Here begins my mention of the Cold subareas of the World's Wildest Places, as they bear on their various Survival Aspects therein. It's in turn composed of several Subareas, beginning with the Antarctic and it's Ice Sheet. So gather up your Polar and various other Cold Wear and Gear!, -for that is the World's Wild Survival Focus, to which we shall now Go!

ANTARCTICA And IT'S ICESHEET - Antarctica, -a Very Very Cold, Windy, Bleak, Isolated, Desert Dry, Often Dark, and Mostly Lifeless, High Altitude Ice Continent! That's what she so very much is! Throw in Virtually Uninhabited as well.

If any places qualify as Truly among Earth's Last Wild Frontiers,- Then this all too often Forgotten corner at the very Bottom of our Planet, has got to be a Top Ranker among them! One of our Greatest Wild Places!, One of our Greatest Survival Challenges!

For Starters, it *Is* the Coldest place on our Planet! And by some Comfortable Margin. It so Outpaces even our North Polar Arctic and Siberia,-as Cold as we know those places to Surely Get. A Reading of Negative 128 . 6 Fahrenheit was measured at Antarctica's Vostok Station,-July 21, 1983. This is near what is known as Antarctica's Cold Pole,-it's Coldest Area, which does not neccessarily coincide with it's Geographic South Pole. ( It's Southern Hemisphere Locale, of course explains the *July* reading.)

Now thats just the Coldest we've ever measured. We've only been making readings for something like a Century. We can be pretty sure it's gotten even Colder, perhaps many a times, in the thousands and more of years before we ever arrived on it's scene. But -128.6 F still says it pretty well!

And this is before we even begin to talk about Wind Chills! The Likes of Hurricane Force Gales regularly blow down there!

And then there's the High Altitude effects of it all!, to Add in. The Continent with it's Icecap is typically around some 10,000 Feet Above Sea Level.

And then you have an entire, long Half Year of midwinter Darkness!, to have to contend with!

( Still, as Cold as this is, -Our Planet is Balmy Warm, -even here!, Compared to how Cold things can Get, and Do Approach being, out in the outer Solar System, for example. Things can conceivably get as Cold as -459.67 Degrees Below Zero Fahrenheit,-Absolute Zero. Were this to occur here on Earth, -I'd venture that you'd need a Mega Raging Bonfire, just to give you a Good Campfire's worth of Warmth! But Antarctica's Far Warmer Cold being considered Balmy?, -We Sure wouldn't consider it so here on Earth! )

At least there is plenty of water there, though in frozen form. And Fresh Water at that! Though you have absolutely No Firewood!, Nor Tinder or Kindling, in which to try to Melt it with, for thousands of miles around! The Continent is something like the size of the U.S. (with Alaska and Hawaii) *and* Half of Canada. With additional thousands of miles of Ruff Cold Seas, before you even begin to arrive at decent sources of Firewood! And you Sure Want one for plenty More than just Melting Ice for Water! Now Off along the Distant Coast, you might be lucky to find some Penguin Down, for Tinder, -but thats about it!

This Same goes for the Great Non-Availability of Shelter and Shelter Materials! In the Vast Antarctic Spaces, -You're Out in the Open! And we think our Great Plains Midwinter Winds Howl Hard? Try Down There! In some locales, you might be able to use Rocks or Ice Chunks to some extent, for Shelter. You more often may be able to build Snow Shelters or Igloos, and such like. But Forget Wood or other Plant Materials!

( I was Amazed to once have read in the National Geographic, of Antarctic Explorers actually being able to Smell Vegetation wafting on over!, from Distant South America! But come to think of it, I suppose that this could actually take place! )

Clearly, Were you to Suddenly find yourself Stranded somewhere in the Midst of the Antarctic, say in a Trans-Antarctic Airliner Crash, (Survival here a Tall Task in Itself !), -Your Immeadiate and Urgent concerns, after Crash Extrication and Medical concerns, would be Warmth, Wind Protection, and Shelter. Closely followed by a Light Source, especially if you Find Yourself Amidst the Mid Antarctic Darkness, -along with Signaling, ELTs, Navigability, Water, and Food.

Whats left of the Aircraft, along with what you find from it's Debris Field, may Very Much be your Main, or Only, Hope of Shelter. You might be lucky enuf to get some Firestarting and Fire Maintenence Materials out of that too.

