Athropolis HOME   |   Maps   |   Arctic Links   |   Arctic Library
Click to go HOME
From our library of things you should know about the Arctic

Click for more information.

What Not to Wear

The belief that British ways of doing things were superior to all others was one reason so many early explorers froze or starved to death in the Arctic.

The first Royal Navy ships arrived in the early 1800s without anybody having recognized the need for special Arctic clothing. To protect themselves from the bitter cold, sailors were inadequately dressed in white cotton jumpers, welsh wigs (woolen caps) and carpet shoes.

They were even issued tin "hot water bottles" to stick inside their blue pea coats. The water soon froze (as did their fingers and toes).

Click for more information. The "Eskimos" wore loose parkas of fur or sealskin, but the British stuck to their wool, flannel and broadcloth uniforms. Their boots of Navy leather simply froze - along with the feet in them. The "civilized" white men were ludicrously slow to learn the common sense ways of Inuit culture.

Why? Part of it was the arrogance of the British upper classes in the 19th century and the fear of "going native." Proper Englishmen could never stoop so low as to adopt native styles! Naval men didn't drive dogs - or build snow houses on the trail - or eat blubber!

Instead, they hauled cumbersome sledges until they dropped, struggled with tents that were either sodden or frozen, and listened to the loose teeth rattle in their scurvy racked heads.

It was not until after the Franklin Expedition tragedy that Europeans seriously adopted the Inuit ways - wearing warm fur clothing, using sleds pulled by dogs (not men), and eating raw meat to guard against scurvy.

PICTURE TOP: The sledge-hauling crew.
PICTURE RIGHT: Peary properly attired for the Pole.

Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Exploration, Inuit
Franklin Expedition, Arctic
Links: Inuit, Northwest Passage
Franklin Expedition, Arctic
Exploration Map
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports

Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

Search for more on this topic...from Athropolis!
(1) Click the button for Web (below) to search the World Wide Web
(2) Click button for
WWW.ATHROPOLIS.COM to search this web site

Icy Cold Jokes | Icy Games | E-mail | Athropolis HOME
Copyright 2005 Athropolis Productions Limited. The content of web sites that this site has links
to is the property of their respective owners, and Athropolis is not responsible for their content.