Pocket Dosimeter

As with most survival equipment, the time when you want a pocket dosimeter shouldn't be the time that you wish you had bought one. These small devices measure the amount of local radiation, both from gamma and x-rays.

In the case of a nuclear strike, if you've managed to survive the initial attack, you'll need a means of finding safe locations and places that you'll need to avoid. A pocket version of more industrial dosimeters should act alongside a more permanent model that stays in your base.

Key Features

You'll quickly find that there is a wide range of options when you're looking for the right pocket dosimeter. However, there are some key features that you should use as your minimum requirements in your search:

  • Programmable alarm - in a survival situation, you  will be worrying less about the actual numerical levels of radiation and more about whether the levels will be harmful or not. A pocket dosimeter should come with a loud alarm that will alert you when the levels around you reach a certain level or when you've been exposed to a set amount. You should be able to program these limits in accordance with any government or survival handbook guidance.
  • Long battery life - in a survival situation, you're going to be spending a lot of time away from your base gathering resources, looking for other survivors and scouting the local area. You need a pocket dosimeter that you can take with you that will maintain it's charge and effectiveness for hours on end. The top end models will last for a few days before needing new batteries and some will come with a base charger for when you are able to generate your own power.

  • Easy to read - one of the biggest difficulties when it comes to finding out about gamma radiation levels is knowing how to read the information. Your dosimeter needs to have clear dials or even a digital display that will keep you updated as you move around. You will need to train anyone who uses the device in how to read it and what the safe levels are.

Top Brands

Knowing where to look will make your dosimeter hunt a little easier as giving you piece of mind that you're going to get a quality product that will protect you. Top brands to look out for include:

  • Mirion Technologies - the unique selling point of the LDM series by Mirion is that they will connect through a USB port to your computer or tablet. This will allow you to download the radiation data that the wearer collects over time. You can then overlay this information with their movements to get an idea of where the boundaries of the radiation have reached.
  • Polismart - Polismart aims to make their products as portable as possible with one of their products doubling up as a watch and a dosimeter. The RadFlash II comes with all the key features and will clip into a top shirt pocket or belt loop.

  • Rados - The Rados range is extensive and you'll be able to find a model to fit your budget. The standard RAD-60 weighs one pound and is more designed to fit in your backpack than a pocket. However, it is one of the most sensitive models on the market, picking up minute changes in radiation as you move around.

You may be surprised at how much you'll be charged for a high end pocket dosimeter with prices easily rising over $300. While you should avoid paying over the odds, you need to avoid buying budget dosimeters as they will tend to burn out in a matter of months leaving you unprotected. $150 will get you a model that will protect you and last until the radiation has fallen to safer levels.

But let’s be honest about this is $300+ worth your family’s life? When you consider these devices literally are lifesaving, it’s far better to get one that can be relied on – no matter what.

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