The final stage of gear preparation for living at Antarctic field camp is preparing the field-specific gear and machines. During the first week at McMurdo, my team and I went through a number of issues, classes, and trainings to get fully ready for deployment to field camp. A few photos from the process:
During my time waiting at McMurdo, I volunteered quite a bit at the Berg FIeld Center – here, I’m checking out GPS units and certifying them to be used in the field.
Going over the basics of setting up both our main tents, as well as the tents contained in deep field survival bags, which are supplied on aircraft and as backups at field camp.
Part of preparation for field camp is learning how to drive, and maintain snowmobiles. Here, we’re going through a quick overview of how the engine works.
Our on-ice checkout of the snowmobiles, to make sure we’re comfortable riding and operating.
Testing snowmobiles – fun!
Most science teams have their own dedicated Iridium Satellite Phone. It’s quite convenient, and in Antarctica the connection is great.
At the Berg Field Center, we go over our field camp gear list.
Each group gets their own locker in McMurdo, for staging and storing gear during the preparation interval. We were at McMurdo for a month, so it was good that we had a dedicated place to store our gear as it waited for shipment to field camp.
Going through our racks of gear in the cage. You can see sleeping bags, pads, boomerang bags, cots, emergency bags, and all sorts of other supplies.
Extreme cold sleeping bags at the BFC.
Kaleigh helping out with some cots at the BFC
An arctic oven, the tents we slept in at field camp. this is what the internal layer looks like – an exterior shell goes over the top.
Basic field survival classes are required for everybody – even the Antarctic veterans!
Going through the checkout process for our flexible plastic gear sleds, which we tow behind snowmobiles. They’re used for hauling gear, as well as people. TIed to the sled, we have a bunch of bamboo and nylon flags, which we use for marking locations in the snow, such as the edge of the snow ramp to the drill arch.