But maybe that’s just me. It’s definitely not Chris Bray or Clark Carter, two young Australians who made their first attempt to cross Victoria Island up in the Arctic circle back in 2005, when they were just 22 and 21 respectively. Today they fly out to try and complete the 1000km trek they started 3 years ago.
Over the next 100 days, they are likely to be chased by arctic wolves and attacked by polar bears as they make their way across some of the harshest terrain imaginable. But if you think that’s cool, you should check out some of the gadgets they’re taking with them:
The major component of their expedition is their Paddleable Amphibious Carts, or PODs. After making it about 1/3 of the way across the island back in 2005, they came back with bigger and better ideas for how to complete the journey. The PODs are essentially trailers built around the inner tubes of tractor tires, which have been reinforced with Kevlar to withstand
ravenous polar bear attacks the sharp stones they’ll be wheeling over. Remarkably, the duo actually took part in the creation process, moulding the kevlar to the wheels themselves, like superhero modders.
The wheels also help the carts float, so the duo can clip their two carts together to form a raft that they can paddle across rivers, lakes or any other form of water they happen to come across. Then at the end of the day, they simply clip the two carts together and prop up the two single man tents that are connected by a specially designed vestibule for the best possible comfort in a harsh climate.
Considering that they’ll each be carting around 250kg in their PODs, it was important that they could use the same things for multiple uses. Clark told us that was a big lesson learned from their last adventure – if you can use one item to do several things, it means there’s less you have to carry.
On the gadgety side, the couple are sponsored by Asus, and are taking the new Eee PC 900 with them so they can constantly update their website, www.1000hourday.com, plus email friends and family, upload photos and transmit other information to the plethura of research institutes they’re obtaining info for. Because it’s frickin’ freezing on Victoria Island, they needed something based on flash memory to withstand the cold, and after some research found the Eee PC to be ideal for their needs, especially thanks to it being so lightweight.
Clark is also studying for his Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) Majoring in Film at the University of NSW, so he’ll be taking a Panasonic HD camcorder with him to record footage of their journey. They’ll also be accompanied by a GPS tracking device from Landwide Satellite Solutions that automatically updates their website with their current location. Oh, and iPods, which may or may not be playing Eye of the Tiger on high rotation to get them through the journey.
All of their gadgets are powered by solar panels attached to their PODs. The fact that Victoria Island is in perpetual sunlight at this time of year means that unless they’re blanketed by storms non-stop, they should have plenty of juice for all their gadget needs.
We’ll be following their progress carefully over the next few months. If you’re interested, check out their website for more information.
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