Bel Antar 2018

Mission belge Antarctique 2018

Where do you sleep in Antarctica ?


by Hugues Goosse

Unfortunately, the options are scarce. No web site is available to find the best accommodation for your needs. At least for us, it seems that the first choice is to sleep in containers.

You have the Novo Air Base way, where we were eight in a container, using our own sleeping bags on very soft mattresses.

The Princess Elisabeth station have rooms inside but now they renovate some parts and make new rooms. Consequently, we were put in containers, but they were much nicer, with good beds and clean sheets.

The exterior of sleeping room number 2 at Princess Elisabeth Station

And the interior


It was quite comfortable but maybe on our way back we would be able to test the new rooms.

The second way is to sleep in tents. It may seem a bit stressing to sleep on ice in Antarctica with potentially strong winds and -10°C at night.

However, if things are done in the right way, it is not too bad. Building the tent could first be a challenge if the wind is blowing strongly. You must then have good isolation from the cold ground and from the wind.

The entrance of the tent should be opposite to main wind directions. You should also put snow on the sides of the tent to avoid snow drifting below the tent.

Nos tentes au premier camp de base

Our tents at the first field camp

The soil isolation is achieved using a first mattress with aluminum coating and then a more classical inflating mattress.

Finally, the sleeping bag must be warm enough, guaranteed to -20°C for instance. It is sometimes a bit hard to get in the sleeping bag in the night but it is much warmer in the morning when the sun has warm up the tent.

Le sac de couchage indispensable en Antarctique

Then, we can have breakfast and have a hot drink … in the container that we use for the kitchen.

 


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