Oh electronics – a love/hate relationship on the mountain!
Staying connected in case of emergency is a great safety and mental security enhancement over the early days of exploration, but it comes at a cost. Warming up the devices prior to use, keeping moisture out of the devices by storing them in plastic bags, carrying power sources, charging equipment… it all seems so disruptive to one of the main reasons we get out to these remote places, but it can save a life!
Associated with all that, we have had detailed meetings with our ground support teams to review a carefully devised emergency response plan and a communications plans.
We will be carrying, some at all times and some as backups at lower camps:
- Globalstar Satellite Phone
- SPOT Gen 4 GPS Messenger (1-way comms and tracking)
- SPOTX (2-way texting)
- Garmin InReach Explorer (2-way texting and GPS)
- 2-way rockytalkies
- Suunto and Garmin Altimeter watches
To power up these devices, we use a battery bank of 8AA lithium batteries, which can feed a USB port and a 12V port for the sat phone.
These devices allow us to keep loved ones reassured, obtain weather forecasts, and provide updates from the mountain; it is pretty incredible after all!