The following has been nagging me, but forgive me if these have already been discussed before.
They were experienced hikers (except maybe Semyon Zolotaryov), they knew how to navigate. But still, did they have a compass or some kind of navigation equipment between them?
Dear Jay ! .
These are the kinds of questions that are so obvious that they are not addressed in such studies because they are clear and obvious to those who have written about them.
If you have difficulty understanding these questions, I can answer them perfectly.
At the time, it was thought that every traveler of this level should have a compass. As practice has shown, this is an excessive requirement. Such requirement was clearly overstated and was not always enforced, for practical reasons.
For the whole group 2...3 pieces of compasses are required. Of course, it is possible to secure yourself additionally against accidents and take 4 pieces. But more is absolutely unnecessary. In my 60 years of such travels I have never had the need use more than 2 compasses in a group. More might be really necessary only if the group has split up for some reason, but that's an exceptional case.
No other is required for this level of travel, and they were very close to the same understanding.
In the criminal case and in the memories of the search participants nothing is said about compasses because it was obvious and everyone understood it exactly the same way. You don't talk all the time about having a spoon for lunch, do you?
They used, then very widespread compass by Andrianov topographer.
It had metal casing, and the gray end of the arrow (triangle) and some marks on the scale were covered with glow-in-the-dark composition, which included radioactive materials.
Such a compass was found on the hand of Semyon Zolotarev. Probably, Dyatlov and Krivonischenko had similar compass, as they were working with maps and making route map.
And how come so few torches between them and I haven't seen much talk about batteries for the torches - they knew they would be spending many dark nights on this expedition.
This question is resolved in exactly the same way as the question of compasses.
If you read all the available information about their lanterns, it turns out as follows:
- (A) Igor Dyatlov had a flashlight of the "Chinese" type
Exactly like the one in this picture.
- (B) Semyon Zolotarev had flashlight that he had since WWII, or similar one that he bought later. It was flashlight of the "square (or rather rectangular)" type:
You can see it on his clothes on this trip, for example:
It is highlighted here on purpose.
- (C) the protocols of the investigator said that flashlight of the "Bug" type was found in the tent.
It is flashlight that looks like this:
I just have apologize for its appearance - since it is very old, so it has broken and lost round safety glass and the nut that screws it to the lantern.
Its unofficial name came about because it has small electric generator inside, and when you periodically push the lever (according to the arrows) it generates electricity and makes buzzing sound like as bug. Such flashlight requires no batteries, which is very important in winter when it is freezing, when batteries lose their ability if not specially warmed.
- (D) another type of flashlight that they used (this is written about in the protocol of the labaz (warehouse)) was design that consisted only of battery, light bulb and two or three insulated wires.
The general diagram of such "unit" can be seen in this figure:
The wires are soldered to the battery and the bulb, but cut is made in the place marked with an "X". When such flashlight is stored before use, the wires are not even stripped of their insulation at the point of the cut, so as not to accidentally short-circuit the wires. When you need such flashlight to shine, the insulation of the wire near the "X" point is torn off (on small section!) and the 2 bare sections are twisted together. In terms of reliability, such design is very far ahead of other (including factory) designs, because there is minimum of simple contacts. Here they are all soldered, which is about 100 times more reliable than regular one - just as point contact. In a "regular" flashlight, there are at least 5 points of such contacts, but here there is one!
Such flashlights are still used today as emergency or special flashlights. When we went to our expedition to the pass in February 2014, I made imitation of such design based on modern parts and units to test the visibility of the light of similar flashlight in 1959.
Here it is not shown in full, but all elements of the circuit were present.
My main task was implement the same parameters of light, which should correspond to what was in the lanterns of Dyatlov's group. This was done check the range of detection of the light. The light bulb and battery capacity were calculated to be the same as in Igor Dyatlov's flashlight of "Chinese" type. Equivalence was ensured by current and voltage (in the product of the multipliers it is power), and also by the correspondence of the efficiency of the incandescent bulb.
Of course, Dyatlov's group probably had 1 or 2 more flashlights, but they were not mentioned or written about because they did not change anything in the analysis of the behavior and capabilities of the group. They were found, either in tent, or in labaz-camp (warehouse), or in the individual backpacks of one of the participants. Taking into account the stock, about 6...8 flashlights were needed for such a trip. I repeat: it is inclusive of stock, flashlights of type (D) and spare batteries in this case spare battery counts as one flashlight. With economical consumption and the right maintenance, that should be fine for trip like this.