Back Country Communications
Because the Brooks Range is remote and isolated it is imperative that each back country party carry some type of emergency signal device in this remote region. In the event of an emergency, each person in each party must know how to use the signaling device. Often, it is a good idea to carry more than one type. Regardless of the communication device or devices you carry, self rescue is the first line of defense in the event of an emergency. Good planning, self reliance, and common sense is the first component of wilderness safety.
Types of Emergency Communication Devices and their usefulness in the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Because of the remoteness of the Brooks Range, technological communication devices are often not the most effective means of communication.
Before you leave, it is a good idea to complete a voluntary back country registration form which lists your communication devices. We also recommend that you talk with your air-taxi service about how best to contact them in case of emergency. They are more likely to be flying in your area (dropping off/picking up you and other parties) than our park pilot who is responsible for covering the entire 8.4 million acres of park and preserve.
Did You Know?
In 1969, five wildland fires burned 129,820 acres in Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve. That was the largest acreage to burn in the park in a given year. Interestingly, 14 wildland fires, the most fires to occur in the park, burned a mere 500 acres in 1977.