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Sunday, February 22, 2009

I was warm!!!

Last night two of my Earthwatch buddies and I were the first to try out our newly built igloo. I was soooooo nervous about being cold, so I brought a few things to add heat to my sleeping bag... a water bottle filled with hot water and a freshly baked potato. I know, it sounds crazy, but did I mention that I was nervous? I also got to sleep in the middle because I was the shortest and that is where the igloo entrance was located. I didn't mind because it meant maximum body heat and minimum chances of snuggling up with a block of ice. To enter the igloo, there was a tunnel dug underground so you had to crawl under and up to get inside. That also allowed a low spot in the igloo for cold air to sink into. We lined the bottom of the igloo with caribou hides for insulation and a vent hole in the "ceiling" provided for ventilation. It was surprisingly warm inside, once I crawled into my -40 rated sleeping bag. (That rating is for survival, not comfort!) But I was quite comfortable. My spud was pretty useless, but the water bottle provided warmth the entire night. I had the mummy sack cinched tight around my face and my hat pulled down over my nose. At one point in the night I reached up to touch my nose because I could no longer feel it. That is when I pulled my hat down over it. In the morning, there was a ring of ice around the opening of my bag from my breath freezing! I am quite tired today, so even though I slept alot, it must have taken alot of energy for my body to stay warm.

Maybe I'm also tired because we had an amazing Northern Lights show last night! Every time I decided it was too cold to be outside, I would go back in and then feel like I was missing something and head out again. The truth was, every time I went back out it was more and more amazing!!! Tonight I will try to photograph them again, as I couldn't juggle both the camera and the igloo living last night.

Today was the coldest I have been yet! We rode in the qamatuks over hard packed snow for about 45 minutes! Then we spent the entire day in the field. We sampled two different stations and then had a "picnic" lunch of nearly frozen sandwiches and rock hard chocolate chip cookies. We did build a fire, but it produced virtually no heat - just a lot of smoke! We then went to a third sampling station and by the time the 45 minute ride home was over I was nearly frozen solid. With wind chill it was -42 today! Ugh! I'm tired, so no blog challenge for you tonight. Look for one due Tuesday. If you want to talk to me again while I'm here, talk to Ms. Duffy about possibly doing a conference on Tuesday at lunch.
Stay warm!


At February 22, 2009 at 10:40 PM , Anonymous 3 - McKenzie Campagna said...

I think it's neat that you get to experience the "organic" way of getting warm in the snow. And it surprisingly works. Maybe in nature there are always natural ways of doing things that are effective as well?

P.S. Of all things, a hot little potato?


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