Friday, 13 February 2015

All the Gear...

At Christmas I had a little kindle binge on a few adventure related books, including a few involving polar expeditions.  That coupled with watching Richard Parks attempt at breaking a world record in Antarctica got me thinking, if I landed in Antarctica tomorrow, could I mount an expedition?

Well the quick and easy answer is no!  But could I mount a half arsed trek without dying in the first week? 

Putting aside the small matters of actual training, physical conditioning and having any idea of what I am doing, could I raid the kit cupboard and come up with the gear to do the job?

ShelterHilleberg Nammatj 2 GT Tent.  Boom!  Polar capable tent right there!

Sleeping Bag – North Face Inferno +0.  A -18C bag is a little on a cool side, but made worse by the fact that the -18 isn’t the ‘comfort’ rating.  The comfort is about -10C, but I could combine it with a down quilt.

Sleeping Mat – Exped Downmat 9.  Good down to -38.

Stove – SOTO Muka.  Running on Coleman Fuel, should do OK.  Might need some spares though…

Pots n Pans – Too many options.  I’m covered.

Food – A weeks worth of Mountain House, Good To Go, Fuizion and Cliff bars.

So I have shelter and some warmth, but I need to move around?

Hats and balaclava – enough to equip a small expedition.

Goggles  and sunglasses – Jublo goggles and glacier sunglasses should keep the eyes in good nick.

Buff – again a few lying around!

Socks – Good old wool Bridgedales.

Boots – Insulated Merrel Iceclaws.  Would be ok to a few below zero, but likely to lose my toes in a polar region!

Baselayers – A combination of Rab MeCo’s (various thicknesses) and Brynje tops would keep my torso toasty.  Leg coverage is a bit lacking, with Rab MeCo 120’s.

Trousers – Craghopper Lined Kiwis, hmm Ok I might lose my legs along with the toes.
Midlayers – Fleeces, shirts, PHD wafer down and more Rabs.

Outer layers – Rab Vapourise, Rab Strata and a Rab Boltaro Guide should be OK if the weathers nice and I’m moving.  I have down jackets (micro and thicker) for sitting around.  Though I got cold wearing a micro down jacket AND a thick down jacket when sat around at Everest basecamp and that was only -10!

No skis or snowshoes mean I’m unlikely to go far!

So I can conclude that I will survive a few days but be pretty much camp bound.  Might actually have to go out and use this gear once in a while! 

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