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One of the major advances in modern polar adventure travel is the availability of good communication systems. The systems on the market today allow you to not only remain in contact with your support team (just in case of emergency) but to also share your experiences with the world via the internet.

I use an Iridium satellite telephone which I can connect to a handheld PDA and then send text, images, video and audio files to my expedition webiste. This whole process can be automated so within just a few minutes of sending your updates your website can be updated!

Some tips on using communications in the polar environment. Make sure you carry spares, I carry a spare complete system in a waterproof case and a ready supply of cables. In the extreme cold cables stiffen and can be prone to break more readily. Have a small notebook in your communications case with important numbers and other information about the system your using. Don't rely on your memory. Keep batteries on your person in a ziplock bag, it keeps them warm and protected from damage.

Another challenge is power supply. Have an electrician make adaptors for everything that requires power i.e. GPS, satellite telephone and PDA so that you can use one type of battery (i.e. AA). You can then use solar panels to recharge these up each time your stop. Choose flexible solar panels, and again carry a couple so you have a back up.

And finally, practice using your communications thoroughly before you leave. Go outdoors and send messages and updates and consider what equipment is prone to damage or is effected by the cold (I began by putting cables and connectors into my home freezer to see how they were effected once warmed up!).




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