Rocky from The Goat sent me a heads up on newly-svelte ACR MicroFix Personal Locater Beacon due out this spring.

In case you don’t know, these little gizmos are basically the outdoorsman’s Ultimate Panic Button. If you’re about to kick the bucket in the Great Outdoors, you activate your beacon and it sends out an S.O.S. that alerts local authorities to your exact location (within about 100m). It doesn’t tell them exactly what the problem is, but it let’s ’em know you need help.

When I first read this, I – like Rocky – was worried more people would be picking these things up and using them the second they wander twenty feet off-trail and panic. ACR hasn’t published prices yet, but most beacons will run you anywhere from five to seven hundred bucks, so I’m betting the Casual Hiking Crowd isn’t running down to REI for an impulse buy anytime soon.

And as we all know, in technology, the smaller, the pricier.