“The First Sledge Expedition”

I looked forward to the expedition with confidence. We were well equipped, and had good reliable comrades, and smart dogs. We should have been glad of a few more of the latter. But with a good heart and a good will we would manage with those we had. On March 1st we were ready to start. The thermometer stood at 63½ below zero (Fahr.) But in the course of the month of February we had become so used to the cold that it really did not make any great impression on us. We were, indeed, extremely well clad, some of us in complete Eskimo costume, others in a partly-civilised style. My experience is that the Eskimo dress in winter in these regions is far superior to our European clothes. Woolen underclothing absorbs all the perspiration and soon becomes wet through and through. Dressed in nothing but reindeer skin, like the Eskimo, and with garments so loose and roomy on the body that the air can circulate between them, one can generally keep his things dry. . . . A further great advantage of skin is that you feel warm and comfortable the moment you put it on. . . . Finally, skins are absolutely wind-proof, which, of course, is a very important point. [Amundsen, Vol. 1, pp. 146, 149-150.]