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Home* News and Stories → Polar bear alarm sys­tem: user reports

Polar bear alarm sys­tem: user reports

Polar bear alarm sys­tems for camps are a nui­sance: essen­ti­al for safe­ty unless you have a relia­ble polar dog or enough man­power to hand­le a night­watch, but curr­ent­ly hard to obtain local­ly in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. In Octo­ber 2011, this page repor­ted about a Bri­tish sys­tem made and dis­tri­bu­ted by Arc­tic Limi­t­ed. First user reports are now available.

Next to the fact that the sys­tem from Arc­tic Ltd. is, in con­trast to other ones, easi­ly available, it has seve­ral advan­ta­ges in com­pa­ri­son to other sys­tems which have com­mon­ly been used in Spits­ber­gen until recent­ly. With older sys­tems, the one-way com­pon­ents (the ban­gers) were the hea­vy and expen­si­ve parts. With the sys­tem from Arc­tic Ltd., the hea­vy and (rela­tively) expen­si­ve parts are the trig­ger mecha­nisms, which last fore­ver. The ban­gers are blank car­tridges: shot car­tridges depri­ved of the shot, so they are cheap and light­weight and can be car­ri­ed in num­bers. This is useful, as it is hard to avo­id occa­sio­nal unin­ten­ded trig­ge­ring (wind, inob­ser­van­ce, reinde­er, …).

User reports agree that the bang should be lou­der. Accor­ding to Arc­tic Ltd., spe­cial ban­gers are available that meet this demand. Ano­ther ques­ti­on is that of the ide­al string, which should be as thin as pos­si­ble to be invi­si­ble for polar bears and to avo­id unin­ten­ded trig­ge­ring. It has, howe­ver, to be very strong and it should not be ela­s­tic (then a bear might feel it befo­re the sys­tem trig­gers).

Strong posts are essen­ti­al for relia­ble func­tio­ning. For the aut­hor, alu­mi­ni­um pipes have ser­ved the pur­po­se well. Relia­ble ancho­ring to the out­side of the camp with thin cords and tent pegs or hea­vy stones is also cri­ti­cal, other­wi­se pul­ling the string may bend the posts rather than trig­ger the ban­gers.

Two sets of trig­gers and strings, one hig­her and one lower on the same set of posts around the camp, will also increase safe­ty noti­ce­ab­ly.

The importance of pro­per­ly set­ting up a good sys­tem must not be under­sti­ma­ted, as is shown by the dead­ly attach of a polar bear on a Bri­tish camp in Spits­ber­gen in August 2011 (see reports on the­se pages).

Polar bear alarm sys­tem from Arc­tic Ltd., atta­ched to an alu­mi­ni­um pipe with cable con­nec­tors and strong tape.



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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange