Ms. Tomato is back on The Ice, this time headed for a field camp on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS Divide). To prepare her for three months of sleeping in a tent in sub-zero temperatures, she was sent to survival school, also known as Happy Camper. The experience was not always Happy, but it was most informative and appreciated.
The above photo is a full view of our outdoor kitchen, one that served 20 campers, all of us living outdoors for 30 hours or so with camping gear, dehydrated meals, and chocolate bars. It took quite some time to boil snow, but we were lucky to have sunny skies, little wind, and a relatively warm temperature of 8 degrees F. Not a lot of REM actually took place, but now we know what we are in for.
The WAIS Divide field camp is not quite as rustic as this. There is an actual kitchen in place with a Wolf Range, and a tented dining room with indoor heat. Staff will, however, sleep in ground tents with a lot of heavy-duty sleeping bags and a hot water bottle for warmth. Should be a good time.