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  • Survival gear

    I'm adding this thread again as it got lost in a server-move recently - original authors of posts in the head of the post. It's not pretty but the best I can think of without deleting posts or re-setting passwords.


    Original post by Snowcat Operations

    I would like to know what kind of survival gear you use when you travel out on mini expeditions? I know back in the 60s when ANAR personel went out in the Aktiv Snow Tracs (Snowcat) that they carried 14 days of survival equipment in case they became seprated from the other vehicles. I have seen some pictures of the very incredable tents that seem to have solid or insulated floors. I would like to know who manufaturers this type of equipment. Thank you for any help.

  • #2
    Re: Survival gear

    Reply by Drummy

    It all depends on what you mean by a 'mini-expedition'. My experience in the 1970s was on dog sledges with a very small number of skidoo sorties plus depot laying with the aircraft during the summer. Most of the main sledge journeys I was involved in varied from 2 - 6 weeks in autumn/winter to 3-4 months for the main summer journey. There were also short day trips on the sea ice around the base (Stonington Island) during the winter. The ?Doggy Men? tended to be a bit dismissive of the ?machine travellers?. After all, some pulled a caboose along behind and didn?t even use tents. Admittedly the machines didn?t need to be fed when the weather was too bad to travel nor did they crap all over your sledge runners but you couldn?t talk to them and you can?t eat a piston if you?re are out of food!

    The basic principle is always to assume the worst. For short 'day trips' by dog sledge whether from base or from a static field camp the minimum was rescue equipment (abseil harness, rescue rope, electron ladder, haltrac pulley, crampons, ice axe, jumars, karabiners, ice pegs & screws, deadmen, etc.), personal bag (double down sleeping bag, airbed and sheepskin for insulation, bivouac sack, space blanket), a small tent, 7 days food and fuel, radio box and cooking equipment. The same applied to short skidoo outings. The rescue sack was always the last to be loaded onto the sledge and was never lashed down with the rest of the load. It was held on in an immediately accessible place by a shock cord for quick access.

    The aircraft always carried tent, food and rescue equipment anyway so it was just a case of slinging your personal bag on board.

    All sledges would carry various additional items in drift proofed sledge bags slung fore and aft on the handlebars. These might include extra rations, spare emergency clothing and spare primus stove, spare prismatic compass, etc. it was rather up to each individual driver what the detailed contents were. Needless to say the sledge bags also contained camera equipment and film. There is not much point in having an emergency without the photographic evidence to prove it! We also carried a 45 revolver and 50 rounds in case we were set upon by pirate penguins and had to circle the sledges!

    Everyone in the field also carried a 'suicide kit' usually in a small pocket on the front of their outer jacket. It contained morphine syrettes and a couple of prussic loops - basic rope sling equivalents of jumar clamps for climbing up a rescue rope. Mine also had a waterproof tube of matches, especially important on sea ice.

    I've never experienced solid insulated floor tents. These would have taken up far too much space to be practical for dog sledge travel. We used a standard 3-4 man pyramid tent with a rubberised ground sheet laid down on the inside once the tent was erected. You can see the type of tents we used in a couple of my photos in the members' pictures section.

    Essential safety rules for all trips also applied. We would rarely travel with only one dog sledge team especially on sea ice or in crevassed areas. Never put all your food (dog or man) on one sledge. The main tent and the spare tent were always on different sledges as was spare fuel for cooking and heating.

    I?m sure there are other things I?ve forgotten after 30 or so years but we always had one guiding principle, ?It takes no intelligence to be either uncomfortable or dead.?

    Drummy

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Survival gear

      Original post by Snowcat Operations


      Drummy,
      Thank you very much for your input. I am in the process of rebuilding one of my snowcat for an extended outing. I have been a snowcat operator for years and love to see places people tend to never go during the winter. I have a huge selection of survival gear that I use depending on where I will be going. I just wanted to hear what you all used in Antarctica. It sound pretty much what I use with out getting into small details. Next winter I have a little expedition of my own planned with two other deep powder snowcats that should see us abou 200 miles from anyone or anything. Should be fun. Thanks for your help. Please input anything if something comes to mind.

      Mike

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Survival gear

        The gear Drummy quotes seems almost timeless, all that changes is the materials and the technology. Fleece instead of wool, better radios, GPS etc.

        The principles of self-reliance and spreading the risk between sledges / vehicles always apply, as do enough fuel to melt snow for water and enough high-calorie food for basic and emergency rations. Assume the worst and always pitch your tent as if you'll be there a month (sometimes people have been!).

        I'm intrigued now Snowcat - where is this trip to be? Any chance of pictures of your vehicles or previous outings?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Survival gear

          Original post by Snowcat Operations

          Thanks Paul for the interest. This particular trip will be in Nevada. I happen to live in one of the most remote locations in the lower 48 States. We get temps in the -40 below in the winter times (but usually -20 not including any windchill factors). Most people dont even realize how much snow Nevada gets. They think its all flat desert. Most people dont even realize that Nevada has more mountain ranges than all of the other States combined. The trip will be a round trip exploring several sites of interest and to do a very brief study on some of the local Mustang herds. The study is just about where and how they winter in the Valleys I know them to be in. I will also take lots of pictures weather permitting. Nothing official just my own questions I want answered. I will Gladly post some pictures on past excursions. If anyone is interested I can post pictures of my progress of the rebuild on my Snowcat as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Survival gear

            As it happens Nevada is one of the few places in the US I know a little about. Someone I know moved there from Montana about a year ago (I've never been), so we've communicated quite a bit about it. He's in the process of building a website about it http://www.exploringnevada.com/

            I didn't realise quite how big it all was though or so mountainous.

            Pictures would be great if you can post them in the pictures section - it does take some time though.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Survival gear

              Original post by Pirates Armada

              sweet... everything i just wrote got earased! well basiclly that sounds fun. exploring in nevada. i do the same but with high lake back packing. the type with no trails, 20 miles round trip and just about every terrain you can think of besides the extremes desert/ice very mountainous and very steep. the trail head is at 2500 feet and the destination is just under 8000, a mile gain in a 2-3 mile part of the hike. It's misery and a lot of pain but worth it when you get there. the 32f degree water feels good after your done screaming like a little girl. the first time we got lost and had to use a compass but now on the 4th time its weird how you remember how to get there with no map or compass. share pics if you get them! Snowcat???? that takes all the fun out of the journey.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Survival gear

                Original post by Pirates Armada

                i'd like to add i was 13 when i first did it. and yes i feel special! conquered it like it was no bodys bizness

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Survival gear

                  Not sure where to post the pictures of my snowcats. We will be leaving in January to complete a short 200 mile expedition in Idaho and Montana. We plan on travelling in the Wilderness of the River of No Return. The Nevada trip was cancelled since we changed the location of our Snowcat meet. I will still post pictures of my own trips into the Great White Outback of Nevada when winter finally hits.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Survival gear

                    I think the Members Gallery would be the best place.
                    drummy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Survival gear

                      Hi Snowcat - I'd love to see some of your pics, I have a good friend who used to live in Montana and he had some great photos from his trips around the state.

                      The members pictures section is the place to put them:

                      http://www.coolantarctica.com/PhotoPost/index.php

                      If you have them as files from 100-400kb on your desktop in a file, then that's the easiest way to do it, you have to upload them individually I'm afraid.

                      Comment

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