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27 November, 2001

A day of Arctic expedition clothes shopping is quite exciting. The day started at VECO Polar clothing supplier where I received most of my clothing. Much detail and thought goes into clothes that will protect your body at -40 degrees for 30 days. The key to staying warm in the extreme cold is a unique layering system. It starts with a base layer of long underware and ends with a huge fluffy parka. It is important for all your body to still be able to move within all of the layers. Blood still needs to flow to keep the body warm.

Arctic expeditions still rely on the use of fur. Fur from the arctic animals proves to still perhaps be the best insulating material in extreme cold. The use of fur has been effective for thousands of years. Glen and I had the extreme pleasure and honor of meeting Suz Kisken. She still traps animals and uses the fur to make clothes. Most of her orders are for hats, which is what we we are having her make for us. She hands stiches most of the detail on the clothes. The animals that she uses are mainly beaver, fox, wolverine, and martens. Suz has deep respect for the animals. Suz is one of many Alaska people that rely on the amazing wilderness for her livelihood. These arctic animals have perfected surviving in extreme cold through time. It is an amazing feeling to run your hands through the fur of this animal and think of the life that it lived. I am very grateful and respectful to the beaver that gave his life in order to provide my body with warmth. It will be extremely beneficial on our long traverse in March.

Fairbanks Weather:

Low -25 F

High -5 F

Dr. Matthew Sturm


P.O. Box 35170

Ft. Wainwright, Alaska 99703-0170

907-353-5183/FAX: 907-353-5142


physical address: USA-CRREL_Alaska, Bldg. 4070, Ft. Wainwright, AK 99703

Suz Kisken displaying her beautiful variety of furs.

This is the beaver pelt that will supply me with my warm winter hat.

Matthew plugging in the vehicle! Vehicles in Alaska have to be plugged in to electricity when left for long periods of time. This enables the battery to stay charged.

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