Happy Camper School Graduation

Well, I passed the school. I can officially leave the station to go work on my equipment. I have been getting acquainted with the equipment on station and all the things I need to know before I go out into the field.

Happy camper school consisted of lectures on all the things you need to do to keep from getting cold when camping in sub-zero weather with high winds. Most of it was the same things we were teaching the boy scouts when we went snow caving back in Colorado. We did have one casualty though. The guy got up early because he was so cold. He decided to start one of the camp stoves and spilled fuel on his hands. The fuel was already at a below temperature and it evaporates so fast it cools off another 20 or 30 degrees.

His hands were already flash frozen when he put his gloves back on. He didn't tell anyone he couldn't feel his fingers. Since they didn't hurt anymore, he didn't worry about it. Since they were frozen, he had no feeling, so they didn't feel cold. 3 hours later, when we came inside for more training, he looked at his hands and realized he was in trouble. We came insode to debrief that he noticed his finger tips were black. They immediately medivaced from the area, but the damage was done. From the looks of them in the field I would say 4 or 5. I have heard they are trying burn the instructors for it happening and them not spotting it. That's totally ridiculous because they weren't even there yet. None of the rest of us, including him, were aware there was an issue. It is just an unfortunate accident that he should have reported to one of us when it happened. They warned us ahead of time the dangers of spilling fuel on our skin. I really feel sorry for the guy though. I had told everyone that I had a large supply of warmers and would give anyone that needed one as many as they needed. Our shop hands them out to us on a regular basis. A harsh lesson on why camping in the cold can be so dangerous.

I, in the other hand had a ball. I was able to help a lot of people figure out how to use their gear and work in the snow. I did get to see a penguin and had my picture taken with it. I was one of the few that stayed warm the whole time. I didn't even use the electric socks I brought. I guess I'm getting acclamented to the weather. It has been running anywhere from -5 to +15 degrees with about a 5-20 MPH wind. It keeps the wind chill about -20-25 degrees. I have stopped wearing the long underwear and boots. Just the parka and wind pants. I do feel the cold through my tennis shoes every now and then though.

I'm updating this from the public kiosk today, so I don't have the pictures with me. I will post them as soon as I can. We have started our flight checks of the equipment with the FAA today, so we are on 24 hour shifts until we're done. Won't have much time to do much posting until then.

Donna, I really appreciate everything you and the kids are doing to keep this trip as pleasant as possible. I feel like a kid at college that just remembered all the things he forgot to bring with him.

All is well here and I'm staying warm. Just so dog gone busy I get really tired by the end of the day.

Penguins


I'm sure it being an airport some of those penguins are accidently killed once in a while. I was just wondering is it true that they really taste like chicken.
Your Cousin
Ray

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