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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kestrel Portable Wx stations

During the ITI this year I was a little surprised just how variable thermometers were, particularly portable ones.  JP and Tracey had similar thermometers and theirs varied as much as 7-10 degrees at times and mine was always bottomed out at -20.  Some people in villages said it reached as low as -50 and I know for a fact that the temperature constantly changed on the trail, low spots, high spots, wind, whatever.... So I did a little more research when I came home on an accurate portable, durable, lightweight thermometer.  I consulted a friend of mine at the weather station locally in Nome and agreed that it is indeed difficult to find an an accurate portable thermometer that read below -20 degrees fahrenheit.   He said the model, Kestrel, makes probably the most accurate though they are expensive.  I read the specs and even though they range down to -50 they only claim accuracy of +/- 2 degrees down to -20.   I kind of think it's important because there's a huge difference when you say it was -20, -30, -40 or -50 and add in some wind we tend to exaggerate reporting and how our gear or body functions in those conditions.  Soo I went ahead an purchased the Kestrel 3000, it is super light and so far I am impressed.  It has a digital thermometer coil outside of the case, a cool wind gauge, humidity reader and can calculate windchill.  It is simple to use and supposedly pretty durable... we will see.  I will put this to the test this year and find out...