Batteries out in the Cold
Another day out in the cold playing radio.
Lately with all the time I've spent outside in the cold running tests with my new 10-40 meter portable antenna (just out of sight to the left in this photo), the temperature has varied from -7 Celsius down to -17 Celsius.
Under these conditions it is important that you take steps to protect the batteries powering the various devices being used.
I make sure before leaving home that all my batteries in the devices that I will be using are fully charged, including the batteries in my Yaesu FT-897D pictured and being operated in this photo, as well as the batteries that power my cameras.
With my cameras, that are powered by dedicated Lithium-Ion batteries, I keep an extra battery in an inner pocket close to my body allowing it to retain its full charge.
If I am out for any length of time in -20 Celsius temperatures, I will cycle the batteries between the one in the camera that I am using, and the battery in my inner pocket allowing the battery that has been out in the cold time to recover its effectiveness.
If I have battery-powered devices stored in my pack, or in the sleigh pictured here, and I am concerned with how the cold is affecting the batteries, I will insert chemical hand-warmers in with them, insuring that the batteries continue to provide the current required to run my devices, as most batteries lose there effectiveness when used under cold conditions and can lose as much as 40% of their capacity.
On this day after being outside for close to 4 hours in -7 Celsius temperatures, the RF receiver on the camera being used to trigger the camera shutter began to act erratically, and it was directly related to the battery in the receiver losing it's efficiency due to the cold.
A change-out of the 3 volt lithium-Ion battery with one in my pocket, allowed the receiver to go back to working as required.
Of course it goes without saying that while out in the cold for an extensive time, keeping warm yourself is also a requirement, and in my case the use of layers makes this happen.
I have found over the years while spending time outside in the cold where I am active, dressed in layers works better that wearing a parka by itself, as wearing layers allows for layers to be added or removed, preventing sweating from occuring causing issues with chills as you cool.
Both the outer-jacket I am wearing, as well as my over-pants that I am wearing are made from Gore-Tex a waterproof, breathable all-weather fabric that allows vapor to pass through, yet keeping you dry.
Choosing the correct foot-wear is important while out in the snow and the cold, and on this day I am wearing my Sorrel snow-boots with felt liners that are rated for -40 Celsius. I do own two other pair of snow-boots that lend themselves well to other types of activities like snowshoeing or where a lot of walking is involved, and you don't want to be doing the snow-shuffle due to floppy foot-wear.
At other times if the weather permits, and good fitting boots is a requirement, I will wear my hiking-boots with a pair of Gore-Tex gaiters to keep my legs and boots dry. Of course it goes without saying that your hiking boots should be treated with a product like 'Biwell' to keep them from getting wet.
It goes without saying that a good pair of wool-socks is a requirement on any given day.
Although not on my hands at the time the photo was taken, I have both a pair of gloves (seen in my jacket pocket) and my OR (Outdoor Research) Gore-Tex over-mitts (stored in my pack) along with me.
Of course head-gear is also important, and on this day the toque that I'm wearing has a fleece lining keeping my head warm, and if there is concern that the wind may blow, I can change out my toque for my OR beanie that has a windproof membrane as part of the build.
If spending time outside in the snow, don't leave home without your sunglasses to prevent snow-blindness caused by UV rays reflected off ice and snow, especially at higher elevations in the mountains where the air is thinner and provides less protection from UV rays
Click on the photo for a closer look.....