This morning was very cold but bright.
Tent life revolves around my stove and lantern. All day I've
been looking forward to seeing some of the pictures I've shot.
Digital cameras are the only way to go. The wait after a long
journey is always an anxious one. With a digital I can make
sure I've got the pictures right and send them almost immediately.
Valuable stove heat helps air my clothes too. Despite the
wonderful wicking properties of my clothing daily I strip
off everything to a baselayer and peg my clothes to dangle
and air above the stove. I've been trying out the Horizon
range of socks. As usual I've been layering them. First a
polypropylene liner pair, next a Coolmax polyester sock then
a loop stitch insulating Outlast/wool blend sock. The idea
is for my socks to remain dry by creating a flow of moisture
away from my feet to keep them warm. It'll be interesting
to see how these socks fair in the future when I'll be skiing
next to the dogs for up to 12 hours a day and without being
washed for months on end.
Once aired I stuffed superfluous clothing into a dry bag,
fed the dogs and then myself. I then zipped myself into my
sleeping bag and fired up my laptop. The tents temperature
dropped as usual as I melted more snow to boil and pour into
my steel flasks ready for breakfast.
Laptops have been an integral part of my gear
for years. They're vital for communication and sharing my
experiences with the outside world. Using IT delicates in
extreme cold has created a minefield of problems in the past.
Rugged laptops are now available but in the past for fear
of creating a short circuit due to condensation I used to
wait nearly five hours before booting up in the warmth of
CF-18 Toughbook I'm using now struck up in less than two hours.
I'm safely storing data, this diary and downloaded digital
images from my camera on to its system. It's important to
monitor each dog to achieve ultimate performance. I used to
use just a notebook with simple headings such as name, age,
weight and comments and initial entries described dogs' general
condition, worming and vaccination dates. On my laptop it's
easy for me to archive or email all my data if necessary.
One of the other things I had on the go while doing all this
was baking some bread with a 10", 750 gram Backpacker's
Outback Oven. It's an ingenious system for creating a
wide variety of meal options from simple ingredients.
One of the last things to do before sleeping was to sort out
my contact lenses. I wear CIBA
Vision disposable contact lenses. Outside of my tent spectacles
would freeze to my face.