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December 2006
Doggie Bowls and Guns
It is compulsory to take all kit issued by "Polar Challenge" to the Arctic and on the race itself. Most of this kit was issued this month in Tamworth. I was gobsmacked at the amount and was relieved not to have taken the train up this time ! I was intrigued by the doggy bowl. Was this our potty ? Apparently not, it was our dinner plate ! (a practical approach to eating in confined spaces, avoidance of spillage etc). Where was this alleged pee bowl ? Well it was less of a bowl and more of a plastic jar . Mmmm... may have to practise this one. The other concern is that it's not unlike our drinks flasks. Both of which can double up as hot water bottles in your sleeping bag. Yes... well lets just pass on this one !!

The gun and ammunition worry me somewhat ! For use in emergencies to scare off or protect ourselves from those cute predators I'm afraid. Not issued till we get to the Arctic of course ! My experience of guns is limited to a few paintball games and an unsuccessful afternoon clay pigeon shooting. A day out at the shooting range is most definitely on the cards !!
Team Kit based on 3 people
Individual Kit
Tent with snow valance x 1
Spare tent poles
Tent repair kit
Tent brush x 1
MSR expedition stove x 2
Spares & repair kit
MSR 1 ltr fuel bottles x 4
Plastic fuel cans 5 ltr x 3
Stove boards x 3
Double pan sets x 1
Pan grips x 2
Snow bags (heavy duty plastic) x 2
Snow shovel x 1
Food Resupply Bags x 2 or 3
Medical kit x 1
Charts x 1 set
Eperb (PLB)
Iridium phone x 1
Spare batteries
Firearm *
Sled x 1
Harness (shoulder and waist combined) x 1
Trace/ rope length x 1
Carabina x 1
Skis x 1 pair
Bindings x 1 pair
Sleep mat x 1
Thermarest x 1
Thermarest repair kit
Sleeping bag x 1
Pee bottle x 1
1 ltr flask x 3 plus additional water storage containers
Boots x 1 pair
Liner socks x 2 pairs
Thermal socks x 2 pairs
Liner gloves x 2 pairs
Fleece gloves x 2 pairs
Wind proof overmits x 1 pair
Thermal U/W top x 2
Thermal U/W pants x 2
Powerstretch top x 1
Powerstretch legs x 1
Down duvet jacket x 1
Outer wind suit (2 part) x 1
Balaclava x 1
Thermal hat x 1
Sun glasses x 1 pair
Ski goggles x 2 pairs
Day sack
Weight Competition Progress
With increasing pressure from work colleagues, myself and Pav, the lead techy on the team, were forced into an official weigh-in. Scores are being kept in a spreadsheet . Pav is also looking to put on weight to counter-act calories burnt from his rowing fitness program. I weighed in at 59kg (9 stone and 3lbs) in October. Two months on down my training program, I wasn't convinced my weight would have increased. Pav weighed in at 10 stone 6 lbs , a mere whippet of a lad ! Me , well up almost 60.5kgs (9 stone 7) so not bad. Body fat percentage of 23% increase of 1%) so definitely moving in the right direction.

At the team Xmas Lunch I managed 2 main courses of nut roast and veg and Pav wolfed down 2 desserts !! Next weigh in after the indulgences of Christmas and New Year !
Wet and Windy Christmas
Dutifully went out virtually every day over Christmas holidays in the Lakes. Joined forces with Jean (a fellow competitor) and her hubby Steve to crank up the endurance effort . Endurance it certainly was with all that relentless wind and rain. All made good however by those first evening pints in local cosy pubs

Trying on kit in Tamworth
Gabrielle Finn - Polar Challenge 2007