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24 November 2016

Crates And Milk Tins

Bernard continues to safely head north making short journey stages, progressing ever nearer to delivering letters to Father Christmas.

Before Bernard set off on his journey I successfully set out a series of crates and drums full of the essentials to keep him and his team fed and warm along their journey route.

No shops exist where Bernard is going. Bernard has a big map and on it, marked with gold stars, are special places where depots have been placed. These cached supplies include dog and human food, plus fuel for melting snow into water for his dogs to drink and to warm his tent. There are a few surprise treats in the depots too.

Into one of Bernard's depot crates went the dog food.

Filling one of Bernard's depot crates with supplies.
In went the fuel.

Placing fuel inside a Bernard crate before sealing it shut.
Polar bears thrive where little else exists because they are armed with extraordinary senses to find food. What it must be like to smell prey miles away under thick ice. Bernard does everything possible not to draw attention to anything in his depots. Every item is sealed inside an airtight bag and that bag is sealed inside another, rendering the contents odourless. This method of avoiding detection by polar bears has never failed Bernard.

Crates and metal drums are how I secure my own journey depots too. Like Bernard's, they are set in places that are scant of snow throughout winter so they can found again. It is always a relief to reach such a depot. Remember, there are no shops in the wilderness.

Happy having cached my own journey supplies a long way from home.
Another cache method that works well in bear country is to use a 40-gallon metal drum. Cut a hole in the base (big enough to load supplies), re-cover hole with sheet metal and secure with self-taping screws. Bernard uses old powdered milk tins.

Bernard supplies go into an old powdered milk tin.
Every time Bernard leaves one depot he will be anxious, wondering if polar bears might have found and eaten the supplies in his next depot. He needs those supplies to keep moving forward. He will be thinking, I must get the letters to Father Christmas.

God speed to Bernard and his dogs.

For more about Gary and his dogs go to www.garyrolfe.com