Purpose:  The ability for each group of riders (riding together) to communicate with the “MichCanSka Command Center”  and support vehicles will significantly improve the response time and reduce confusion in cases of breakdowns, fuel issues, lost or separated riders and emergency situations. Cell phone coverage during this event will be very limited, in most cases service only available in and around larger towns.

Recommendations: I strongly recommend each group of riders have two satellite phones preferably Iridium (best coverage). One assigned to a sled riding in the front of the group (1st three sleds) and another assigned to a sled in the back of the group (last 3 sleds).

 I also recommend each caravan of Support Vehicles have at least 2 Satellite Phones. The 1st one assigned to the first support vehicle in the group and 2nd to the last vehicle in the group. Each should be plugged into a 12V outlet and external antenna and left on at all times during. This will allow the groups to contact them directly or thru the Command Center.

•Calls from Satellite Phones:$1.39 per minute •Calls to Satellite Phones:     $2.50+ per minute (caller pays) •Text from Satellite Phones:  $0.50 per text •Text to Satellite Phones: Free (from http://messaging.iridium.com/ ) •Texting to and from Satellite Phones is the best option •Use Voice Calls only in Emergencies!

I also recommend any teams or individual who want to decrease their risk and improve their survival options, to consider renting a satellite phone for this event.    

 Example Options & Price:

  1. NetworkIP (Pete Pattullo’s Company) has agreed to sponsored 12 Satellite Phones for this event.
  2. Iridium 9505a satellite phone rental from Feb 12th to March 15th  from www.allroadsat.com $345.26 (this is all inclusive, shipping both ways, 60 outgoing minutes ($1.59 per min), free inbound calls and text, contact Sue Shorees 1-619-200-2066, mention MichCanSka and order_id 33640)

Additional Tips: Satellite Phone’s like the Iridium 9505A are only rated to operate down to +14F. To protect and keep the satellite phone in its operating temp range, it should be stored in a protective case in heated pouch or with a air-activated “Hot Hands”.  We will be discussing the best practices on using and minimizing cost of using satellite phones /  Spot Messengers during our Safety Briefing scheduled on Tuesday, December 28th    Also note there are numerous companies who rent satellite phones on the web, make sure the cost quote are total and include activation fees.