Expedition Food for 3 Weeks

When I’m planning the food for longer trips, I try to make the food as easy and lightweight as possible. It can be fun to sometimes luxury something up, but I like simple meals that are easy and quick to cook. I’m not really choosy when it comes to food, but some may think that my menus looks a bit too monotonous. The most important thing is that you really like what you eat, so that you easily  can take in energy.

Winter expedition food are little easier to plan, and here’s the reasons:

  1. Weight: You’re pulling your stuff in a sled, which is for volume much larger than a backpack and you can pull a lot more weight than you can carry, so you can take some weighty gourmet food with you.
  1. Durability: You can take fresh food with you without fear of rancidity, eg cheese, ham and butter, as the temperature remains low.
  1. Water Sources: You get water anywhere, just as you can melt the snow. So the only water you need to pull in the sled is what you need during the day for drinking and lunch.

Menu for the Svalbard expedition (19 days):

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Food for 3 weeks: potato mash, porridge, blueberry soup, chocolate drinks, sports drinks, minced meat of moose (dried), freeze dried lunches (add water), coffee and coffee creamer, beef jerky, multivitamins, cookies and chocolate with nuts. Still missing from the picture: Bread, butter, cheese, ham, 10 x freeze dried lunches and some more chocolate and nuts.

BREAKFAST

  • Porridge (Elovena Plus Whole Grain Oat & Wildberry Milk, portion instant porridge)
  • Bread (with butter, ham and cheese)
  • Coffee (Moccona and creamer)
  • Multivitamins (effervescent tablet)

SNACKS AND DRINKS

  • Sports Drink (HartSport and Fast, powder)
  • Chocolate with nuts (200 g per day)
  • Beef Jerky

LUNCH

  • Freeze Dried Meal (LYO foods or REAL Turmat)
  • Coffee (3in1) or Chocolate Drink (Oboy)

DINNER

  • Mashed potatoes (Rainbow and various tastes of Mummon Muusi)
  • Minced meat of moose (fried and dried)
  • Chocolate Drink (Van Houten)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Blueberry soup (Ekströms, powder)
  • Cookies (Ballerina milk chocolate)
  • Potato chips (Pringles)

Layers For The Cold

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Here are some tips on how to dress for cold weather. It is the layer on layer method that I have applied. I take into account clothes that I have experience of and that I think has worked well in cold weather. I have divided the subject into four main topics:

1) base layer,
2) mid layer,
3) outer shell layer (including accessories)
and
4) the outer insulation layer.

Below you’ll find detailed explanations and photos about the different layers.

1) Base layer

The idea of the base layer is to keep you warm and dry. Therefore I use merino wool underwear. The merino wool absorbs moisture without feeling wet on you. Merino has also antibacterial properties, resulting in reduced body odor, so you can wear the garments for multiple days in a row. For winter conditions I use a relatively thick base layer: The Devold Expedition two-layer wool underwear. I like the zip neck model so you can ventilate more easily if it gets too hot. I also use merino on my feet. In the picture I have Lorpen’s Merino Liners as base layer.

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2) Mid layer

The mid layer is usually made from fleece or wool. The layer works like an insulation layer. The idea is to keep the warm air close to your body. It’s good if the clothes have a tight fit, because it prevents the air from escaping from your body. I use a Tierra jacket and trousers made from Polartec® fleece material which are great for this purpose. On my feet I have Bridgedale Summit socks, that are designed for cold environments and they are mostly made of wool.

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Continue reading “Layers For The Cold”

Svalbard Training Weekend

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The route: Laivaranta – Kelvenne – Laivaranta

This weekend we had a meeting for our Svalbard expedition. The program included skiing and an overnight stay in tents at Päijänne in Padasjoki. I had an important family event on Saturday, so I took myself to the meeting late in the evening. It was a thoroughly “find the rest of the expedition on the lake of Päijänne” -mission for me. After a two hour drive up to Padasjoki I packed my sled at the Laivaranta harbour. I noticed it already had gone well past eight in the evening, so I had to make my way with the help of my headlamp. I took the course towards the elongated island Kelvenne, which was about 8 km from the harbour.

