G-Layer provides GPS Tracker and equipment to Expedition Hope – an update

G-Layer is sponsoring equipment and expertise for expedition across the Arctic Ocean, including the Yellowbrick GPS Tracker and Iridium AxcessPoint.

Our friend Eric Philips, the renowned polar explorer, is still out on the Arctic ice sheet with the documentary makers Bernice Notenboom and Martin Hartley. They’re on their latest mission Expedition Hope. To see the latest position from Erics rugged Yellowbrick GPS tracker, check out the map page on the expedition blog. You can see what a tough slog they are having against the broken ice and backwards drift.

To recap, the trek by foot and ski is taking them from the geographic North Pole to Canada, a short stroll of only 600 miles in -30C conditions, across a frozen ocean. The mission is to promote the battle against global warming and draw attention to the children of Plant-for-the-Planet and document the melting of the poles in the process. This youtube clip provides some background on the project.

Who do you call for help with gear in extreme locations?
G-Layer of course.

We were contacted a few months ago by Eric to design and produce the communications gear for the journey. Eric has worked with us before and knows we have an understanding of the enormous challenges associated with keeping gear working in Arctic conditions. We handpicked the equipment and custom ruggedised it all before the mission. So far it’s all working perfectly which certainly makes us proud. We had a chance to get some feedback from Eric this week and here’s what he had to say about the Yellowbrick GPS tracker and other gear provided by G-Layer.

As always the Yellowbrick is faultless. Set and forget. After a month of skiing across the Arctic Ocean from North pole to Canada, with another three weeks to go, the brick has been transmitting positional data and temperature twice daily and the battery level is still at 80%. This is a superb little unit.

G-layer also provided me an Iridium AxcessPoint modem to which I connect my sat phone for a signal and Bluetooth it to my iPhone. This gives me email capability and I have been posting updates and images to Facebook daily. Gionny Morini from G-Layer has been to the North Pole with me in 2013 so he knows what works and what doesn’t and had the AxcessPoint winterised to withstand the brutal conditions. It has been perfect.

It’s a challenge both storing our comms gear so it doesn’t get battered inside the sled and keeping it powered and free of moisture inside the tent. Everything is prone to breaking or malfunctioning out here and meticulous care needs to be taken to keep things in top condition.

Thanks G-Layer! You keep me connected to the world beyond the ice.

Expedition Hope Map

The rugged Yellowbrick GPS tracker supplied by G-layer
Faultless operation on the ice.


Check out the latest pic of Eric and his rugged Yellowbrick GPS tracker.
GPS Tracker

This image was sent via the Iridium AxcessPoint that we specially ruggedised for the journey. It’s no small achievement getting images out from the Arctic Ocean every day using only an Iridium sat-phone handset and AxcessPoint. We’re as happy as Eric that all the kit is performing to spec. As part of the preparations we worked extensively with the mapping team and we provide 24/7 support and backup to the expediton, all part of the G-Layer service 🙂

You can continue to follow the trek here and also on twitter at #expeditionhope and #arcticmarch . Have a read through the daily text updates and follow the GPS tracker. It’s always interesting to see what temperature the Yellowbrick is reporting at different times of the mission. Yellowbricks are so much more than just a GPS tracker.


Expedition HopeThis excerpt gives you an idea of the hugely challenging conditions the team are up against,


Despite drifting backward 2km overnight the day started full of promise with the sun emerging for the first time in three days. But we were quickly into a large rubble field covered in fresh snow in the middle of which the sun hid behind thick clouds again, playing havoc with contrast and definition. No sooner had we cleared the field and a long and wide lead diverted us east until we found banks on either side conducive to rafting. I swam across in the drysuit then hauled first Bernice and then Martin across on a raft of two sleds. We have noticed an increase in snow cover and sastrugi and snow dunes are starting to crop up. When I skied this route three years ago the snow dunes started 100km further south.
During the final hour the sun emerged again and our surroundings sprang to life. By days end we were all exhausted and considered it if not our toughest, our most frustrating day. The tally of 8km confirms it.”

We wish you and the team the best of luck Eric, keep your Yellowbrick GPS tracker in your pocket and watch out for the bears.

gps tracker iphone



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