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Are you guys bringing weather monitoring devices?
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Matthew Marasco
(BabyMatty) - F

Locale: Western/Central PA, Adirondacks
Are you guys bringing weather monitoring devices? on 11/13/2010 19:50:39 MST Print View

I have been wanting to get something to record temperature and humidity on trips. Is anyone doing this?

It would be cool to see the temperature difference between the inside of a shelter, and outside air.

If you do bring something, what is it? I'm trying to search for a device to do this, but am having trouble finding something UL...

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Are you guys bringing weather monitoring devices?" on 11/13/2010 20:00:51 MST Print View

Perhaps a Suunto Core or Lumi watch, does barometric pressure, temperature (digital thermometer), altimeter, amongst other functions.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Watch on 11/13/2010 21:43:27 MST Print View

I use a Casio Pathfinder PAW1300 watch which I've been really happy with. It can record temperature and barometric pressure which lets me crudely predict the weather. I'm more just for fun than actual benefit. It graphs barometric pressure so you can see how it's changing. This is neat in camp, but it doesn't work on the trail because your fluctuating altitude affects barometric pressure.

This watch also does altitude, alarm, compass and time. I like this watch because it's solar powered and it sets itself daily off the atomic clock in New York, so I never need to worry about batteries or if the time is accurate.

Actually using a watch for temperature isn't ideal because you need to take it off your wrist to get an accurate reading. Generally it takes about 10 minutes. It's neat to use for the occasional reading though.

IMO, the Casio watches are nicer looking than the Suunto ones and they are also quite a bit more affordable. You can get one of these new on ebay for ~$150.

Edited by dandydan on 11/13/2010 23:47:04 MST.

Alexander Laws
(lexeverything) - F

Locale: Joshua Tree
Casio on 11/13/2010 21:51:09 MST Print View

I second the Casio suggestion. I have had my PAW 1500 for a year now, and I love it. Wear it while trekking, wear it to work, and wear it to the bar with a dress shirt. The manly mans Rolex, if you will... ;)

wander lust
brunton adc pro on 11/13/2010 22:12:14 MST Print View

I like my brunton adc pro. I don't like watches and the brunton also tells me the humidity.

I don't really need it, but I need a clock / alarm and as I don't like to have something around my wrist it serves as weather station as well.

Sometimes you can find it for udner $100.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: brunton adc pro on 11/13/2010 22:35:41 MST Print View

Brunton Wind records temperatures for the last 24 hours and then start to overwrite. So you know what the temperature is, and at any time you can see what the temperature was for the past 24 hours. It is slow to respond, but just fine for this sort of thing. $50.

If you want to get serious there are more sophisticated recorders, but they get expensive and heavy if you also want a field display.

Edited by greg23 on 11/14/2010 08:47:53 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Are you guys bringing weather monitoring devices? on 11/13/2010 22:53:10 MST Print View

Dallas/Maxim i-button Thermocrons. Most major trips. Temperature and RH.
Only a few grams.


Edited by rcaffin on 11/13/2010 22:53:31 MST.

Arthur Forbes
(FNF) - F
Kestral on 11/14/2010 08:36:53 MST Print View

A Kestral weather meter would be perfect for this as they record all sorts of environmental conditions. I have a 4500NV BT that I use for precision long distance rifle shooting and its a fine piece of equipment, weighs 4 oz if I remember correctly and it cost over $400 - this is way overkill for your intended app but they do have models that start under $100. You can set them to record at different intervals, from 1 minute to 12 hours and export the data into an XLS spreadsheet. Some models monitor the humidity & relative humidity which would be great for testing single wall shelters.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Casio Pathfinder PAW1500 on 11/14/2010 08:55:05 MST Print View

+1 on the Casio -- with one major beef. While it's attached to your wrist, it thinks the temperature is 98.6 F. You'll have to hang it from a tree branch to get an accurate temperature.

For that purpose, I carry an old Highgear analog compass (Highgear 20028 Trail Series Trail Pilot 2 Compass) as a backup. It has a fairly accurate digital thermometer embedded. They last about a year before the compass gives up the ghost and the battery on the compass needs replaced. The battery actually costs about half the cost of the compass, so I usually just replace the whole danged thing.

The barometer readout on the Casio is amazing. My old man used to keep a barometer to track the weather. In this part of the country (Ohio), it is often startlingly accurate. When the baro is rising, good weather is ahead. When it plummets, head for shelter. The graphic readout on the baro could save your skin when the baro takes a deep dive.


