Okay so we got equipment for the mountains in Bolivia, which will help with our polar expeditions, but it won’t be enough. For the polar environments, we need really warm down outer layers as well as nice light and wind proof outer shells. Plus of course good boots that will work with ski binding systems. Plus vabour-barrier liner sleeping systems… and more.., At the same time we will be pulling well over 100kg of supplies each through these.
The most important trick is to stay warm but not overheat when you are moving, and not get too sweaty. And when you do sweat, the sweat needs to be transported away from your body. When you stop moving, your body temperatures would drop quickly, so we will need to have the clothes that we can quickly get into to keep up our temperatures. Remember that any sweat in your cloths can easily freeze up if you stop moving. It’s almost an art.
For this, however, we are working with Peter Hutchinson Designs, a company in England that handmakes extremely high quality clothing and equipment for the world’s most extreme cold environments. Equipment such as down jackets, outershells, sleeping bags, down boots, sleeping bag liners, mittens, down trousers and down suits… You can customize equipment such as the down jackets and sleeping bags as well at http://www.design-your-own-sleeping-bag.com/, and http://design-your-own-down-jacket.phdesigns.co.uk/. We already acquired our -40C bags some time ago. The bags should be fine, though I regret not having waited until I found PHDesigns – the scope to which you can customize the gear with them is fantastic.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has worked with PHDesigns on his expeditions, including his current The Coldest Journey – traversing the Antarctic continent (where the coldest ever temperature recorded was -89.2C) in winter, has said that, “The best custom-made down gear in the UK comes from PHD“, and countless of other polar and extreme altitude mountaineering expeditions have used PHD clothing simply because of its excellent quality in the most demanding of circumstances. We look forward to fitting into our new gear!