Tangent Expedition's base in North East Greenland is situated over 450km north of the Arctic Circle. Operating in this environment requires specialist skills and equipment that you may not have used climbing or skiing elsewhere in the world. Tangent's guides will provide you with full training to ensure you stay as comfortable as possible in this environment.
The Arctic weather is too much for the sort of tent you'd put the kids and dog in on a bank holiday weekend. Expedition tents are designed to stand up to gale force winds, tons of snow and brutal conditions. Tangent uses North Face VE25 tents, which sleep 2-3 people. On a guided expedition, these will be provided. Your guide will show you how to erect the tent, build a protective snow wall around it and use the porches for cooking. You'll also learn how to manage cold conditions inside the tent, including brushing ice off the insides!
Small gas canisters don't work well in the cold, so we use multifuel MSR stoves instead. These run on white gas, and perform much better in the cold. Lighting them is a bit of an art, as you increase the pressure in the system using the pump, then prime the stove before getting a hot flame. Your guide will show you how to do this safely.
In the Arctic, you'll need to melt snow for water, which can be a time consuming process. You'll use this water to prepare special freeze dried meals.
Winter in the Arctic requires a lot of equipment. Carrying this on your back for multi-day trips is usually impossible, so you'll use a pulk sled instead. These are big enough to pack in all your personal kit, group camp and safety equipment and food for a multi-week trip. They attach to you using a rucksack-like harness, and can be pulled either on skis or on foot. If you're taking part in the North-South Liverpool Land Traverse or Iceman Polar Challenge, you'll pull a pulk every day. Climbing or ski trips with a base camp may use them to access or change their base camp location.