Matthew Marasco
(BabyMatty) - F

Locale: Western/Central PA, Adirondacks
re: on 11/14/2010 09:40:21 MST Print View

Thanks for the responses.

Die, what is the weight of the Brunton ADC Pro? That one fits my budget best and has all the features I want.

I also don't like wearing things on my wrist, though I suppose I could fasten a watch-style device onto my pack.

Roger, what's this thermochron thingy you post of? I couldn't find much on it other than that it's some sort of chip? Does it give you the capability to take current readings, or do you have to wait til the trip is finished?

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Brunton ADC weight on 11/14/2010 09:46:02 MST Print View

I have the Brunton ADC as well. After cutting off the belt clip thing, and putting on a piece of guyline instead, mine weighs 1.98oz, about .4oz heavier than the generic digital watch I used to wear.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: re: on 11/14/2010 09:47:33 MST Print View

It's a "button" the size of a #357 battery, that requires a USB cradle for configuration and downloading.

Edited by greg23 on 11/14/2010 12:24:29 MST.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
The cheap route ... on 11/14/2010 12:00:18 MST Print View

Weather condition recording is something I do pretty seldom, so to try to dial in some gear I went the cheap route, and bought a $10 unit from Campmor,

No humidity, but the key feature was that it does record min and max temperature, so I could be certain "what it got down to" during the night.

Another cheap option is to just set your watch alarm for 4 am or so and check the current temperature, it's probably near the low for the night.

Edited by brianle on 11/14/2010 12:01:39 MST.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: The cheap route ... on 11/14/2010 12:54:20 MST Print View

Another cheap option. I haven't used this, but I recently read on Just Jeff's Hammmock website ( that he got one cheap at Walmart.

I went to the Acu Rite website (that's the brand on the one in Jeff's photos) and it looks like they have a few models really cheap. This $16 one looks like a good one with humidity and min/max temps:

I know, I need to learn how to embed the links--sorry.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: re: Thermocron on 11/14/2010 13:14:41 MST Print View

Hi Matthew

Herewith drawing from maxim:
Thermocron drawing

As you can see, it is very small. There is no readout in the field, but that does not worry me. If it is cold in the field, it is cold. Tough.

To quote the Maxim datasheet:
"the high-capacity Thermochrons/Hygrochrons allow 8192 readings with time intervals from 1 second to 273 hours. Additionally, the Hygrochron allows for simultaneous temperature and humidity logging and offers selectable resolution settings."

Back home I download the data using a little gizmo you can also buy from Maxim, import into Excel, and make a graph, thus:
Thermocron Plot Aug 2008 Main Range

One blue line is a simple temperature logger, the other (C2) is a combined temp/RH unit. Red is RH. (My colour choices.) The Temp unit sits inside my pack; the temp/RH unit sits outside (to sense RH as well). As you can see, it got down to about -6 C one night. That's not that cold of course.

What the Thermocron cannot tell you is wind-speed. On night 2 it got down to about -5 C, but the wind-speed was over 100 kph. Yep, that was "When things Go Wrong" :-)

Doing this sort of thing requires two trade-offs. The first is weight: these i-Buttons are trivial in weight, but a Brunton data logger is not. The other trade-off or effort is that you have to set up the Maxim software, which is simple but not 100% trivial. Works for me though.


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Are you guys bringing weather monitoring devices? on 11/14/2010 15:30:29 MST Print View

One of those little zipper-pull thermometers on the outside of my pack. 0.3 oz.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Same on 11/14/2010 19:59:52 MST Print View

Same as Mary, a zipper pull thermometer.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: The cheap route ... on 11/14/2010 20:05:25 MST Print View

Hi Brian

> cheap option is to just set your watch alarm for 4 am and check the current temperature,

Do you mind!?!?
I am fast asleep at 4 am. Not, mind you, that I would hear the alarm going off anyhow!
:-) :-)


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Are you guys bringing weather monitoring devices? on 11/14/2010 20:12:55 MST Print View

Zipper pull thermometer tied onto a 3-foot string. I plant it well outside my shelter at night. Then when I first wake up in the morning, I can reel in the string to check the temperature without leaving the sleeping bag. If I left it inside the shelter, it would be offset by body heat.


Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
sleeping in on 11/14/2010 20:42:28 MST Print View

"I am fast asleep at 4 am. Not, mind you, that I would hear the alarm going off anyhow!"

On summer days when hot weather is anticipated, 4 or perhaps 4:30 am is a dandy time to be getting up and starting the day ...

That's probably not the time of year when a person is interested in recording low temperatures, however!