Monday, March 11, 2013


One of the biggest challenges with this trip is getting all of the gear to Greenland while staying under the 30kg airline limit, especially since Etihad charge $70 per kilo excess baggage!. This is really difficult, particularly since I need to carry warm gear plus all of my kayaking clothing. I am also taking my own paddle. Paddles are very personal things and it really is best to use what you are comfortable with.
My paddle is a Werner Cyprus, a beautiful paddle that is lovely to use and light as a feather.
I use a Kokotat Goretex Expedition drysuit, it's as good as they get..
I also use Smitten Merino base layer clothing. Wool is a beautiful insulator which has the ability to be worn for days on end and not smell. 
For camping gear, last year I used a Mont Moondance III tent, a spacious, light 3 person tent suitable for 3 seasons. This year, since I will be travelling one month later than last time with a greater possibility of bad weather, Mont is supplying me with their 4+ season Epoch tent. A super stable, 2 person tent suitable for all conditions short of a Pitteraq.
Mont is also supplying a Mont Spindrift XL sleeping bag from their Specialist Boxfoot Series. Suitable for temperatures down to -15°C. I won't be getting cold :-)
Last year I used a Mont Icicle down jacket, toasty warm and well made. I will have the down jacket with me again this year but I will also be using a Mont Lightspeed waterproof outer shell.
I use an Exped Downmat 9. These sleeping mattresses are soooo comfortable. A good nights sleep is really important and with a Downmat there is no excuse.
I will use the same stove as last year, a Primus Omnifuel. It is the only stove on the market that can burn multiple liquid fuels AND gas. That is an invaluable quality in an area where fuel availablility is never guaranteed.
I will have have a Petzl Nao headlamp with me for this trip. Last time, there was far more light with sunrise being at 3 am and sunset about 10 pm. This time sunrise will be approx 5 am and sunset 8 pm so a headlamp will be more important. The Nao has reactive lighting technology which is really effective in putting the right amount of light in the right place.
Communications will be provided via satellite. I will have an Iridium satphone with me. I will also have a DeLorme InReach SE , an ingenious standalone unit that allows the sending and receiving of messages and emails via satellite.It also pairs up with an Android phone or iPhone to allow the use of high quality maps supplied by DeLorme.This also uses the Iridium network. The other satellite networks are unreliable in Greenland as it right on the edge of their range. This means the Spot Messenger is unreliable too as it doesn't use the Iridium network. I need regular contact so I can receive weather forecasts daily.
I will also be carrying a 406MHz GPS PLB just in case it all hits the fan. ACR make the ResQLink+ which is a remarkably compact PLB.
Navigation will be aided by a Garmin GPS62s on which I have loaded maps of the area. Naturally there will be a hard copy map on my deck as well as a compass and the accompanying navigational skill to use it.
I will be taking my Nikon D7000 D-SLR camera plus a range of lenses and plenty of cards and batteries, also a GoPro HD2 video camera. Batteries will be recharged using a Brunton 26W solar panel.  I made a video of the last trip which you can view here .
I will be carrying all of this gear with me in my bushwalking pack. That way, if the weather prohibits paddling I will walk instead.

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