Preparing for Your First Trip to the Arctic

December 7, 2019
Beautiful picture of massive multicolored green vibrant Aurora Borealis

You know how to deal with the cold weather because you live in Park City, Utah. You know how cooling technology works because you own an air-conditioning company. But none of these will probably be helpful for the next big adventure that you are planning. You are going to the arctic for your first polar expedition. You’re excited. You have been planning this for the past two or three years with your friends and some family members. But business has taken an upward turn, with a high demand for your services. You prioritized that, and besides, you need the income from your business to help fund your trip.

There are no tickets yet. No cruise ship booked. Right now, it’s just a confirmation that you’re going. You still need to plan everything. Everyone is doing research and asking around for people they might know who might have gone to the North Pole.

Here are some of the things you might discover:

An Overview of the Arctic Region

There are no polar bears in Antarctica! That’s probably part of the reason you are going to the Arctic or the North Pole. The Arctic is derived from the Greek word “arktos,” which means bear. The prefix “ant” is “anti.” Antarctica then means “opposite” or “no” bears.

Apart from the Arctic Ocean, Parts of the Russian, Greenland, Canadian, American, Norwegian, Icelandic, Swedish, and Finnish territories form part of the northern region.

If you think that you know about cold weather, try -90°F (-68°C), the coldest temperature recorded in the region.

Adventure in the Arctic

rows of snowmobile

You could probably go back and forth to Europe or Asia several times in your lifetime. But a trip to the Arctic might genuinely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Here are a few things you should know about this Arctic adventure.

  1. Get excited about the adventure. You’re not getting off a bus and finding out what China town looks like in LA compared to the one in New York. There’s no set itinerary, so put on your adventure hat and expect that—adventure! Learn and enjoy the unique environment. There are places inhabited by people. Have a conversation.
  2. Listen to experience. If you’ve been told stuff by someone who has been there, whether it’s about safety or survival, do not ignore their advice. There’s a reason they made it back in one piece after their adventure. Listen to them or if it all possible, travel with someone who has been on a similar trip.
  3. Health status. Remaining healthy is critical in both enjoying and surviving the adventure. You need plenty of rest, proper food, and enough hydration. If your health status declines, you will become more a liability to your group.
  4. Equipment. Ready your gear. Double and triple check ropes and how they secure your items. You won’t have exposed fingers to work with, so practice using your hands with mittens.

This is a team adventure, even though you’re with people that you do not know. You need to watch each other’s backs. Go on a sustainable and steady pace. There are more grounds to cover, but this list is a good starting point.

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