PLB for overlanding

Overlanding, broadly speaking, traveling over land, is becoming increasingly popular. Whether it concerns traveling with a motorcycle, a (4×4) camper or an off-road vehicle. Not only are more and more groups starting to venture out, we are also moving further into nature, further from civilization. Unfortunately, the risks associated with this are increasingly appearing in the news. From people stuck with their vehicles, to accidents in remote areas, medical emergencies or dangerous situations due to severe weather.

These are all situations in which you would prefer to seek emergency help as quickly as possible. Because we are moving further and further from civilization, the mobile network no longer provides the necessary coverage to send an emergency signal. You can practically always call the emergency services via a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) or Satellite Messenger, with just one push of a button. A PLB is mainly just in case, you prefer not to use it. But when necessary, the PLB1 is always ready to use, for up to 7 years, without charging! With the Bivy stick Satellite Messenger you stay in touch with friends and family, even when you are outside mobile coverage. In an emergency you can reach the emergency center 24/7 at the push of a button.

| For any type of overland trip or adventure

Why a PLB during an overland trip?

A satellite communicator helps you get out of unforeseen life-threatening situations. With one push of a button you send out a powerful emergency signal that is received by a global system of satellites. So it doesn’t matter whether you are in South America, Australia or Africa. The satellite system forwards the emergency call to a network of aid organizations, directing the request for assistance to a local search and rescue organization. The emergency beacon automatically shares your location so that the rescue operation can be initiated immediately.

A safety tip when overlanding is to always have a satellite emergency beacon with you.

Safe Outdoor Shop’s satellite communicators use global satellite systems so that you are no longer dependent on mobile network coverage. This means the beacons work worldwide and in remote areas*.
To keep the choice clear, we only offer two satellite communicators. The Personal locator beacon (PLB1) and the Satellite Messenger (Bivy Stick). In our opinion, the two best options for sending distress signals.

The PLB1 is for emergency use only and is always ready for use. The Bivy satellite messenger is a good, affordable replacement for a satellite phone, the purchase and running costs of which can be a significant investment.

*Works best with a clear view of the sky

Choose an Emergency Beacon or Satellite Messenger

The distress beacon (PLB1) is only for sending a distress signal. The Satellite Messenger (Bivy Stick) is also an alternative to the satellite phone and allows you to send text messages via satellite to friends and family. In addition, the EDF1 is a great addition to your Safe Outdoor kit. Because as soon as you are in need, you can use this LED emergency signal lamp to show everyone who is looking out for you where you are. The red LED light is so strong that you can see it at over >10km distance. For up to 6 hours.

| Call emergency services at the touch of a button

Satellite Messenger (Bivy Stick)


Do you also want to be able to send text messages to your friends and family via satellite and share your location? Then choose the ACR Bivy Stick (with subscriptions from €15). You can stay in touch via text message or email without mobile network coverage, even if there is no emergency. Of course, in the event of an emergency, you can send an SOS signal at the touch of a button.

The ACR Bivy Stick offers more functionalities than just sending a distress signal. The main features are:

  • Works in remote areas worldwide (Unobstructed view of the sky is required for a good signal)
  • Requires a subscription
    (view the subscriptions here)
  • 2-way communication possible
  • Iridium satellite network
  • Rechargeable batteries (up to 120 hours)
  • Connection with smartphone (Bivy App)
  • Also for non-urgent messages to family/friends (SMS/e-mail)
  • One-touch Check-in
  • Can also be used as a tracker
  • Waterproof, IPX7 rating

Personal locator beacons (PLB1)


The PLB1 can only be used in emergency situations and is very well equipped for this. A PLB is always ready for use, thanks to the battery that lasts up to 7 years without charging. This means you can use your mobile for more fun things, take photos, videos and send as many messages as you want. If you are in real distress, use your PLB and send an SOS distress signal via the officially recognized global search and rescue satellite network; Cospas Sarsat.

This satellite-controlled device sends an SOS signal to rescue services, along with your location. The main features are:

  • Works in remote areas worldwide (works best in clear view of the sky)
  • Dutch PLB permit costs approximately €40 per year
  • Homing signal (which allows a rescue helicopter to pinpoint your exact location)
  • No need to charge, the battery lasts seven years (or until use, it must be sent in for replacement)
  • No ability to send messages home or cancel an SOS call
  • Once activated, the device will continue to work for at least 24 hours, even at -20 ºC, even after it has been unused in the cupboard for (max.) 7 years (the PLB1 can be switched off yourself)
  • Stronger signal than a Satellite Messenger
  • Waterproof up to 15 meters

Increase your safety while backpacking
bakpacking with an emergency beacon
Bivy during offroading

The best satellite communicator for overlanding

While the PLB1 is only suitable for sending a distress signal (and is very good at this with a battery life of 7 years), the Bivy Stick has more interesting options for overlanders. In addition to allowing you to communicate with the emergency services before they respond, the Bivy Stick is full of other useful options for your overland trip. This way, family and friends can request your location – and you can of course share it yourself – but you can also stay in touch with them via text message or email. This contact also runs via satellites, making it a perfect and, above all, cheaper replacement for the satellite phone. In addition, you can easily track (and plan) routes with the Bivy Stick and share them. This of course has an effect on the battery life (max. 120 hours), but since you can charge the ACR Bivy Stick while driving, you will hardly ever end up with an empty battery.

Whether you choose the PLB1 or the Bivy Stick, don’t limit the use just to your vehicle. Also take the PLB1 or Bivy Stick with you during the activities you undertake while overlanding. Both greatly increase your safety while hiking, kayaking, kite surfing or horse riding. So whatever you’re going to do, it will be a lot safer with a PLB!

| The satellite phone alternative (Bivy Stick)

Successful rescues after using the PLB1

The PLB has already proven its added value during overlanding. Ideally, you only have it with you just in case, but you never use it. The fact that these motorcyclists were saved is largely thanks to a PLB.

Kevin had prepared the motorcycle trip through the Simpson Desert in Australia down to the last detail with his two friends. But none of that preparation could help them when he flew headfirst off his motorcycle, injuring his back. Well, almost nothing could help them. Although Kevin tried to continue driving, it quickly became clear that this was not possible. Fortunately, he had his PLB1 with him, with which the emergency services were called. A rescue operation was set up which would take nine hours to reach the three motorcyclists. However, the situation was so worrying that the medical specialists decided to call in a helicopter to transport Kevin to the hospital.

– Kevin, experienced motorcyclist

Take responsibility for your own safety and no longer be dependent on your mobile phone or casual passers-by.



When an experienced hunter and hiker from New-Zealand(70) ripped his Achilles-tendon while crossing a creek more than six hours from the nearest settlement he activated his PLB1. Within the hour a rescue helicopter with intensive-care paramedics hovered over him.


An experienced kite surfer went out to sea with two friends in wind force 6 without a contingency plan. When he fell into the cold water, released his kite and lost his board, disaster seemed inevitable. Fortunately, he immediately activated his PLB1, allowing the Dutch nautical rescue services to respond quickly and rescue him from the water.


Kevin had carefully prepared his motorcycle tour with two friends to cross the Simpson desert in Australia. However, when he fell over the front of his motorcycle and injured his back, his only option for rescue was activating his PLB1. Thanks to the PLB1, his friends were able to call for a rescue mission. A helicopter was necessary to swiftly carry him to the hospital for his grave injury.