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Daily Life in Antarctica

Living and working in a remote environment such as Antarctica demands careful planning specialist equipment and well-trained personnel. This applies to staff both on the Stations and at remote field camps.

The techniques of polar living and travel have evolved over the years. Reliable oversnow vehicles have replaced the husky teams; ski-equipped and fixed-wheel aircraft provide transport for staff to some Stations and for field scientists venturing further into the continent; and modern ice-strengthened ships, bristling with navigational aids and scientific laboratories, provide access to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

Field camp on Pine Island Glacier
Field camp on Pine Island Glacier
Most construction and development work occurs in the summer months. The majority of fieldwork is also , usually, restricted to the summer months of comparative warmth and long daylength. Camping in pyramid tents is the norm for Antarctic field parties. With advances in nutrition and in clothing design and fabrics, field staff are well equipped to face the harsh environment. However blizzards still have to be endured and the weather often limits what can be accomplished however novel the technology employed.

Living and working in the Antarctic involves a wide range of outdoor activities in addition to camping from working on the decks of Research ships in the stormy Sourthern Ocean, diving under sea-ice to climbing masts and Antennas.  Recreational activities may include photography, carpentry, badminton, football and skiing. All these involve some form of risk, and the health and safety of staff is of paramount importance .