APRS In The Backcountry
Although this day would be about spending time indulging in one of my favorite summer activities, fly-fishing on one of my favorite trout streams located here in southern Alberta, I would be keeping myself on the map and connected by utilizing one of my APRS equipped dual-band HT's to make that happen. To make sure that I can connect to the APRS network while in the backcountry, I always set my mobile up as a fill-in digi through the use of the Kenwood D710A part of the radio stack in my mobile.
I have been a fly-fishing enthusiast for 40 years, and in that time I have fished many of the streams located along the eastern slope of the Alberta Rockies. Its a given that stream fishing involves spending time away from the beaten path, and it crucial that you are prepared for the unexpected while spending time in the backcountry, including the chance you may have to spend a night out if something were to happen you hadn't planned on.
For this reason, and before leaving home I always make sure someone knows where I'm headed, and when I plan on returning. I also carry a selection of emergency preparedness gear that allows me to deal with the un-expected.
This day finds me fishing the upper reaches of the Sheep River located in Kananaskis Country, that lays up along the eastern slope of the southern Alberta Rockies. Before leaving my mobile behind that I parked overlooking the Sheep River Canyon, I set my Kenwood D710A up for APRS operation, including turning on the digipeater mode.
I am carrying my Kenwood D72 clipped to my fly-fishing chest-pack, and the beacons being transmitted by the D72 are being digipeated by my mobile.
I also have my take-down yagi along in case I need the extra reach, and this very portable lightweight yagi is stored in a rear pocket of my chest pack.
So although my D72 was not being heard by a distant digipeater due to my location in the bottom of the canyon, my mobile was hearing my D72, keeping me connected to the outside world.
Normally while on the water fishing, I would carry my Yaesu VX-8R instead of the Kenwood D72, as the VX-8R is waterproof, where the D72 is not.
The D72 is a better APRS radio than the VX-8R, but if I were to submerge the D72, then it would be game over for the D72.
I realized after I arrived and was preparing to hit the river that I had forgot to swap out the D72 for the VX-8R before leaving home, but I wasn't about to head out without having a radio along, allowing me to stay connected to my mobile parked several kilometers away from my location in this photo, so the D72 was my go to radio on this day.
It goes without saying that I never head out without my trusty head-lamp mounted on my cap, as you never know when the fishing will keep you out after dark.
Although the upper reaches of the Sheep this far west of civilization is more than likely pure enough to drink from, I have a water bladder located in the rear of my chest-pack that holds several liters of drinking water.
The water is available through the mouth-valve equipped hose seen attached to the front of my chest pack. If I wanted to lighten the load, I could leave the bladder empty and carry a life-straw, that being a personal light-weight filtration device that you suck water through from a water source.
If you were to look in one of the rear pockets of my chest-pack, you would also find a small emergency-kit, as well as a few other items that could prove invaluable if the unexpected should occur
Click on the photo for a closer look.....
Here is the link to my mobile parked some distance away on this day.....
For a more complete take on the day including photographs.....