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Backcountry Access Tracker DTS Beacon

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215 Reviews


Reliable and easy to use.

Through years of development and field testing, Backcountry Access has made the Tracker DTS Beacon incredibly intuitive so it's fast and easy to use when you're under the stress of a real search. It's no wonder that the Tracker DTS is one of the most popular beacons in the backcountry. The digital display shows you both the distance and direction to your buried buddy, and in addition to standard single-search mode, the Tracker DTS includes a special mode which will give you the distance and direction to all signals in a narrowed search range. This may be the difference between saving one of your friends or both of them, so practice, practice, practice.

  • Dual-antenna system allows quick and accurate searching
  • Special multi-burial search mode gives your friends better odds if more than one of them ends up under the snow
  • Direction and distance indicators make searching quick and efficient—just turn until the center arrow lights up, follow the transmission curve until the number reaches zero, then fine-search, probe, and shovel
  • Beacon automatically switches back to transmit mode after 10 minutes of inactivity in case you get caught by hang fire
  • Comfortable, easily accessed chest harness for touring
  • 200-hour batter life on transmit mode keeps you up and running most of the season
  • Wide body and large buttons make this beacon easy to manipulate with gloves on
  • Item #BCA0018

Tech Specs

Digital Range
40 m
Batteries Included
Battery Life
[search mode] 1 hour, [transmit mode] 200 hours
Harness Included
5.5 x 3.2 x 1.1 in
Claimed Weight
[including batteries] 9.2 oz
Recommended Use
backcountry touring
Manufacturer Warranty
5 years limited

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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Tried and True

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This has been my go to beacon for the past few years. It is incredibly easy to use, and reliable. Thankfully I have never had to use it in a real situation, but on beacon drill days it has never let me down once.


    Great beacon, tried and true, read comments on revamped harness and pouch. Thing is full-proof, simple and durable. Its really not missing much at all and if you can't explain why/what's it is missing w/o personal experience in the field, then its a great beacon for almost everyone. Tracker 2 is simple and great as well. Get whatever you are comfortable with/trained with in your Avy class.

    Simple and reliable

      Occasionally, gadgets with extra features of dubious functionality are actually cool, but, in the event of my own burial in the back country, I'm hoping that the folks searching for me will have simple, easy to use beacons in hand. The DTS's minimalist design is functional and intuitive to operate. The DTS has only two manual features, and a single display screen - there's an on/off switch on the back, a transmit/search mode button on the front, and a small digital window that indicates distance and direction while the beacon is searching.
      Ultimately, the best beacon is the beacon that you know how to use, and have trained with. The DTS is equipped with all of the features a modern beacon should have - three antennae is preferable - but, two antennae or three, the beacon is only a tool, and you're only safer owning one if you can effectively use it in the event of an emergency.

      Simplicity is key for me

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      While it doesn't have the furthest range or most technical of viewing displays, I feel that this simpleton gets the job done and at no inconvenience to the user. It's a little clunky, but that kind of comes with the territory. Hope to never have to use it, but I'm confident that if I have to I can rely on it. The simple display takes away guess work and overthinking. It shows accurate direction and distance and that's what really matters.

      Ole reliable! Simple and user friendly!

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I've had this for a few years now and I've used it quite a bit, outside of a real avy scenario (thankfully). I used it for my avy 1 cert as well as the refresher courses I do every year and just teaching friends how to properly use a beacon that are looking to explore the backcountry. Signal reads are pretty accurate, but I don't rely on them. I use triangulation to find my mock victims and I always find them, even to the point that I'm probing the actual beacon. Just the way I was taught how to use a beacon from my avy instructors.

      I've buried it in snow, have thrown it into snow(for people to find), and have toured with it for a few years. It's durable! I definitely recommend it, I personally think that it is the best bang for your buck beacon. It is somewhat bulky but you get use to it to the point that you don't notice it while traveling to your sick line.

