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Arctic Blast 2001

Education Curriculum & Lesson Plans

Online Classroom Dogsled Expedition

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Team Arctic Blast has over thirty years and 35,000 miles of mushing and arctic travel under their collective belts.  With all that experience, they should be able to answer just about any question you can throw their way.  Once a week, team members will try to provide the answers that you need to know. 


Click above to jump to "questions and answers", or scroll down the page..

Here is what you do: Send an email to questions@polarhusky.com by the end of each week. Then...

On Tuesday of the following week, check out the answers right here on "Q & A with the team"

Q & A Schedule:

Tuesday, February 20th
Tuesday, February 27th
Tuesday, March 6th
Tuesday, March 13th
Tuesday, March 20th
Tuesday, March 27th
Tuesday, May 8th
Tuesday, April 10th
Tuesday, April 17th
Tuesday, April 24th
Tuesday, May 1st
Tuesday, May 8th
Posted Tuesday, March 6th
Is there much plant life in Nunavut? If so, what have you seen? Nunavut is mostly tundra and most of the plants that grow there are usually small and low to the ground. Most plants are visible and growing in the brief arctic summer. Right now, any plants we see are poking up through the snow (willows and grasses) or growing on exposed rocks (lichens). When we are traveling on the ocean, we rarely see plants - sometimes seaweed trapped in the ice.
How many blankets do you have? Actually, we don't have any blankets with us. They wouldn't be warm enough. We use a special sleeping system that includes: 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads, and something called a bivy bag.
How do you keep the computer working in the cold? It is almost impossible for us to use the computer when it is cold. The crystal in the screen freezes solid! Therefore, in order to send messages or check the website, we bring the computer into the tent with us and let run the stove while cooking dinner, melting ice, and drying clothes. We then wait a few hours before turning on the computer.
Do you have any free time on the trail? We actually have very little extra time at all. For the most part, we are constantly working. A typical day consists of cooking breakfast, preparing lunch foods, determining our route, taking down camp, packing the sleds, harnessing the dogs, mushing all day, staking out the dogs, unpacking the sleds, setting up camp, feeding the dogs, cooking dinner, making water, checking the maps, discussing the next day, and finally going to sleep. Now that list doesn't include the times that we are sending information to base camp Eric or National Geographic, live chats, or doing our other educational programs. If we do have a little extra time, its nice to just relax or read.
Do you see "Death Zones" often? When we are traveling on the ice, pressure ridges (i.e. death zones) are fairly common. Most of the time we can find a path around them and don't have to travel through the scary parts.
Can all the dogs run in each position of the team? Yes and no. There are definitely dogs who can run in just about any position. There are only a few dogs who are fast and smart enough to be leaders. However, if they are leaders, they may not like being in the back of the team. Certain dogs like running up near the front of the team (they are usually more responsible) and others run better near the back of the team. Some perform better in the middle of the team because they don't need to be super responsible or super strong.
What kind of clothing do you wear? We wear a three layer system of clothing that consists of a wicking layer (long underware), an insulating layer (fleece) and an outer shell layer (a large parka). All of our clothes are made from synthetic materials.

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