Following the recent cold snap in the United Kingdom that saw temperatures plummet and the country become disrupted, it can make you think about Antarctica the last great wilderness, unconquerable by human beings, a vast desert of uninhabitable conditions. Legendary explorer Robert Falcon Scott lost his life to the brutal weather conditions on his quest to be the first person to the South pole. But just how do you survive the harshest conditions on the planet?
How to survive in Arctic Conditions
Protect yourself against frostbite
– Summer in Antarctica can see temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius, and the freezing wind can instantly cause body parts to freeze. Extremities are the most vulnerable places to suffer from frostbite, so these must be kept covered constantly. Nose, ears, fingers, and toes must all be covered in warm, breathable and quick drying thermal clothes. If water gets on the clothes it is best to try to change them if you can, particularly if on the feet. Movement is important to keep the circulation of the blood to make sure that you are not standing around, and do not wear footwear that is too tight, as you need to encourage as much circulation to the feet as possible. The first signs of frostbite are the skin turning white and a constant stinging feeling.
Make sure that you have the correct equipment and be organised
– You will need a survival kit from an outdoor survival store to survive the harsh conditions here. Make sure that you have all of the correct equipment before you set out and have an emergency survival bag – this should contain food, water, and an emergency tent. Be aware that a person surviving in Antarctica has to consume a lot more calories than normal as you will be using far more to keep your body warm. Chocolate bars are a good way of doing this as they are easy to carry around with you and full of energy. Also, make sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids. When you are travelling in a group, make sure that all members of the group are aware of each other and can see each other at all times. Keep an eye on others in the group as it is easier to look out for problems with other people than yourself – for example, if someone seems to be struggling for breath or stuttering it can be an early indicator of frostbite.
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