Journey to 'the Top of the Earth'

What rules to follow when visiting the Arctic

10.03.2022 // The first thing to remember about the Arctic is that it is always cold. Low temperatures are the norm here. However, not everyone understands what it means to spend a few days in such conditions. The tourist's equipment is of utter importance. Two main 'rules of eighty' should be taken into account when preparing equipment.

The first one: the human body can lose up to 80% of heat through the uncovered head; the second one: up to 80% of all frostbite cases occur in the lower extremities. Therefore, special attention must be paid to insulating the head and legs even at above-zero temperatures, as in the Arctic, those can go negative in a blink of an eye.

The second thing to consider, especially if you are not very experienced, is that any adventure in the Arctic poses a certain risk. For example, you could fall into an icy lake. If that happens, you should take off your clothes and shoes as soon as you get out of the water, wring them out, put them back on and seek help immediately. Another common dangerous situation is people getting lost or stuck in the middle of a snowy desert because of a broken vehicle.

Should you find yourself in such a situation, the first thing to do is to try sending a distress signal. And even if you manage to report an emergency, you need to start building a snow shelter while you are waiting for help to arrive. We recommend building an Eskimo igloo hut, which is made from snow blocks. It's not worth trying to get back to civilisation by yourself if you don't know the way. It is better to wait for help.

Rule number three: eat calorie-rich food. Given the enormous strain the human body goes through in the Arctic, your diet must feature an increased amount of fats and carbohydrates. These days, there are special 'emergency rations' available for Arctic travellers.

However, experienced polar explorers advise to always carry 200–300 grams of sweets.

Another important thing to remember is that in the North, your body needs more fluid.

Rule number four: in the Arctic, you are a guest. When travelling through the Arctic expanses, you may run into a true indigenous inhabitant of the North, such as a polar bear. In order to avoid trouble, you must remember the following rules when meeting a polar bear. Do not try to run immediately, so as not to trigger the animal’s instinct of pursuit. A better idea is to stay still for a while, and then, slowly and without turning your back on the animal, begin moving to a safer place. You can try scaring the animal away with a flare gun. The sudden sound of a starting vehicle may also alert it.

Rule number five: transportation and communication. When on an Arctic voyage, on top of your usual radiotelephony, you would do good to use a trunking system that will allow you to make an urgent call through the operator. You can also use satellite communication systems. They provide broadband radio access even in the most remote locations. The situation with transport is similar. Despite the well-developed communications, in the North, you will have to make adjustments for the climate, weather and terrain.

Knowing all these rules, tourists can safely go on their unforgettable and most importantly safe journey to 'the top of the Earth.'

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