Arctic Survival Equipment

Whenever characters have to venture into the frozen wastes of the Arctic or Antarctic, or even high mountainous peaks such as those found in the Alps, Himalayas, or Andes, the following arctic survival gear can be literal lifesavers.

Coldsuit: This form-fitting, layered bodysuit of heated fabric is the ideal Polar outfit. It has three layers: an inner synthetic wicking layer that immediately transfers moisture outwards away from the skin, a middle insulating layer, and an outer nylon waterproof and windproof shell. The coldsuit also includes heated boots, a hood, and a facemask with polarizing lenses (eliminating glare modifiers). Hand protection consists of flexible gloves that allow maximum dexterity. A smartlink adaptor can be included in the gloves for an extra 50¥. The coldsuit offers Rating 4 Insulation (see p. 317, SR4). External armor can be layered over the suit, though at the risk of overheating the wearer.

Ballistic/Impact /, Capacity -, Avail 4, Cost 600, AR 51

Crevasse Detector: This handheld device uses pulse radar to detect open cracks and fissures in the ice. Though not foolproof, it can also be used to detect snow bridges that can be used to cross the crevasse.

Ballistic/Impact /, Capacity -, Avail 6, Cost 25, AR 52

Filter Contacts: One of the big hazards of operating in a polar environment is snow-blindness, intense glare from sunlight reflected off snow drift s that can result in vision loss. These simple disposable contact lenses will filter UV radiation and prevent snow blindness, and they also eliminate glare modifiers. They are available in a variety of designer colors. A pack contains enough contacts to last 10 days.

10 day pack: Ballistic/Impact /, Capacity -, Avail 6, Cost 35, AR 52

Polar Survival Kit: A polar survival kit is a survival kit tailored particularly for arctic or high mountain environments. These kits commonly include items like waterproof matches, a sewing kit, a compass, a signal mirror, safety pins, a wire saw, a multi-tool, a solar battery charger, a mini-flashlight (two spare bulbs and rechargeable batteries), a tallow wax candle, a windproof butane lighter, mini-flares, an emergency blanket, a folding shovel, duct tape, energy bars, nylon cord, pocket warmers, a pocket stove, a mess kit, multi-vitamins and a collapsing aluminum cup among other items. When used in a winter environment, polar survival kits provide a +4 dice pool modifier, instead of the normal +2 for standard survival kits. Polar survival kits are usually used as emergency supplies on board an airplane or snow track in the event of a breakdown or crash; characters should not rely solely on polar survival kits for a long-term expedition.

Ballistic/Impact /, Capacity -, Avail 4, Cost 200, AR 52

Polar Survival Suit: Survival suits are the ultimate in personal protection for harsh arctic environments. These bulky suits have several layered components. The under layer is a waterproof body smock that functions like a diving drysuit (see p. 55) and covers the torso, head, arms and legs. This layer also incorporates a liquid body waste reclamation system similar to the desert suit (p. 53). The outer layer is a heated, windproof parka that will allow the wearer to float and can be converted into a cold-weather sleeping bag. The gloves and boots both have retractable climbing claws (+1 dice pool modifier to Climbing Tests) and the gloves can form into a useful shovel shape. The survival suit also includes a high-visibility, polarized full-face mask (eliminates glare modifiers) that will never fog up and an integral heater to warm the air before it is breathed. The suit can be outfitted to include any of modifications available to armor (see p. 317, SR4) and armor suits (p. 50). Polar survival suits provide 1 point of Ballistic and 3 points of Impact armor, as well as Rating 6 Insulation and Rating 4 Thermal Damping (see p. 317, SR4). It cannot be worn with any other armor.

Ballistic/Impact 1/3, Capacity 6, Avail 8, Cost 1000, AR 52

Polar Tent: This durable geodesic dome tent offers protection from cold, snow and wind. The lightweight collapsible carbon poles provide a sturdy structure that can withstand winds up to 150 kph and remain intact if buried under snow during a storm. It also includes a chemical space heater. A polar tent holds one troll or two human-sized characters.

Ballistic/Impact /, Capacity -, Avail 6, Cost 250, AR 52

Skis: Skis are excellent for polar cross-country travel. They come with a pair of ski poles that are heated when gripped. Skis are available in two types: cross-country and alpine. Cross-country skis work best in fl at or gently sloping terrain; characters receive no movement penalty using cross-country skis across snow. Alpine skis excel in mountainous terrain, allowing users to quadruple their walking and running rates. On the other hand, they fare poorly on level or uphill inclines, reducing movement rates to half normal.

Cross-country: Ballistic/Impact /, Capacity -, Avail -, Cost 200, AR 52

Alpine: Ballistic/Impact /, Capacity -, Avail -, Cost 600, AR 52

Snowshoes: Snowshoes allow characters to walk across snow without suffering a movement rate penalty. A character can only run in snowshoes at half his normal running rate.

Ballistic/Impact /, Capacity -, Avail -, Cost 175, AR 52

Arctic Survival Equipment

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