On a cool kinda day with -12 Celsius indicated on my handheld Kestrel device, early morning finds me out on the trail in the Alberta Rockies headed in to Sheep River Falls.
With winter settled in on the Rockies, the winter road leading in to the area closes on December 1st, so with only 2 days left before that happened I decided to check on the ice conditions at the falls.
I had my two favorite APRS devices along, that being my Kenwood D72, and my Mobilinkd device, with both being digipeated by ABWX my weather station mounted in the cargo bay of my mobile parked at the trail-head.
If the terrain becomes more rugged and I cannot connect reliably to my mobile with my HT's and their rubberduck antennas, I have my take-down yagi along as seen on the side of my pack, allowing me to connect to my mobile when the conditions require it.
I also have a Nomad solar-panel attached to the back of my daypack, keeping the extra batteries for my various devices charged, including my smartphone.
Of course I don't leave home without my Kestrel 3500 pocket weather meter, that I am holding in my hand and taking a reading of the various weather parameters.
For the record the temperature at the time was -12 Celsius.
On this day I am wearing insulated pants with fleece underwear top and bottom, along with a fleece jacket beneath my bib snow-pants. I also am wearing wool socks within my snow boots, and I have a extra pair of socks stored in my pack.
If you fall in the water for whatever reason, fleece is one of the few materials along with wool that you can wring the water out of, and put them back on allowing you to get some warmth back in to your body before hypothermia sets in.
I also always have a small survival kit stored in my daypack for those times that the unexpected happens, and you wish you had some of the essentials with you.
Also included in my mobile is a much more extensive survival kit that includes amongst other things food if it is required due to a break-down or getting stuck down some backroad, or...well lets just say I'm equipped for the un-expected.
If the temperature drops to the extreme, I always have a winter parka with snow pants, as well as heavier Sorrel snow boots stored in my mobile, but they were not required on this day.
Another important item that I carry in my mobile is a snow shovel with included snow saw, that may be used for digging out my mobile if I become stuck, or building a snow shelter for survival reasons.
Building a snow shelter with the floor elevated a few inches higher than the door opening, allows the temperature within the shelter to easily stay around the freezing mark with the heat from your body alone when the temperature outside is -20 Celsius or colder.
Add a survival candle to the mix and you can be quite comfortable while waiting out a storm.
Click on the photo for a closer look....
Appearing in the 2015 May issue of QST...."APRS In Your Pocket"