It's been a hectic couple of weeks. Training continues at a steady pace and I'll be updating the training page later this week. I'm keen not to overdo the build up as I know how it easy it is to burn out or pick up an injury which would throw my plan in disarray. As you've probably guessed, the cost of specialist equipment is one of the largest financial factors of any polar expedition. Take something as simple as a pulka (think: big sledge. Larger than the one you had as a child, but infinitely more fun) - the cost for a kevlar model can be anywhere in the region of £1,000 and upwards. That's a lot of money for what is effectively a very large toboggan!
Ski boots are another major cost. The average price seems to be about £300 per pair. Add in skis, cold weather gear, tents, bindings and all the other equipment we'll need and you can see how the price spirals upwards.
So what happens when a gift horse meanders into your living room (or, to be precise, your email inbox)? You grab it with both hands and hold on for dear life.
And that's exactly what I did.
I'm not going to reveal the donors name just yet. What I can say is that the organisation behind the offer have been incredibly kind and I really can't find the words to express my gratitude for this offer.
From a simple call to discuss basic requirements such as visas, routes in, etc, came an offer of equipment. An awful lot of kit. Needless to say the offer was accepted.
Bottom line, we now have the a large chunk of the equipment we need:
Pulka x 2 Skis, poles, boots and bindings Cold weather gear Survival kit Emergency shelter Pots and pans (an obvious requirement, and easily overlooked) Fuel bottles and a lot of other miscellaneous items.
We're off to a good start. Now we have to find the rest of the kit on the list.