Questions & Answers Wk 02

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Every week Team GoNorth! answers ten questions related to the module topic from student explorers -- so stay tuned and submit YOUR questions!

Great Question! These are both used to scare off polar bears.

The flair is somewhat like a gun that launches off a lights-only firework. They are bright and unexpected, so the bears decide we are no longer interesting. We become scary so they run away from us.

A Bearbanger is both light and sound. It is not only very bright, but very VERY loud. The bears then make a U-Turn and go in the other direction. :)

What are flairs and bear bangers?

submitted by:
Mrs Mottinger's Class

The oldest dogs in the Kennel are Timber (14 years old) and Aksel (13 years old). The oldest Polar Husky on the expedition this year is Nazca at 10 years old.

What Polar Huskies do when they retire depends on their nature. Some stay in the Kennel and have the important job of teaching young dogs and working at public events. Others go to recreational kennels, and some go out to homes to become pets.

To learn more about all of the amazing Polar Huskies, visit the Kennel in the Dog Yard.

Who is the oldest dog?

submitted by:
Annie & Steven

Polar Huskies have was is called a "double-layered" coat. Closest to their skin is a thick undercoat of wool for insulation and warmth; and the outer coat is made up of long, oily "guard hairs" that protect the wool from getting wet. This means they are very protected when outside and that they easily overheat when inside.

So, on the expedition, we will dig holes for them in the snow. If there is any wind, it will pile snow to make a small wall blocking them from the wind at the end of the day. The Polar Huskies then curl up to cover their nose with their tail and let the snow drift over them like a blanket.

Learn more about the life of a Polar Husky on the Polar Husky World page in the Dog Yard.

Where do the dogs sleep?

submitted by:
Annie & Steven

It is basically a full-time job to prepare the electronics to go in the field and to keep them working while we are out there. The most important thing is to ensure that the electronics do not collect moisture on the inside parts. To avoid this, it is very important that we warm all the equipment up to inside temperature (inside the tent's temperature) before we try to turn it on. And we keep everything in Ziploc bags and as airtight as possible for the same reason.

So, when we need to use the computers on Education Day, the morning starts around 5 am to get the heat going in the tent. Then, we take the computers and lay with them in the sleeping bags, for example. It easily takes 3-4 hours to get everything—cords, computers, cameras, etc. warmed up from the time we wake up. Then we need to power everything—including the batteries for the cameras that we use during the week.

We have three ways to power our technology. We use solar power whenever possible. Then we have a small generator. Last, we have what is called "expedition grab it batteries." These work for a number of hours down to -40 degrees F (-40 C), but cannot be recharged. They are good if we run completely out of other power sources.

How do you keep all of your electronics working?

submitted by:

Great great question!!

Yes, this a major concern of ours while out on the expedition. The Arctic is actually a dessert - a polar dessert. So, it is very dry, and our bodies loose a lot of water in a day - sweating (!) and just breathing in the cold air.

Add to that, that if we do get dehydrated, it is very dangerous and can lead to hypothermia.

An adult normally loses about a quart (1 liter) of water a day through evaporation from the skin and lungs. But during a day of strenuous activity—such as traveling alongside the dogsled and setting up and breaking down camp—we loose 2-3 gallons (10 liters) of water from our body.

The tricky part for the Team members is that, in the cold, you tend to think less about drinking … and if you wait until you feel thirsty, you are already behind in water consumption since "thirst" indicates that yes, you are getting dehydrated!!

If you ask Mille, she will tell you that she finds it difficult to drink that much water …. But if she doesn’t drink it, she will get sick from dehydration. Dehydration worsens fatigue, decreases our ability to exercise efficiently, and reduces mental alertness. You can even go into shock. In short, dehydration is very dangerous and, in the worst case, may lead to hypothermia—a deadly condition.

Staying hydrated is simply a cornerstone in Arctic traveling.

To find out how the Team gets its water, visit H2O in Polar Husky A to Z.

With all snow and ice around you, do you get thirsty?

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The dogs are like family to us. They are our very best friends. We know them from the day they are born to the day they pass on, and we spend almost everyday of their lives with them. We go on our expeditions together, having incredible experiences with them that they make possible!

The Polar Huskies are all very unique with strong personalities. We all have dogs we really like to hang out with—or work with—for various reasons. But it tends to be that, as the dogs get older, they are the ones you are really close with since you have traveled with them for so many years, been to so many amazing places, they have saved your life, been your friend, and they are what makes all of this happen. They are simply just amazing animals for which we all have the greatest admiration.

Sometimes you appreciate the shy ones, and sometimes you just want to hear the howl of one of the “crazy” ones. When the terrain gets rough, you look to the strongest pullers, and when the route gets complicated, you turn to the leaders. Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses—just like people. So we can't really say which one is our favorite, because they all are. They are all important to the success of this expedition and to our survival on the trail. We love all of the Polar Huskies!

Who is your favorite Polar Husky? (mine is Qannik!)

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Yes, sometimes the dogs do get loose. When they do, they may 'explore' a bit on their own, but they typically don't go that far. The Polar Huskies are pack animals. As a result, they don't veer too far from each other.

On occasion some make a game out of it (kinda like keep-away) and think it is fun to watch us run around and try to catch them. Usually what we just do then is sit down. Eventually they come to us and we win the game! :-)

Do the dogs ever get loose or run away when you are on the trail or camped for the night?

submitted by:
Mrs. Quay's classes