First off, the expedition did not go as smoothly as expected. On three occasions we were recommended to get ourselves to relative safety by the project safety manager at ICE-SAR (Iceland Search and Rescue); whom we had been in contact with since august, and also every day throughout the expedition. This included three rescue operations along the route, all organized by ICE-SAR. As you can imagine, this was a huge blow to us to give up the expedition within 4 days of starting. We didn’t let this get to us though, and that is why we kept pushing forwards through the incredible bad luck that we had. In the end, we were evacuated for the last time, after having started out on our last day of the expedition, just before storm Frank hit Iceland (the first recorded storm to ever raise temperatures above melting point in the north pole!).
Despite all of this, the expedition aim for me had always been to help inspire and motivate people to enjoy the outdoors, because we thought that not enough people around our age are doing this. On top of this, we are also trying to push people our age to get out and chase their dreams a bit more, just like we did by rising enough support from great companies such as you to fulfill our dream of attempting to cross Iceland, unsupported, in winter!
Walking through an eleven hour blizzard in sub zero temperatures with a 80kg (170lbs) pulk dragging behind you in the middle of winter in Iceland takes a lot of motivation. Music usually gets me through days like that better than anything else, but when you’re talking about having to get through a months worth of conditions like this, not many mp3 players or power packs are going to last one day, let alone thirty!
My go-to piece of kit when I need some musical magic is one of the older, 3rd Gen iPod shuffles, which is about half the size of a pack of gum. Keeping that thing alive in the cold though is a struggle, and after testing a bunch of other options, I found that the only power pack that kept my iPod rolling in temperatures that dipped down to -30C (-22F) was the Kodiak Plus, plugged in with a neat Calamari cable to charge my phone juice at the same time. Not only did it hold its charge exceedingly well for the conditions, but the fact that it is snow/sleet proof made it hands down, the best charger I’ve ever (ab)used!
For the more communal tent time feel, the Buckshot Pro is a faultless speaker/tent light to keep morale high in the dark Icelandic winter nights. The dim light function is simple, yet so dam useful when cooking! We kept this in one of the boys backpacks the whole time (exposing it to the cold temperatures) and it didn’t let us down.
This is not the last feat. I also have plans to carry on adventure hunting and exploring, and at the moment have road trips to the Soca valleys in Slovenia and rural depths of Russia.
Dang, we can’t wait, Stefan!