They give you clothes!

Well, not to keep. But the wonderful “kitting” section of the Australian Antarctic Division is right now trying to figure out what clothes will best fit my self reported measurements. (Do you think they’ve read the stats on the differences between self reported height and weight and the sad reality – that nearly everyone is shorter and fatter than they imagine?) Anyway, my fabulous list of AAD-issue clothing includes: mittens – survival
socks – woollen – survival
freezer suit – survival
work short – high visibility
first aid manual – survival
lunch box for goggle storage”. (On first read I thought that said “Google storage”, an interesting concept)

Sadly you have to give all this wonderful stuff back at the end, although I suppose I won’t have much use for a freezer suit, rigger gloves and goggles with snow tinted lenses once I get back to the sub tropics. And no matter what else you lose or forget, you must have the Field Manual with you all the time. It’s a lifesaver. So they say. I’ve heard already that every safety briefing (and there are many) dwells at length on the many ways you can die in Antarctica (notice how often they use the word survival). Just what a neurotic writer with an overactive imagination needs.

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About Jesse Blackadder

Living at the easternmost tip of Australia on the caldera of an extinct volcano, Jesse Blackadder is a novelist, freelance writer and Doctor of Creative Arts. She is fascinated by landscapes, adventurous women and very cold places and has published three adult novels and three novels for children.
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