I thought I ought to try on kit the night before I depart for the Arctic just to check that it fits. I got into a right sweat! So many layers I lost count. For the finale I put on the Gold puffa jacket and red all in one windproof. Picture the Michelin Man times three. I tried to walk but nearly tripped over. Lara took one look at me and rolled her eyes. 'How embarrassing!' she said.
'Mortifying!' Joe added. It was the first time I had heard him use the word. Once I'd managed to get it all off without any tears, I looked up the details for the puffa or expedition jacket. 'Down filled double construction jacket with box outer wall and a stitch through baffled inner. The Pertex Endurance outer gives weatherproof protection.' Now, that is excellent, I thought. Just what I need. Weather protection. I continued reading: 'Probably the warmest jacket available in the world today...this highly specified jacket has what it takes to provide elemental protection for the most extreme conditions.' So, for all those concerned about my kit please rest assured that I am well kitted out. I now have four pairs of gloves, three or four hats, loads of Hally Hansen thermals and fleeces. I've even got a balaclava. I will look ridiculous but I'm not off on a fashion assignment, this is an Arctic expedition. However, if any fashion designers would like to give me a makeover on my return then that would be marvellous. After wearing all this kit for ten days I think I will need a bit of a boost on the self-image front. I have been told I will lose weight as we will be burning up 6000 calaories a day. For every pound lost I, and my fellow travellers, will donate £10 to the Mitchemp Trust. They could be in for a windfall.