Adventurers who want to maximize their outdoor fun soon learn they need to understand the weather. Mountaineers, hikers, bikers, kayakers, surfers, skiers, snowshoers and paragliders...

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Adventurers who want to maximize their outdoor fun soon learn they need to understand the weather. Mountaineers, hikers, bikers, kayakers, surfers, skiers, snowshoers and paragliders are all affected by the weather as they pursue their favorite sports. It follows, then, that the better the weather information they have, the more specific their adventure planning can be.

In this age of the Internet, it’s easy to find detailed weather information for general regions. But site-specific, localized forecasts have been more difficult — until now. The new series of Brunton Atmospheric Data Centers literally puts local weather data in your hand. The Brunton ADC Pro is a perfect example.

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This small handheld unit appears, at first glance, to be nothing more than an anemometer — a wind gauge. It is that, but also much more. The ADC Pro will measure wind speed and instantly calculate wind chill. It will also provide you with current barometric pressure, 24-hour pressure trends, relative air density, humidity, temperature, dew point and heat index.

Using some or all of this data, even the rawest weather neophyte will begin to be able to make basic localized weather forecasts. Weather junkies, though, will be able to view the data and predict local winds (sailors and windsurfers), potential storms (climbers and hikers), thermal lift rates (paragliders) and potential precipitation and snowfall (hikers and skiers). For the truly weather-illiterate, the ADC Pro processes the data it gathers and at the push of a button displays a basic weather forecast on screen.

The ADC also serves hikers and climbers as an accurate altimeter, while skiers and snowboarders can use the digital logbook to record their runs and daily vertical accumulations as they shred the slopes.

I used the Pro while canyoneering in Utah’s Escalante region and found it valuable in forecasting oncoming storms; it helped us avoid flash floods in the deep slots as unseen stormfronts approached. It has also helped me interpret local conditions while paragliding at Chelan Butte and at Saddle Mountain near Vantage.

The Brunton ADC Pro retails for $249. For more information: www.brunton.com

Dan A. Nelson is a regular contributor to Backpacker magazine, and an author of outdoor guides with The Mountaineers Books. He lives in Puyallup.