New Beacon Pouch

| January 6, 2011

As part of my lightening-up bender, my old beacon pouch got the chop and was replaced with a new one.  The old one was fine, but it succumbed to the Law Of Luggage, which states that the amount of crap you take with you will fill all existing carrying space and then some.  It was a fine pouch, but it was too heavy as I always had it filled with junk because I could.  Plus, it had a pocket for a GPS/cell phone/multi tool right next to the beacon, which caused E22 messages – electronic interference.  My old pouch is on the left, the new one on the right.

A seamstress friend of mine described projects like this as “sewing doll clothes” because they are small, complicated and in my case, involve a lot of seam ripping, profanity and redoing.  I use to start from scratch, but now the first thing I do when I’m building a small custom case is to stop by WalMart.  I know, they are evil and kill kittens, but they also have TONS of little zip-up camera bags, as was the case with this one.  I brought my beacon in and it perfectly fit into a $9.00 Case Logic bag, complete with padding, a main pocket and an external pocket.  Beacon zen.

The above photo shows the contents of my new case; beacon, chamois cloth, small waterproof notepad, a sawed-off pen and an optional camera battery.  I stitched a little loop on the bottom which I’ve threaded a mini biner through (sliver biner on left of case).  I like having a clip-in point on my beacon case either for clipping it off in a tent to keep it from getting lost, or so I can clip off a pair of gloves so I don’t have to put them in the snow while I’m dicking with gear or when I take them off for skinning.  I also eliminated one of the fastex buckle sets, which means the case doesn’t have as much adjustment, but it fits me and is clean and smooth under my jacket/pack.

Weight-wise it only saves a few grams/ounces, but it is smaller and not as hot, which is good.  It has also inspired gear envy in my wife and friends, which is invaluable.

Help support and fill your new beacon case with a Pieps DSP Smart Transmitter from Click on the photo below…

Category: Projects

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (11)

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  1. Dave B says:

    Nice setup Andrew. Did the straps come sewn on the pouch or did you add these? And how are the attachement points setup with the harness, over the shoulder?

    Q, have you tried skiing with your DSP attached in a zippered pocket? What do you think of that method? annoying?

    I really like the walmart option and kind of have a bit of gear envy……I may have to get the head down to to the local market.

  2. Mike says:


    Why not forgo the pouch completely and carry it Euro style in your front pocket. If you go all the way with tight touring pants your friends will be able to entertain themselves with “Yo dude, is that a beacon in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

  3. dug says:

    is this what you do when you’re watching modern family? coincidence that modern family was on last night and you’re posting this today?

    i think not.

  4. Dun says:

    Why dont you get rid of the whole carrying case and just put the beacon in your pocket, connected to you zipper witha little bungee?

  5. Andrew says:

    Mike – I modified my beacon tether so I could totally unclip it and carry it Euro Pocket Style, although I seldom do. As much as anything, I’m afraid of it getting banged up, or worse yet, lost when I forget to zip up the pocket.

  6. Andrew says:

    Dave – I used the webbing from the original Pieps harness and just transferred it over to my new one, minus one set of fastex buckles.

  7. Dave says:

    Lovin’ the alt-tag subliminals. I have no desire to visit those other bc ski blogs. Way too boring. So when are we going to get your wisdom on cameras?

  8. Smokey says:

    Your old one looked to have a bit of courduroy and buttons? Out with the hippie pouch…unless you planned to tele with it.

  9. Andrew says:

    Dave – I have no idea what you are talking about. ;)
    I’m currently holding steady on a Canon G9, but if that broke I’d look at a G11 or maybe the S90. I have a Pentax Optio W80 which is indestructible, yet image quality brings tears to my eyes.

  10. Nick says:

    Laughing at the alt tags, thanks for pointing those out dave.
    I put my beacon in the belly pocket of my bibs, seems like a fairly protected spot (perhaps I should add some padding to the outside? my belly is already padded). I did away with carrying my beacon strapped to me as I regularly am in just a single layer- I was worried a slide might rip it off. Any thoughts on that?

  11. seth de Loki says:

    Andrew, I could alleviate glove dickering, clipping, cleaning, removing, removing snow from gloves when you drop them, or just provide you an annoying back-up for your oft exposed digits, though they excelled on Denali -20. Vail Daily photographers dig the minimal fiddling too. I wish I could make a better image producing indestructible camera. I just make loki. get’s better every year…

    I’m a fan regardless of your attire. ;]

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