up to 60 days) - $110
Larapinta Trail (up to 21 days) - $95

Avalanche Skills Training (AST1) course participants:
Hire an Avalanche pack, a pair of Yowie snowshoes and a pair of trekking poles.
2 days - $145 (collect the evening before, return the evening after)
3-4 days - $160 (collect the evening before, return the evening after)

Back country adventure pack for two people (3-4 days):
Two Avalanche Transceivers, two pairs of Yowies snowshoes, 1 PLB - $250
Two Avalanche packs, two pairs of Yowies snowshoes, 1 PLB - $320

We have a selection of guidebooks available for sale.

Customers of -
Get a discount off our hire fee if you have purchased anything from one of these businesses in the 60 days prior to the date you collect your hire beacon. Just show us your receipt!

Part 3 - Collection and return

Collection and return is possible at the following locations:

Map of emergency device collection locations
Adelaide Glenunga
Albany Albany
Alice Springs Alice Springs
Cairns Cairns CBD
Darwin Berrimah
Gold Coast Coolangatta
Hobart Hobart CBD
Kalgoorlie Kalgoorlie
Melbourne Cheltenham
Narooma Narooma
Newcastle Newcastle
Perth Duncraig
Sydney Haymarket
Thredbo Thredbo

*By arrangement - please give us as much notice as possible.

Other areas - shipping via Australia Post:
Clients in other areas can request delivery and return via Australia Post. Additional postage and insurance costs apply.
We cannot dispatch a device until we receive cleared funds to our bank account.
Deposits are remitted back to client's bank accounts once the device has been returned.

Please ensure that you book your device as early as possible!

Part 4 - How to proceed

  1. Consider whether you should purchase travel insurance for your trip.
  2. Please contact us either via our on-line enquiry form or by phone, or email.
    We can then advise whether we have a beacon/transceiver available for the duration of your trip, from your preferred collection and return location. If none of the collection and return locations above work for you, delivery and return of PLBs/avalanche transceivers is also possible via Australia Post at additional cost - please ask us.
  3. We will then confirm availability and ask you to provide specific information.
    For EPIRBs, PLBs or Avalanche transceivers, you will need to download, complete and send us our Beacon registration form/agreement (.docx format).
    Where required, we will register your trip with AMSA (not applicable for avalanche transceivers).
  4. We will provide instructions for the payment of the hire fee and deposit, and collection of the beacon/transceiver.
  5. Once you have collected your device, please refer to the beacon user manual extracts we have provided (see links above) - these extracts are worth printing and taking with you. Extracts for our PLBs are also provided in PDF format so you can save them to a mobile device.

Want to know more?

Phone us
0431 176 282
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