Equipment on the ice

Equipment by the Sledge Load

For Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, deciding what to pack for their 100-day journey was tough enough. But fitting their food, gear, health supplies and technological equipment in a sled that could weigh no more than 250 lbs (113 kg) was downright perplexing! The explorers were forced to get creative in order to pack the things they wanted. As an example, Ann decided to cut her toothbrush in half to reduce weight so she could bring a family photo.

Efficiency was also critical. Consider this: setting up camp each night in up to 100 mph (160 km) winds and blowing snow in under 15 minutes. To expedite this daily chore, Ann and Liv used ice stakes and ice screws to anchor themselves before they assemble their tent. They also selected a three-person pop-up tent (just big enough to live in and easy to set up) and use “rigged,” or easy to construct, gear.

Below is a list of some of the most important items on Ann and Liv’s packing checklist.

Equipment Checklist

• Camping gear: three-person tent, foam pads, sleeping bags and snow shovel.

• Cooking supplies: 17 to 28 gallons (60 to 100 liters) of white gas divided into several tanks, one-burner stove, cooker, spoon, storm matches, lighter, thermos, food and condiments.

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• First aid equipment: antibiotics, pain killers, burn ointment, dressing strips, eye drops, sun cream, tape, sticking plaster and dental filling.

• Repair kit: Leatherman multi-tool, safety pins, glue, screws, tent and sail repair items including extra sail fabric, parachute cord, duct tape, needle, and thread and buckles.

• Navigation, safety and communications equipment: global positioning satellite (GPS) satellite navigation sets, photovoltaic solar collector, compasses, maps, EPIRB (Emergency Position Indication Rescue Beacon), an Apple G3 Powerbook, two-way radio, high-frequency radio, cameras (both digital and video), film and a satellite global text messaging unit.

• Skiing and sailing equipment: two sleds, four sails each, skis (pulling and sailing skis) and ski poles.

• Glacier equipment: instep crampons with four points, snow anchors and ice screws with climbing rope.

• Personal equipment: sun goggles with nose protector, face mask, combination watch/barometer, diary, books, tooth brush and a Swiss army knife.