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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.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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