Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Terrain Training Tuesday: The Arctic Part 3

Ah, I love survival in the Arctic because the main philosophy behind survival is to eat as much fat as you can. This is because fat is a heat-producing food and very important to your health in the cold conditions.

Yep, the ultimate fat eater Jabba the Hutt.  That and I'm trying to include a Star Wars image in each Arctic entry....


Now in the winter months, animals and fish will be about your only source of natural food. The caribou provides the best meat of the land animals and the seal provides the best of the sea animals.

The best parts of the caribou for eating are the head, brisket, ribs, backbone, and pelvis. As for seals, there is little preference between the various parts, although most white people prefer the liver, boiled or even frozen and raw. The heart and the kidneys provide good meat for stews.

Polar bear is very likely to be tough and stringy if cooked. It is more tender if eaten raw and frozen. AVOID POLAR BEAR LIVERS, THEY ARE POISONOUS. Actually it’s probably best to avoid them all together, I suspect it will be more trouble than it is worth and you will probably be killed and eaten yourself.  This we do not want.

Now because of the importance of fats, under no conditions limit yourself to a meat diet of rabbit just because they happen to be plentiful. Rabbits are generally so lean that in order to get enough energy out of them you have to eat a little too much for comfort. Try to supplement your diet with other things.

Some Arctic birds are well supplied with fat - notably ducks, geese and swans. These water birds all go through a two or three week flightless period while they are moulting in midsummer. The best known winter birds are the ptarmigan, or snow partridge, which is rarely fat; the white owl, which usually is fat and tasty; and the raven, which is tough, as it should be. Make a point of finding all the gull and tern colonies you can. Here you will be able to get a good supply of eggs and birds, usually on cliffs and edge areas.

On the average, all fish have enough fat to make them good Arctic food. The liver of the cod, for example, is an extremely good form of fat and can be eaten boiled.  Mmmmm...boiled cod liver......you know you want it.

Although complete protection from scurvy can be had from a prolonged meat-and-fat diet, the roughage value of greens is important. In an emergency, almost any local green, pleasant to the taste and succulent enough to be swallowed, can be eaten.  Hmm, me thinks we should have included salt and pepper to our survival kit....


Lucky for us, there are no poisonous flowering plants or grasses in the Arctic. The only poisonous Arctic fungus is easily recognized by its yellowish red cap. All other Arctic fungi found above the northern timberline are edible. Hurrah! Note: Despite this good news I have no idea how you are going to get the fat you need to survive, all I can say is good luck....


If you are stranded at sea, ice that is a year or more old can be used for drinking or cooking water. Old ice can be distinguished from the current year's ice by its rounded corners and by its bluish colour in contrast to the milkish grayishness of salt ice. Ice a year old rarely has only noticeable saltiness, while ice two or three years old is generally fresher than spring water. In the summer, fresh water can be found in the hollows in old ice. Water fresh enough for drinking can be found even in the hollows on new ice, which itself is salty in midsummer.

On land, drinking and cooking water offers no great problem. In the winter it is perfectly safe to eat snow or cracked ice in small quantities during the day when you are travelling and don't want to take the time necessary to melt it down. Eaten in large quantities, however, it chills the stomach and reduces your body temperature.

When melting down snow or ice, don't fill the pot at once. If you do, the snow on top will soak up the first water like a blotter and leave a cavity directly over the heated bottom of the pot and the pot may burn through. This is particularly so when, as the case probably will be, you are using tin cans for cooking containers. When possible, always melt ice for water, it requires less heat and takes less time.


  1. haha wonderful. I think I'll have to reconsider my vegetarian diet when the world will come to an end.
    boild cold liver hey....