The most popular model is without doubt the anatomical rucksack (frameless rucksack) where everything must be inside the rucksack (including the sleeping bag), although a sleeping mat and tent can be attached to the outside of the pack. In addition, the bag can be taken off and you can carry things on the frame.
Try the rucksack at the outlet concerned. Choose one which fits your back and not least what you’re able to carry.
It’s still possible to try a full rucksack at certain outlets. This will give you a realistic picture of what the particular rucksack is like in daily use. In fact, it’s a good idea to choose your rucksack on this basis.
If you want to be absolutely certain, buy recognised brands such as Lowe, Bergans, Osprey, Arc’teryx, etc., all of which are very durable.
A cover for your rucksack is a good idea for use on rainy days and to use in the apsis of the tent, where the rucksack can be placed on the cover so that it doesn’t get damp and mouldy.
Extra webbing (nylon) can also be made and attached to the rucksack so that the sleeping mat is held securely or bags of nylon suitable for clothes and similar items located within the rucksack so that everything remains in place.
There are several good tent designs, e.g. the tunnel tent, the traditional ridge tent and the dome tent.
Requirements with regard to a tent should be robustness and stability in bad weather conditions. There must also be enough space for gear and people. This is easily achieved with a tunnel tent, which is erected with the apsis facing the wind so that that the smallest surface area is exposed to the wind and the tent can thus withstand harsh weather conditions.
A tent that is erected on a level surface is the most comfortable to sleep in.
Make sure that there’s running water close by, as this is required when preparing food, etc.
Choosing a tent can be difficult as there are many different designs on the market, often with different combinations of types of tent (dome/tunnel tent). However, a tent doesn’t have to have been tried and tested on Mount Everest to be good.
MAP AND COMPASS
A map shows details in the landscape.
The vertical lines on the map are called meridians. These should be used when deciding on the compass direction.
Contours are lines which show how steep or flat a mountain or a hill is. Close contours indicate a very steep slope.
The map also contains another important item of information, i.e. magnetic declination, which indicates how many degrees the compass has to be offset.
The compass is your guide. It has an arrow which shows the direction you have to follow. The round circle in which the compass needle sits is called the compass housing. It can be rotated so that magnetic declination can be taken into account. It is essential that this is taken into account, as the magnetic declination in Greenland can be as much as 40 degrees.
The red section of the compass needle points towards magnetic north. If you’re using the map and have to use the course in the terrain, you have to add the degree of magnetic declination, but if you have the course in the terrain and shall apply it to the map, e.g. for a bearing, you must deduct the declination.
In addition to compass error, you also have to take into account the fact that in certain areas of Greenland there are metals in the ground that can affect the accuracy of the compass. In the event that this occurs or that you lose your compass, it’s essential that you keep an eye on the surroundings and establish your own sense of direction.
If you lose your compass and map, it’ll become more difficult to orientate yourself correctly, but if this should occur, you can find the four cardinal directions by means of an accurate watch with hour and minute hands. If it’s before midday (12.00), point the hour hand at the sun and find half the distance between the hour hand and the 12 on the watch. This indicates south. After midday (12.00) you can find south by halving the distance between 12 on the watch and the hour hand.
Once you’ve located south, you can then also find north, east and west, and thus navigate without a compass in an emergency.