Planning My Trip

As I'm expecting to go walking in the local area on my own I've had to pack and plan as if this is an expedition without camping.

Therefore I've had to consider:

Injury: this is the most likely cause of problems (especially if I'm using and ice axe and crampons on snow slopes), so I've packed a first aid kit geared more toward bigger injuries than small. I've included a CAT tourniquet, heamostatic gauze, compression bandages etc.

I've packed a blizzard bag as emergency insulation, this is again in case of injury. These bags suggest that they have about 9 tog of insulation and pack nice and small.

Map and compass: This was a tricky problem. There appears to be only 1 map published for the area (by Saga maps) and it is a 1:250,000 which is OK, but not great if using it to walk with. I've scanned it and enlarged the local area to about 1:80,000 (2cm per mile). Much bigger than this makes the printing a nightmare. I also added my own 40mm grid to the prints.
The compass has to have adjustable declination as there is around 37Deg in this region. The Silva expedition (NOT the expedition4) seems to fit the bill well, although there don't seem to be any UK suppliers.

GPS: due to the mapping problem I am taking a Garmin eTrex 30 with me. This is a non-touch screen device that custom maps can be loaded onto, I've loaded the local area onto this too as the standard base map was woefully inadequate.

Communications: I'm taking the standard whistle and signalling mirror for close up communication, but due to where I am I needed a longer range option. I very much doubt a mobile phone will work and even VHF radios may well go unheard. So I am taking a SPOT Gen3 satellite based tracking and communication device, this is a 1 way device that will allow friends and family to see where I am at any given point and also has an SOS button that results in a call to the local rescue agencies. SPOT have very kindly lent this device to me so please come back for a full review of this tool that so far appears to be very handy.

Polar bear defence. This trip is in this powerful animal's back yard, so I've had to consider what I am doing about this. The restrictions are partly controlled by UK legislation and airline regulations. So I've settled on taking a high capacity pump action shotgun with solid slug. I will write a dedicated page about this to help others.

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