In 1944, Carl Hopkins Elmore published, Quit You like Men. What made this book famous in its day was the story about Sir Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton was planning a trip to the South Pole and had to figure out how to build a team on limited resources. How was he going to get people to risk everything for questionable rewards? He ostensibly solved this dilemma by publishing a bold challenge in the newspapers: “Men wanted for hazardous journey to the South Pole. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”
Shackleton later commented that he received an overwhelming response, giving him the impression that all the men in Great Britain were keen to accompany him on this wild adventure. Whether or not Shackleton exaggerated about the large number of people willing to take him up on his offer, his venture did establish one thing: a certain percentage of the human race are quite willing to try out any kind of adventure in a harsh environment. In fact, based on the enthusiasm for the Mars One, First Private Mars Mission scheduled for 2018, it appears that people are even willing to embrace unknown dangers on another planet.
While you may not have any plans to go to the South Pole or be among the first colonists on Mars, you may be trying to prepare for an education and career involving lots of exposure to the elements or living in tough environments. If you are, here are three tips to help you figure out what you should do to get ready for your big adventure:
- Take your personal technology with you to record your adventures.
You will need your personal technology to take pictures, make videos, record ideas, and communicate with the outer world. Even in remote areas with weather extremes, you might be able to have functional technology. Whatever you take–cameras, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc–be sure you can protect it. Moreover, the protection should be specifically designed for that device. If you take an iPhone 6, you have to use a specially designed, high end iphone 6 case to protect it.
At this point, you may be thinking that this is an absurd suggestion: how is personal technology even possible in a harsh, remote environment? If you’re having those kinds of doubts, which on the surface of it, appear quite reasonable, you may have underestimated the ingenuity of your species.
According to Frozen Phones: Antarctica gets its own cellular network, an article by Kevin Fitchard on Gigaom: “The Australian Depart of the Environment’s Antarctic Division has fielded a GSM network supplied by Range Networks at its research station on Macquarie Island, about halfway between the Australia and the frozen continent. It has plans to expand that network to three more research stations on the Antarctic mainland.”
- Toughen up to handle adversity.
Regardless of how healthy and fit you are, there has got to be some room for improvement. You will need all the mental toughness and physical health and strength you can muster when you’re trekking through a harsh environment.
Suppose you were going on a botany field trip up the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, how would you prepare? You would work on increasing your aerobic fitness and physical strength because you will have multiple days of hiking and climbing. You would break in your equipment by hiking with it. And you would train at altitude.
Suppose you were going to Antarctica, how would you prepare? Besides working to get as healthy and fit as possible and getting the right attire for proper body protection, researchers in Antarctica often have to have their appendix and wisdom teeth removed to obviate those kind of emergency health issues.
- Learn all you can about the environment before you go.
The better you can close the gap between your expectations and the reality you are about to experience, the easier it will be to adjust. Use Google Earth, create a checklist of websites that will give you with the most accurate information, check out the library for archived information that never made it online, and talk to people who have been to your destination. In other words, arm yourself to the teeth with knowledge.
Whether you are planning to save the ferret population in the state of Montana or hoping to learn about marine biology in Antartica, these three tips will help you meet the challenges of exploring and living in harsh environments for the purpose of human advancement
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