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 get to higher ground to improve signal strength. 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.
The Iridium system provides the most reliable coverage over Sirmilik but other options are available. Make sure to bring extra batteries. Portable solar chargers for batteries are also recommended. Be sure to write down emergency phone numbers and program them into the phone.
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.
InReach devices have good coverage and are fairly reliable in Sirmilik.
SPOT can be used to allow family and friends to track your progress on your trip as well as initiate a distress signal, however visitors should be aware that the SPOT satellite network has poor coverage around Sirmilik, particularly north of 73 degrees N latitude. SPOT devices should not, therefore, be relied upon for communication. Please advise your family and friends of this to remove any undue concern about your progress should they not receive an OK. Emergency signals are received by the Canadian Forces and they will initiate a rescue if one is received. This signal is non-reversible and is to be used in a life-threatening situation only. During your registration we will collect information about your unit in the event that there is a need to check the activity from it.
Personal locator beacons (PLB)
Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) can also be carried into remote areas. When activated, they send a distress signal to the Canadian Armed Forces in Trenton, Ontario who will initiate a rescue from there. Once activated, the signal is nonreversible; 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 Trenton at 1-877-406-7671 or online. Only PLB’s that transmit a distress signal at 406 MHz are permitted in Canada.