Monday, 2 March 2009

Tent life

A number of people have asked what happens when you make camp. So today's blog is all about arctic camp craft.

Once you have chosen a place to set up camp, I first get the tent out of my pulk and anchor one side of the tent down with a ski. This straight away stops it from blowing away. Next I go around unfolding the poles and anchoring the corners and guy ropes with ice screws, ski poles or stakes. Once up then snow is shoveled on to the snow skirts around the tent adding extra security. If the tent blows away then I would have no shelter from the cold. This is my most worrying time, especially in the wind.

The tent is now up and secure so I can start moving kit inside. Before I can get into my warm sleeping bag, I have to cook and rehydrate myself. The steam from boiling water would be disastrous if it got into my down clothing and sleeping bag. The moisture would just freeze and reduce the warmth from this essential kit. If I can't keep warm then the expedition is over.

Once I have eaten I can move my stove inside to dry kit and heat the tent. This is the only time in the day the temperature gets above 0'c and is a nice time to repair kit and write my blogs. After all this I can then get inside my sleeping bag. This normally takes a couple of hours and then I sleep and get ready for tomorrow.

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