Trail Rated and Connected
I have always enjoyed winter, and over the years this has not changed. There is nothing I like better than grabbing my daypack that I keep filled with the necessities and hitting the trail.
On this day I have my VX-8R and my UV-3R/TNC/smarthphone treo with me, these devices keeping me connected to the network via my mobile parked several kilometers away set up as a digipeater as well as for cross-banding.
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 -10 C, and a wind out of the northwest at 5 kph.
On this day I am wearing insulated pants with fleece underwear top and bottom, along with a fleece jacket beneath my gore-tex mountaineering jacket. I also am wearing wool socks within my hiking boots, and I have a extra pair of socks stored in my pack. I also have a pair of gore-tex gaiters along if I encounter deeper snow conditions.
Wearing wool socks while hiking at any time of the year is extremely important, as wool socks wick sweat away from your feet unlike cotton socks that do not, and once moisture starts and heat around your feet builds as you walk, potentially can allow for hot-spots to start leading to crippling blisters.
I also purchase wool socks with reinforced heels and toes as sold in good outdoor stores such as MEC (Mountain Eq CO-OP).
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, a pair of long-cuff mittens and a Outdoor-Research insulated cap with ear-flaps, as well as 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"