The weather could have been more Svalbard-like with lots of snow and temperatures well below zero … Instead I skied through slush and water up to my ankles, varying to hard ice surface were you only could go forward with double poling technique (finnish: tasatyöntö). After a two-hour ice skiing I found the camp! They had set up the tents on, what I believe, was the only snow patch of the entire Päijänne. My tent mates had our tent heated, so it was just for me to take off my skis and start to enjoy the evening. The idea of ​​the whole exercise was that we would be able test the equipment we will be using in Svalbard, the most important perhaps the tent, and to meet our tent mates. We’ll stay three persons in a Helsport Svea 4 tent, and it seemed perfectly fine in terms of space. The rest of the expedtion members will share tents in pairs.

During the night, the big snow patch which was the base of our camp, had melted more, and there was now a proper swimming pool in our tent’s vestibule. In the morning it was getting colder, so after we took down our camp we skied off on a hard and icy surface. We tried, where possible, to take us to the shores where there was little snow, but the joy was not as long as we would cross a larger ice area and more slippery and hard ice surfaces. So double poling was the big thing again… We skied a litter longer route back to the harbour, and had a short after ski meeting at the nearby service station. The whole exercise was good training for the Svalbard expedition, and it was great to meet some of the other expedition members, and especially my tent mates! I think we are going to have an awesome expedition in March!

Svalbard in March 2016!

You can truly call this an extempore trip! I had no plans to travel abroad during the spring. Instead I was planning to spend the spring quietly at home with a few ski trips. For about a week ago those plans changed completely: I’m going to Svalbard for a ski expedition in the end of March for three weeks! Svalbard is a group of islands located about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, and yes – there are polar bears walking around.

During these three weeks our plan is to ski about 300 km. We will start the expedition from the town Longyearbyen. If the weather is on our side the plan is to summit the highest mountain peaks Newtontoppen (1713 m) and Perriertoppen (1712 m). We will also visit Pyramiden, which is an abandoned Soviet mining town.

On a typical day we are going to ski about 7-8 hours and the night we are spending in our tents. The sledges will weight about 70-80 kg, but the sledges will get more lighter when the trip progresses.

The expedition is organized by Ankarat Avotunturit, the same company that organized the Vatnajökull expedition last year.

I will write about the training and planning for the Svalbard expedition during the spring, so stay tuned!

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Topographic Map of Svalbard – By Oona Räisänen (Mysid) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Crossing Vatnajökull

You can read about the Vatnajökull expedition we did in May 2105, by clicking the link below:

VATNAJÖKULL 2015

The trip was organized by Ankarat Avotunturit. If you are interested in arctic expeditions I recommend you to check out their courses, programs and expeditons:  Ankarat Avotunturit. If you want to read the blog we wrote from day to day on the glacier you’ll find it here:  Blogi Vatnajökull (in Finnish).

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The expedition across Vatnajökull.

The Paris Pulk Sled

A Fjellpulken fiberglass sled costs nearly 1000 €, but you can get a sled much cheaper than that. EraPro Paris Expedition is a plastic sled which works well for some purposes, and you can buy one for under 60 €. You can find them for example at Varuste.net. In Sarek, I pulled around one, with Fjellpulkens parallel drag, and it was perhaps not the most optimal in mountain conditions. For glacier skiing it should be perfect, because you mainly ski on a flat surface. I got an own Paris sled which I have equipped with rope drag. I have drilled some holes in the sled, and attached a rubber band for holding the load in the sled. To get the luggage in shelter, I have a big bag that is as long and wide as the sled (Snowsled Expedition Bag). As harness I use the basic Fjellpulken harness, which I have equipped with a chest strap.

Arctic expeditions often uses tunnel tents, because the shape can handle the wind and the tents are easy to roll up into a large roll that is attached on the sled. Today i attached straps on my sled, which can be used just for this purpose. The straps also keeps the stuff in the sled steadier in place. Bauhaus had 25 mm straps and fitting clips for the purpose. The result below: