Counting Down... - March 13th 2013
13th March 2013
100s of KGs of kit, hundreds of individual items, food to be purchased in Canada, guns and ammunition to manage and sponsorship/fundraising efforts to sort out - the lead in to the North Pole is far from simple. D-Day (March 31st) is just around the corner. I have taken 3 weeks off work to make sure I am as prepared as I can be before the big off.
Packing, re-packing and re-packing again
It may sound a little obvious, but there is no North Face store where I am going. If I forget so much as a tent pole, or a glove, it could be very serious... even jeapordise the entire expedition. To make sure I don't screw this up (something history suggests I have a tendency to do), I am in the midst of preparing a list of every last item I will be taking (down to things like a 2sq inch piece of fleece, half a wire coat hanger etc) and will spend 2 full days packing and re-packing. Painful, but necessary.
Alas, the team are still subject to flying regulations and luggage limits as well as laws about bringing food, guns and ammunition into Canada. So, we have shipped up guns and ammo seperately up to Canada, have 1 day in Canada to collect 70 ration packs and food packets each and also what was a very specific 'weighing in' session at a rather unglamourous storage facility just outside Bristol. I will, hopefully, be ready.
Getting fat(ter) in practice
I am reasonably happy with my fitness preparation. I don't have to be at absolute peak fitness, but I have to be very strong, unbreakable but also as fat as I have ever been. I explain why I need to be 15kgs overweight in one of my posts (link to post 'Getting fat(ter)' - the theory sounds great right? Eat as much as possible and just get fat! Not that easy unfortunately... I came back from Aconcagua having lost 4kgs and needing to put on another 10kgs in just 30 days - or 6000 calories a day to put on 1kg of fat every 3 days... all whilst maintaining a reasonably high level of exercise.
I have felt perpeutally bloated from drinking 3-4 pints of full fat milk a day, biscuits, cheese, cream, chorizo, but all going well! Genuinely amazed (and biologically bemused) as to how I put on 3kgs in just 5 days, but with 2.5 weeks to go, I am only 4kgs short of my target and have now passed the point where my worst case weight loss scenario shouldn't be that bad (I would end up only 7% below my 'fit' body weight).
Fundraising and sponsorship - the challenges
Alongside the innumerable complexities of the trip itself, I have the other major challenge of sorting sponsorship and fundraising. These are almost just as important... without the former, it makes these things difficult to do, without the latter it is a wasted opportunity to do something much greater for other people. All that said, I can't possibly describe how difficult these things are... organising fundraising events (e.g. www.racetotheeye.com), agreeing commercial sponsorship details, writing press updates etc etc. If anything it may be a good break once I get out on the ice!
More updates to follow! Until then, please do show your support at www.justgiving.com/thefireandicechallenge! Thanks!
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Maps & Tracking
You can explore the full route to the North Pole and follow Paul’s progress with live maps that will plot his position each day as he progresses towards the pole more >
VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries (www.vso.org.uk). The Fire and Ice Challenge is aiming to raise £50,000 for VSO’s secure livelihoods programme more >