(with permission from creators of Gateway Chemistry at UMich)
Calorie, heat, specific heat capacity
B. Ousland and K. O. Storvik, "Alone to the North Pole,"
August 1994, pp. 10-14.
"[On March 2, 1994,] Borge Ousland, a Norwegian explorer and deep-sea diver by profession,
had set out at age thirty-one to make one of the most difficult treks in polar history:
to ski alone
from land to the North Pole, receiving no additional support during his trek.
Alone he would
have to conquer more than 600 miles of drifting ice on the open sea, fighting the severe cold and
other inhospitable conditions, and navigate through pressure ridges formed by huge colliding
blocks of ice that would sometimes be forced upward more than thirty feet.
His only companion
would be his sled, which weighed some 300 pounds at the start, packed with food, stove, tent,
sleeping bag, spare clothing and navigation and maintenance gear.
He also carried various
special items, including a handgun and a kind of sound-and-light grenade, called a flash-bang, to
scare off the polar bears that roam almost everywhere in the Arctic. .
.. [O]nly he can narrate the
'Every morning I would get up early, waking up to a small alarm watch secured to my collar with
To wake up, I left the tent as quickly as possible.
My breakfast would follow:
mixed with sugar, dry milk and soya oil -part of a diet designed to give me abundant Calories to
fuel my efforts, combined with efficient nutrition.
I also ate vitamins and mineral pills as
'Once I broke camp I tried to maintain a steady rhythm of travel:
two hours of skiing, then ten
minutes' rest, then repeat the cycle.
My lunch menu was much the same as my breakfast, and
then I would put in another three cycles of skiing and rest before stopping for the night.
dinner would be either salmon or ham mixed with mashed potatoes and unsaturated fat.
food intake was 6200 Calories a day - about two times what is needed by the average urban adult
male - and I had to discipline myself strictly not to eat any more.
If I hadn't, the food I carried
would not have lasted the sixty-six days I had planned for.
In the first four-fifths of the trip I was
also very strict about not skiing more than ten hours a day.
Breaking that rule would have forced
me to eat much more, and so again I might have run out of food before I reached the Pole.
'I cooked over a small stove powered with heptane -a fuel quite similar to white gas.