This Vantage Vue Goes Wherever This First Responder And Outdoorsman Goes
by Jason Ramos
Editor's Note: If you click on to the website of Jason Ramos’s company, Product Research Gear, LLC you will be met with this statement of fact: “There are times when half ass gear can get you killed.” Jason would know. As a first responder, outdoorsman, and weather enthusiast, Jason has created a business that tests, and tests again, equipment that people use for times when “failure is not an option.” As you watch the opening slideshow on the site, you’ll see a familiar sight in the image of Jason’s kitted-out Sportsmobile van: a Vantage Vue. This one has been used, abused, tested, and so appreciated by Jason that he wanted to let us know just how much. He sent us this story.
Being a first responder and owner of Product Research Gear has taken a huge amount of sacrifice and responsibility. I started my career as a wildfire fighter back in 1989 with Riverside County Fire Department. At a very young age, I needed to be able to travel for my occupation throughout the year. Weather monitoring was a huge part of my life. I needed to know about its effect on wildfires in the summer and on windsurfing and freediving in the winter.
I knew better than anyone that Mother Nature is a force that brings us beauty and absolute destruction at times. Make a few mistakes and you can find yourself in a life-and-death situation, like ignoring the weather. I had made these mistakes a few times before and was very lucky to learn from them, stay alive, and keep on going to find a professional solution.
I was living in a self-contained vehicle. That can have huge challenges, with the weather at the top of the list. I was tired of guessing the weather, especially with my profession. How cold is it, how hot, what's the relative humidity, is there a storm coming? I knew I had to find a way to attach a weather station to my Sportsmobile to keep a sharp eye on what was happening in my environment.
So I spent years looking at various companies and possible solutions for this project.
When your home happens to have four wheels, you have many things to think about -- kind of like sailing. At times you don’t have access to modern amenities. You don’t have the convenience of just going to a supermarket. You could literally be hours or days away from the nearest town or help. I had to find a solution that fit my way of living. This was the start of my search for a portable weather station. Remember, this was back almost two decades ago. I needed it to be wireless and able to attach to the van without heavy modifications. My search lasted for years, with countless hours researching different companies and products.
Finally, back in 2009, I found a product that could work: the Vantage Vue. I remember the first call I made to Davis Instruments and told them about my project.
There was silence when I told the Customer Service Rep that I wanted to attach it to a Sportsmobile. Then, “What's a Sportsmobile? And you want to drive with it on a vehicle?”
My response was, “The product doesn’t know what it’s attached to!” (Since then, I have noticed various professional vehicles with a Vantage Vue attached.)
I still have the Vantage Vue I bought in 2009 on my Sportsmobile, with thousands of miles and storms under its belt. Having the ability to be able to see weather data, whether sitting on my couch or going down the road, is a game-changer for me. I’m now able to adjust to conditions in all my adventures or on any emergency mission.
We now have the capability to enjoy the best of our travels and provide valuable information for emergency missions. The Davis Instruments Vantage Vue will continue to monitor the weather 24/7 for us. Since we installed it on the Sportsmobile in 2009, we have not seen any major failures and are absolutely amazed by the quality and ease of use. Through the years I have been able to completely trust my Davis Instruments Vantage Vue.
Thank you, Jason, for giving our rugged little weather station the kind of testing it was built to ace! Here’s to many more years of adventures and life-saving missions together.