You'd be even more fortunate to have any Food at all ! And here, -you're gonna Really Need It! Even if you just Sit Tight at the Plane Wreckage, and Not Heavily Exerting yourself. Let Alone if you are! Shud you have to Walk yourself Out! 2000 Daily Calories in the Temperate Mid-Latitudes can equal a 6000 Daily Demand, Down Here! You Need that, -But Where and How are you going to Get It? Forget Hunting, Fishing, Gathering, or Trapping!, -except maybe around the Far Off Coast! You'd be extremely lucky to even sight an Overflying Bird. Much Less Catch it! You just might be able to Scrap Up some surviving bits of Food from the Plane Wreckage.

BTW, I would save what additional, combustible materials, as I can, from being Reached and Uselessly Consumed by any Crash Started Flames! You're gonna Need these too! Grab some loose Seat Cushions and the like, that may be Lying about nearby, as you make your Exit. Don't just leave them sit there. Grab such to the extent you can!

Get one or more ELTs going, in the event none is Doing so already.

Get a Shelter quickly Together with what Wreckage you can.

Get a (Sheltered) Fire with what Firebuilding Materials as you may thereby be able to Access, a Going.

Begin Melting and Storing your Water, from the Heat of such Fire.

Bundle up Additionally, from what Surviving Chlothing, as you may find from the Wreckage / Scattered Baggage from the Debris Field.

Get Hold of any Surviving Light Sources from the Crash. This will Likely Result, if at all, from your initial Firelight Source. You'd Need some form of Light anyway, in order to Search any surrounding Debris Fields.

And Have some of your Combustibles and other Materials Ready to be Put into Play, for Signaling Purposes, on a Moment's Notice!

And Beware of Sudden Whiteouts popping up! Use the Buddy System, Whistle, Keep Talking or Shouting, Improvise some sort of Tether. But Don't Lose yourself, from the Site and Everybody Else!

Concerning Food, You may well have to Resort to Cannibalism. Of course only of those who have already Passed, or Shall Naturally come to Pass, shud be such Food Source Means. You Not Only have the Demands of the Moment and of the Site!, -But you may well have the Demands of a Long Journey Ahead of you! What Napoleon said of an Army Marching on it's Stomach, applies No Less!, Down Here! Speaking Purely Frankly and Factually, those who have Already Naturally Passed around you, ARE by Far, your Greatest Food Source! Avail Yourself of It! Do NOT just let it Pass You By! This may be the ONLY Food you have!, on your Long Journey to the Coast!

This is Precisely what you should Do, if you Judge that you Must make a Walk for It! Head to the Coasts! Or to Inland Scientific Stations. To the Nearest One(s) you can Ascertain and Gather. Far More Scientific Outposts are there along the Coast, than Inland, and even there along Coastal Waters, They're Quite Rare. But even if you Don't Happen upon a Station, -Your Food Availability goes comparatively Way Up here!, as oppossed to Inland. -Here at the Coast, and in it's immeadiately adjacent Waters. Though Food Gathering here too, may often be well Short of Easy!

Also, You'd be in the Warmest Parts of Antarctica, though this too is Relative. Especially if you shud be Fortunate Enuf to Reach it's Palmer Peninsula, it's Greatest Northward Extension. ( In Antarctica, -you Want to Go North!, Toward the Equator! ) But even here, You're still in a Tundra!

Also, You have the Greatest Chance of Rescue and Getting Back in Touch with Civilization, here at the Coasts, than anywhere else!

Watch Out, however, for things like Cliffs, Crevices, Bad Footings, Inrushing Cold Sea Waves, Hypothermia, and Getting Cast Off Seaward on a Breakaway Ice Floe, -Here at the Coast.

These are the sorts of Utter and Urgent!, Life or Death, Make It or Break It!, Survival Imperatives and Conditions one would Face!, if one were Unfortunate Enuf to so Find Themself Stranded!, in This Coldest!, of Earth's Wildest Places!

Remember if Nothing Else the Three Words "Warmth", "Shelter", and "Fire", -First and Foremost!. If This or Anything Like It!, -Shud ever so Unfortunately Befall you! Followed by but a Hair Behind, -by "Wind Protection"!

And May such a Truly Terrible Occurrance / Survival Imperatives as This, -Never Occur to Anyone!

This finishes the Antarctic Subportion of this. The Greenland Icecap as well as Other Subportions of EWP Survival Aspects COLD, will follow in other posts, towards keeping the Lengths down. [color:"black"] [/color] [email]ScottRezaLogan[/email]

Edited by ScottRezaLogan (02/18/04 11:50 PM)
"No Substitute for Victory!"and"You Can't be a Beacon if your Light Don't Shine!"-Gen. Douglass MacArthur and Donna Fargo.