Join Patrick at one of his public presentations to hear about his experience of Antarctica.

5th March 2015 at Canon (UK) Ltd, Reigate, 6.30pm
This event is organised by Royal Society of Arts, Surrey. Click here to register.

14th April 2015
at the Lloyd Hall, Outwood, Surrey, 7pm
Join Patrick for drinks and nibbles. For a free ticket please email or phone 07551 255544.

26 November 2014

The Nitty Gritty

I’ve been very busy recently, speaking at various different places about my South Pole trip, and the questions which I get asked time and time again are all about the nitty gritty – what do you eat? How do you communicate? How do you go to the toilet?

Before a recent lecture at Hurstpierpoint school
So here’s a bit of a breakdown of what I’m expecting it to be like when two old blokes are dumped in the middle of bleak Antarctica! Bear in mind that it’s going to be light 24 hours a day so 7:00am is an arbitrary measure!

7:00am We wake up in our little red home – a tent which was previously used on the Walking with the Wounded expedition in 2013 – still wearing our clothes (you’ll all be glad to hear that I won’t be stripping down to my birthday suit unlike Alexander Skarsgard!) and pack up the sleeping bags and mats, then brush off the ice on the inside of the tent (!) and start the breakfast process.

I'm not looking forward to waking up to a frosty tent!
Breakfast will be an enticing mix of granola and milk powder, mixed up with melted and sterilised ice and chased by an instant coffee.

We’ll also make up our lunch of cheese, nuts, chocolate and biscuits at this point along with a sweet powdered drink to keep our energy and hydration up while we’re moving. We must have our food to hand throughout the day, as any time spent rummaging through the carefully packed sledge is wasted time when we’ll be getting cold.

We don't want to get any colder than we have to!
8:00am Time to put on the amazing Norwegian Alfa boots and peek outside for the first time of the day. We will use the opportunity to go to the toilet in the relative shelter of the tent ( a bottle) before packing up the sledge, checking our ski bindings and taking down the tent.

Our little red home
Now, Conrad is a military man and has a strict tent disassembly routine which will mean that when it comes to the end of a long day of battling the katabatic wind of Antarctica (this means that whichever angle you approach the South Pole from, you will be against the wind since altitude is increasing) we can whip up the tent in five minutes flat.

File:Katabatic-wind hg.svg
Katabatic wind - one of our hazards
I don't want you to doze off while you're reading, so I'll end this blog here and post the rest of it soon!

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