Well, the time has come… As I write this, we have less than 24 hours to go before we fly to Tanzania. All the training is done; or, to be more exact, it’s too late to train anymore!
About two months ago, we took a trip to the English Lake District for a training weekend; basically hiking up high mountains, along with other people doing similar trips with the same company (Adventure Peaks). On one day, our guide set off at a fast pace up the third highest mountain in England, in the pouring rain. We dutifully followed, and spent the next six hours getting soaked to the skin. Sarah commented that we stood no chance on Kilimanjaro if the pace was this fast. I later found out that he felt this was an easy hike… but then again he had climbed Mount Everest only two months before… for the third time! So, we hope all the preparation has been enough.
Last-Minute Device Improvements
Having returned from Arizona, I’ve been able to test the data logger for a few days and, in conjunction with Tim, make a few improvements to it. Tim added a conformal coating to the PCB, to protect it from moisture ingress. We were also able to trade off some battery life in exchange for a more frequent logging rate. Many of the commercial GPS logging devices will record position every few seconds, but they are then limited to only a few hours of operation. We want to record the whole trip. So we will be recording temperature and barometric pressure every five minutes and GPS position every 30 minutes. Someone did suggest that we also record heart rate during the climb, but I objected on the grounds of ‘what will you do if it flat-lines?’ I also declined the core body-temperature probe!
The Improved Data Logger
The last few days have degenerated into a never-ending round of checking the bags, verifying that all of the medications have been packed, scrutinizing the amount of equipment and generally fretting that we have the correct gear. It is like the final days before a product launch, but with no PowerPoint slides. The guys at work wished us well, so it’s time to go and do the hard part. See you on the other side!