Field Craft


Field craft is a term that we use to encompass all sorts of useful skills that help to support YARS`field operations in the winter and summer.  The purpose of this page is to provide a handy reference to our members to assist them in field operations or in their own personal activities concerning amateur radio.  If you can think of something that should be added, please let us know.

Cold Weather Camping

Eight months of the year is winter in Yellowknife.  There is snow, ice, wind and for much of that time long nights.  Being able to live comfortably in a winter environment, whether for a few hours or for a few days, is desireable.  One need not be operating remote amateur radio statons, one could also be on a ski trip or hunting or ice fishing.

A Guide to Winter Camping

GNWT Fishing Guide

GNWT Hunting Guide

For the amateur radio operator intersting things happen when it gets cold.  LCD displays may freeze, expand and crack.  Radios are normally not rated for operation below -10 degrees celsius.  Transmission line becomes really efficient but cables become really stiff.  Antennas and metal can become quite hard to handle without gloves. Batteries freeze.


File:Bowline (PSF).jpgThe tying of knots its a useful skill to have.  While one need not know how to tie sophisticated knots, an ability to tie some the more basic knots is very useful.  Whether it is securing a mast to the roof of a car or setting up a block and tackle to pull a heavy object aloft, knot tying comes in handy no matter what one is doing. 

Scouting knots is a useful website that gives some demonstrations as to how to tie some basic knots.  The bowline, half hitch and sheet bend are highly recommended.  Further knots, such as the reef knot, are shown at the 20-20 site.  For those who might want to know a bit more the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship might be a good starting place (you might try getting a copy second hand as knots have changed very little since 1908) - so might the Ashley Book of Knots.


It is possible to live off the land consuming plants.  In the NWT some plants are very nutritious and others are poisonous.  The GNWT Department of Environment and Natural Resources has published a guide booklet that may be of assistance.