      Hit me up if you have questions about gear or this beacon.

      Ole reliable! Simple and user friendly!

      Haven't used it much but so far so good

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      The Tracker avalanche beacon is great. The ease of use is the reason I selected this one to replace my old beacon. I also noticed that it has a better micro processor that my old beacon making reading come up quicker.

      solid, simple, trustworthy

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      This is what I learned on and what I trust. Who really needs multiple antennas? who wants to choose which friend they save first..? scary thought. Anyways, this beacon is solid, good battery life, and has never let me down.

      Keep it Simple

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Three people in our household use this beacon, as well as most people I know. It's simple to use, without loads of bells and whistles, which would be nice if it ever needed to be used in an actual SAR, which mine has not. It's also what the instructors used in two different avalanche courses in Alaska, which would have sold me on it if my husband hadn't already purchased it for me.

      My son just moved to utah and hits the...

      My son just moved to utah and hits the back country alone sometimes. I have no idea which tracker to buy for him? Would you recommend this one as a first time user?

      Exchange numbers! Should always travel with a partner in the backcountry. So I've found the best entry level beacon to be the BCA Tracker 2. Its super easy to use and has a triple antenna thats much more accurate and won't get thrown off by flux patterns.

      This is a great beacon but it takes practice to get used to. Tracker 2 is plug and play..

      I am starting to venture into the backcountry...

      I am starting to venture into the backcountry and need a transceiver. Is this the one to go with for a first time purchase?

      Best Answer

      Hey Matt, This would be a great beacon to start with. Its also going to be one you can continue to use as its really easy to use and they are really durable. Any beacon is better than no beacon and this one is among one of the best in the market. Let us know if you need anything else. We are available on chat 24/7

      I purchased my beacon about two years ago....

      I purchased my beacon about two years ago. It will no longer turn on. Where do I go for repairs?

      Is this a good beacon for mountaineering...

      Is this a good beacon for mountaineering use?

      Best Answer

      The Tracker DTS is a good entry level beacon for anyone that travels in avalanche terrain. It is easy to use, reliable, and accurate. It was really a breakthrough for beacons, but it only features two antennas. There are many 3 antenna options now that increase the speed and accuracy of searches (particularly multiple burial scenarios). If you rarely find yourself in avalanche terrain it is a perfect entry level beacon. As you become more experienced using it, you may find that you wish you had several functions not available on the DTS like marking burials.

      Understandably, the harness keeps the...

      Understandably, the harness keeps the beacon handy, but is there any reason one could not put it in a dedicated (chest) pocket? . . . thanks (my research hasn't dug this one idea up yet)

      Best Answer

      Bob, I have three reasons to add to Ben's:

      1. Batteries work much better if they stay warm, and will stay warmer if they are deep in your layers. This doesn't make much difference when spring skiing at +5C in BC, but can make a difference when out at -20C in the Yukon - not huge probably, but possible significant

      2. If it is always in the same place, you don't have to thrash around trying to figure out which layer it is in that day or at that moment

      3. (Probably the most important of my reasons) During the course of a day, you might put on and take off layers ten or twenty times (sometimes I go from three layers with shell to shirt-sleeves and back and again inside an hour)... it would be bad if the beacon ended up either getting dropped or put into your back-pack.

      I could be wrong, but I'm not sure about a jacket getting ripped off during a slide, at least if it is properly zipped up as it always should be on a descent, but being in a jacket certain increases the risk of it getting smashed.

      Hi there, my Tracker DTS has a broken...

      Hi there, my Tracker DTS has a broken battery latch. Can I send it in to be repaired, how much would it cost or would it be covered by warrenty?, cant remember how old the beacon is.

      thank you,
      Jason Neil, CSGA ski guide, PowderMountain Heliskiing/Catskiing

      Silly question - does this come with one...

      Silly question - does this come with one tracker or a pair?? And any comments on this vs the Mammut brand? thanks

      Hi- I'm not very knowledgable about these...

