Please be aware that all of these recommended modes of communication can be unreliable and at times you will be unable to make contact with anyone. If you are having difficulty receiving a signal it may be possible to improve signal strength by getting to higher ground. This can be very time consuming and in some cases dangerous, please use caution. As always with technology, be aware of the weaknesses of your system.
Satellite phones are the preferred means of making contact. Your phone can put you in touch with emergency assistance 24 hours a day. We recommend obtaining a satellite phone prior to your trip. The Iridium system currently provides the most reliable coverage over Auyuittuq but other options are available. Make sure to bring extra batteries and keep your device dry. Portable solar chargers for batteries are also recommended. Be sure to write down emergency phone numbers and program them into the phone.
There are areas of the park, especially in the Owl River valley, where satellite phone coverage is unreliable.
Emergency radios are provided in all emergency shelters and staff cabins. Instructions for use, communication schedules and call signs are provided at these locations. These radios may also be used to confirm pickup arrangements with outfitters in Pangnirtung or Qikiqtarjuaq. You will be provided with details during your orientation and registration session.
Radios are monitored during regular office hours, but reception is variable and can be impossible at times due to weather and atmospheric conditions.
SPOT devices can be used to allow family and friends to track your progress on your trip as well as to initiate a distress signal. This signal is non-reversible and is to be used in a life-threatening situation only. Make sure that you have advised your family and friends who may be tracking your “okay” messages that the absence of a message does not necessarily mean you are having problems. It most likely means you are temporarily not transmitting. During your registration we will collect information about your unit in the event that there is a need to check the activity from it.
Visitors should be aware that the SPOT satellite network has poor coverage at high latitudes and that signals can be obstructed in valleys such as Akshayuk pass. They are NOT considered a reliable method of communication.
Personal locator beacons
Personal locator beacons (PLB) can also be carried into remote areas. When activated, they send a distress signal to the Canadian Forces in Trenton, Ontario who will initiate a rescue from there. Once activated, the signal is non-reversible; these are to be used in a life-threatening situation only. Make sure your PLB is properly registered by calling the Canadian Personal Emergency Beacon Registry in Ottawa at 613-992-0079 or online.
Only PLB’s that transmit a distress signal at 406 MHz are permitted in Canada.
Contact the Park Office in Pangnirtung (ph. 867-473-2500) for more information on communications systems.