Tag: gear

Beacons vs Transceivers again

It seems that people are still have trouble telling the difference between a “SPOT Beacon” and an “Avalanche Transceiver” I wrote about this last year, based on some comments I heard while attending the CAA‘s Annual conference and AGM. The CAA posted

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The use of Smartphones in SAR

As much as I’ve written about how you shouldn’t use a smart phone for backcountry navigation, and about the general problem of running down the battery and exposing it to cold and wet conditions, under certain circumstances they are an

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Why you shouldn’t use Smart Phones for Backcountry Navigation

Smart phones are everywhere. By “Smart Phone” I’m referring to any mobile phone that has additional functions, but specifically for the purposes of this article a smart phone is any phone that has a GPS or A-GPS function. My assertion

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Beacons and Transceivers, what’s the difference

On May 4th I attended the Canadian Avalanche Association’s annual spring conference and continuing professional development seminar. This year’s topic was Avalanche Search and Rescue in Canada. There were some very informative presentations, but one piece of information stood out

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Counterfeit versions of Petzl Products

Petzl is warning that they have found counterfeit versions of several of their products. They are not manufactured to the safety standards that are printed on the products, and so are very dangerous for use as climbing equipment. In the

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On Coordinates; part 2

In my previous post on coordinates, I stated that the best coordinate representation to use if you need to use geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) was decimal degrees (or DD). It’s preferable to use UTM, which is pretty much a

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On Coordinates

A while back I wrote about some issues I’ve witnessed with backcountry enthusiasts, SAR people, and geographic coordinates. In my experience, people have trouble recording and transmitting coordinates. This should be a very simple task, and it is – when

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Backcountry Ski rig for SAR

On the south coast, most below-treeline winter SAR is done using snowshoes. However, snowshoes are not always the most appropriate way to travel in the winter. Among the many reasons to not use snowshoes, the one that stands out the

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BCA Tracker 2 firmware problem

Some versions of the Backcountry Access Tracker 2 have a firmware bug that causes them to go into a programming mode in certain circumstances. http://backcountryaccess.com/blog/?p=2718 Being a software engineer, I understand all to well problems with writing software and getting it

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GoPro Hero, first impressions

I got a GoPro Hero camera for Christmas. I figure since I do some exciting things on occasion I may as well record some of them. I have a few friends who’ve bought this camera, and almost everyone has seen

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