      Hi- I'm not very knowledgable about these beaons/trackers? i would like to get one for my son as he is planning to do some back country skiing again in BC, how do they work?

      Best Answer

      This tracker is the industry standard for beacons. Most cat/heli operations use these. In essence, when the beacon is in transmit mode, it sends a signal as to its location. Each beacon can also be switched to "search" mode to look for other beacons that are in the transmit mode. They're useful in that, if you have 2 or more people backcountry skiing, it enables one to search for the other if he/she is taken down in an avalanche and buried. They are absolutely essential to backcountry skiing.

      BCA has a very good link for education on their website here:

      They also have a good facebook channel that teaches you how to search, dig and probe properly here:

      has your DTS trackers have receivers...

      has your DTS trackers have receivers included? I would like to purchase one so if you could call me and discuss it with me.

      I have a pair of pretty old PIEPS 2's...

      I have a pair of pretty old PIEPS 2's (circa late 80's). They talk to each other just fine, but the DTS doesn't talk to either of them, or vice a versa. Is it a frequency thing, or maybe just a personal issue...

      Not sure what frequency PIEPS was using back pre-1986 (when were yours made?)before the universal international standard was changed to 457 kHz. If your transceivers can't find each other from a few feet away, it definitely sounds like a frequency problem.

      I can't find the specs on the PIEPS 2, so best to give them a call to see what they have to say-

      does this beacon compatible in search mode...

      does this beacon compatible in search mode with other beacons?

      Im thinking of which one to get the pieps...

      Im thinking of which one to get the pieps dsp or this which one is better? Or is the pieps worth the extra money.

      How's it compare to the Mammut Pulse? Is...

      How's it compare to the Mammut Pulse? Is it worth spending the extra money on the Mammut

      The BCA DTS is faster. I took an AIARE 1 course where we had a number of different beacons. The Pulse got 'confused' and took significantly longer to locate a beacon during trials. I was able to beeline with my DTS 1.

      Ultimately, whichever beacon you practice with regularly is the one you should use.

      Having owned and used both, I prefer the Pulse for it's multi-burial capabilities and I like GUI better on the Pulse. The claim that the DTS is "faster" is BS; both are equally as fast in a single burial situation given sufficient practice with each unit.
      The DTS can handle multiple burials, but we've noticed on several occasions that it gets bogged down and slows the more signals that are marked. This can be alleviated by turning the unit off and then back on again to clear the buffer, but then you lose your marked signals, and you lose time; very annoying. This is why I went with the Pulse in the end.

      The best beacon is the one you are most comfortable with and have the most practice with. Any and every avy instructor will tell you that. With that being said, the mammut beacon does have a lot more features, but the tracker is easier to use. If you like have the most technologically advanced stuff, and all the bells and whistles, than the mammut is the way to go. If you want something affordable, and easy to use, you can't ask for anything better than the tracker.

      Where can I take my beacon to get it fixed?...

      Where can I take my beacon to get it fixed? Would any ski shop be ok?

      Best Answer

      Hey Ryan, I wouldn't count on it, and it's not a good idea. Most, if not all, shops will refer you back to BCA's warranty dept. It's one of those pesky life/death/ have somebody look at it that knows exactly what they're doing type of liability things. Here's the link to save you some time:

      How do I get a new on/off dial for my...

      How do I get a new on/off dial for my tracker? Mine has fractured at the stem which is in back of the dial and will not do its thing.

      Hi Steve. To see if the beacon is still under warranty, go to . After that, just call BCA customer service at 800-670-8735. If it's under warranty, then you're covered. If not, there will be a charge to cover the cost. Hope that helps!

      Bruce E.

      dumb ? dose the this track older analog...

      dumb ? dose the this track older analog beacons as well

      can i use lithium batteries in this beacon...

      can i use lithium batteries in this beacon in stead if alkaline ?