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an unnecessary expedition

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The above is the title of this article that I have republished from “specialty fabrics review; May 2020 issue”. Whoever APPROVED the polar gear is a very sadistic human being.

Imagine what it takes to survive skiing 1,426 miles across the Arctic in the winter while battling -58° F temperatures and hurricane force winds. Alex Hibbert, George Bullard and James Wheeldon are preparing for such a trip. The British polar explorers will spend six months traversing the earth’s northern cap unassisted on an environmental exploration to learn how microplastics behave in the water, snow and ice of the dark Arctic depths.

I have spent a lot of time in extreme cold conditions and I cannot “imagine what it takes to survive skiing 1426 miles across the Arctic in the winter while battling -58 F temperatures and hurricane force winds.” These three fellows who are going to attempt such a trip cannot imagine it either. They are going to do this “unassisted”, and do you know why? because they cannot get anyone who has an inkling or sense that it is dangerous and you can die.

The purpose of this hair brained scheme is to find out how “microplastics behave in the water, snow and ice of the dark Arctic depths.” It is dark so how will they see these microplastics which are very small. Don’t they know the meaning of “micro”?

Dubbed Dark Ice Project, the expedition will begin by boat and be followed by eight- to ten-hour days of skiing for upwards of 70 days. The goal is to reach the geographical North Pole by March 2021.

For an expedition like this, the right clothing is critical, so the explorers worked with an expert team in technical performance fabrics that included The Woolmark Company, adidas® Terrex, BYBORRE and GORE-TEX®.

I believe most of my audience has skied and therefore knows that you generate sweat. Now if you have cross country skied versus down hill you know that you generate maybe 20 times as much sweat as you do going downhill. These fellows will be cross country skiing. They will be doing this for 8 to 10 hours a day. This reminds me of Robin Williams explanation of the game of golf where he explains whacking the ball and getting into a small hole. Asked if that was all there was to the game; he said f*** no you did it 18 times. These guys are going to do this for upwards of 70 days. Have I missed something, but I could not find where they are actually starting from?

The Woolmark Company and textile innovation studio BYBORRE developed a base-layer and mid-layer system using Merino wool. Chosen because it’s lightweight, breathable and comfortable, merino wool also provides water and wind resistance and warmth. It’s also 100 percent natural, renewable and biodegradable.

Byborre company is a knitting company and they use wool yarns so Woolmark is a promotor of wool fiber, they Woolmark to the best of my knowledge make nothing. Their interest in this project is to promote and give financial assistance to the project. Byborre makes knitted garments of all types which are fashion items. It is irrelevant what they claim to have created the wool fiber will without question absorb 100 percent of their sweat. Merino wool like any other wool DOES NOT “PROVIDE WATER AND WIND RESISTANCE”. Worn as a first layer and mid-layer the last thing one experiences wearing wool when sweating is warmth.

The outerwear was developed by adidas Terrex in collaboration with BYBORRE, supported by The Woolmark Company and GORE-TEX. It includes GORE-TEX weather protection technology, along with a wool fleece lining in the trousers and jackets for enhanced thermoregulation.

There are “experts” at adidas terrex, byborre, woolmark and gore is as ludicrous and absurd a statement I have ever heard or read in this case. Gore-tex has never provided weather protection. Fleece regardless of the fiber used to make it and that includes wool fiber does not enhance thermoregulation in the manner they would like, it increases retention of cold.

The gear was tested in the lab and in extreme weather situations in northern Canada. The wool single jersey base layer outperformed a single jersey base layer previously worn by the explorers while obtaining an 18 percent weight reduction, an increase in thermal resistance of 26 percent and a 3 percent increase in breathability. In addition, the dry time and drying rate improved by 28 percent and 61 percent respectively.

This previous paragraph does not need to be commented on because it is just outlandish.

In my opinion I do not believe they can accomplish what they are setting out to do. Each day they will be giving off an enormous amount of moisture that is going to accumulate in their clothing and they will never be able to dry it. It will keep moving each day further away from them going deeper and deeper towards their exterior shell garment which is the ever popular goretex which is NOT AS IT NEVER HAS ALLOWED MOISTURE OUT OF THE GARMENT, so all of that moisture sitting behind the goretex shell fabric is going to freeze and that cold is going to move towards the warmth while freezing the moisture in the garments they are wearing.The freezing of moisture on the inside of any goretex garment is readily known.

This action of the moisture from their bodies will never stop, the heat coming off of their skin surface will never stop. Their need for food, their source of fuel will be consumed at a rate beyond any experience they have had.

Each fellow will be pulling a sled with all of his gear and that in and of itself will probably weigh over 100 pounds, most of that weight will be food. Their sleeping bags I would bet are going to be down filled.

I expect they will remove their parkas at the least when they get into their sleeping bags at which point they will find out they are “no sleep sleeping bags” and number two after awhile they will come to learn that their sweat has moved into the down and eventually that moisture will freeze in the down.

Maybe they are also dragging with them additional base layers and other garments to change to, at this point they will or should know these new garments are going to get just as wet as the first layers. And of course, the first layers are not going to dry. Maybe they have more layers to change too.

As for their outerwear garment I know it is in adequate for the temperatures they will be encountering. For long term use the only insulation on the planet for the temperatures they will encounter is LAMILITE and their parkas are not made with LAMILITE insulation. The final outerwear garment shown in the picture I saw is incapable of performing at sub-zero temperatures let alone Arctic temperatures, and there is a major difference if you have never experienced them.

In my opinion these men are fool hardy. To find out how microscopic plastics behave in water put them in your sink. To find out how they behave in ice put them in an ice tray filled with water and freeze them. To find out how they behave in snow go outside where there is snow. I do not see the need to risk one’s life for meaning less information.

What these people consider polar approved clothing is a seriously bad joke.

I imagine these fellows will be carrying satellite phones, gps, and flares so they can be rescued.

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