Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Outfitting an Expedition

THE ECONOMICS OF SHOPPING - Few of us do all our shopping in one huge super-market trip once a year, but that is exactly what has to happen when you spend a winter at the Pole.  Yes, meals are supplied, but only in the cafeteria, and as well-prepared as they might be it is still rather institutional.  For  example, cafeteria cheeses are probably that cheese-like orange stuff called “cheddar” that comes in extruded cubes or the stuff called Parmesan you shake out of a green container. As an American I was practically raised on all that but I also know there is better. Much better. 
So, the nicer things in life that make it all bearable are not supplied at the Pole - like really good tea and coffee.  Or skin moisturizer (required in the ultra-dry conditions), or really good chocolate.  As I have found out, eight and a half months of anything is a lot of stuff.  For example:
  • A mere 1.5 oz of cheese a day is 24 lbs 0f cheese in eight and a half months! Since one 7 pound wheel of a medium quality Manchego cheese costs $125 that's over $450!
  • One 1 ounce drink of single malt scotch  per day = 1.1 bottles per month.  Which is 9 times $60 (cheap scotch!) or $540.
  • Heck, even one bag of Dorritos a week equals 34 bags of Dorritos,  $70!!!
And what else do I want to take for eight months? Espresso coffee ($150), Earl Grey tea ($150), good chocolate - two bars/week turns into 68 bars ($210), 8.5 months of skin moisturizers ($200), batteries ($200),  WOW!  This is like outfitting an EXPEDITION!

145 day to the Pole 


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