Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Frozen Frontier; Heading into the unknown

-45 degrees Celsius
Yakutsk 28th of January

Yesterday I went downtown Yakutsk with Yuri to do some interviews with local women and their fashionable dress in these extreme cold. It was the coldest day since I arrived, -45 Celsius, and I hadn´t put on enough thick trousers or good gloves and after 15 minutes I was shivering and cold. And I suddenly realized, this is certainly no gasme or joke, this will be very serious business.

We are ready to leave tomorrow, the 29th of January, heading for Oymyakon and the 4 reindeer herders that are waiting for us. I haven´t packed yet, still some tech problems I haven´t figured out, I am really, really bad on tech, thanks Tom in San Fransisco for you patience and help and Evans and Daniel in New York for the encouragement and patience.

But most of our time goes to assembling all the gear we need. Oth for personal reasons and for the group. And whilst we were checking gear at Egor´s place, where we store everything, yesterday and I checked my local outfit, which consits of hat, mitten, trousers, jacket and boots made of reindeer skins from Andrushkino near the Kolyma River, and to my surprise, even id it look bulky, it is lighter! Especially the boots! The reindeer skin boots where lighter, more comfortable and made life so much easier walking than the heavy Baffin Boots. We will see what works best! And on the trip, I will definitely try the old local way of sleeping outside just in the reindeer clothes and nothing else! But not tomorrow evening as Egor wants! I definitely need to adapt better first or it will have serious consequences! At least I am fat, 22 kg over my normal weight, but it will definitely be to my advantage!

I´d like to share these 2 kit lists with you, first for the whole group and my personal one.

We are 8 people, 16 sleds (8 sleds for people, 8 sleds for equipment) and it is based on 40 days of food
Flour 25 kg
Tea3 kg
Suger25 kg
Pasta25 kg
Rice 25 kg
Cooking oil10 litres
Milk sweet20 cans
Spam 40 cans
Biffar10 kg
Salt5 kg
Buck wheat25 kg
Cookies5 kg
Fresh Fish 25 kg
Fresh Cow meat25 kg
Coffee5 burkar
Butter 20
Loaves of bread 40
Fast boiling macaroni 100 bags
Petrol80 litres
Petrol generator Honda
MedicineEmergency medicine
Cigarettes for reindeer herders 200 packets
Wood stoves2
1 axe
eating utensils, teapots, cooking ware for the group
skins to sit on whilst travelling
skins to cover the kit
2 spades
1 chain saw
thin lead cable for reparations
5 jerry cans to carry 120 litres of petrol
3 thermos flasks

And than my personal kit list:

Base kit

1 full reindeer skin kit made in Lower Kolyma (hat, gloves, boots, jacket, trousers)
1 good knife
1 cup (kåsa)
1 Thermos Stanley
1 Leatherman
1 Thermarest
1 Ridge Rest
2 Sleepingbags
1 Inner sack of fleece
1 Headlamp
1 Facemask
1 Fur hat
1 Cap hat
2 Pairs of wool underwear with wind protection
1 Down jacket
1 pair of Baffin boots
1 pair of ski boots
1 pair of down socks
1 pair of bibs
1 pair of randonné pants
1 3 layer Goretex jacket
1 down vest
1 Fleece jacket
1 pair of skigloves
1 pair of fleecegloves, windstopper
1 pair of downmittens
2 pairs of trousers
2 pairs of shirts
2 thick long johns
2 thin long johns
2 thick shirts
2 thin shirts
2 T-shirt from Termo
3 pairs of double socks
3 pairs of other thick socks
1 Giant Duffelbag
1 Compressionbags for the down sleepingbags
1 Ski glasses
1 Julbo sunglasses
1 pair of Gaiters


1 Sparepartkit for the bindings (kables, and more)
1 pair of skis
1 pair of ski poles
2 pairs of short skins
2 pairs of long skins
Mixed ski wax (W)

Technical equipment

1 Canon XF 105
2 Canon CA-930 Compact Power Adapter
8 BP-975 Lithium Ion Battery
1 Canon XA10
1 Panasonic Lumix G 3
1 Panasonic recharger
1 BP-Lithium Ion Battery
3 B-819 Lithium Ion Battery
2 GoPro Hero
2 GoPro Battery Pack
8 GoPro Hero Rechargeable Batteries
1 Go Pro Chest Mount Harness
1 GoPro Head Strap Mount
1 GoPro Wall Charger
1 Gitzo GT2540LLVL tripod/Head kit
24 8GB San Disk Compact Flash Memory cards
10 16 GB San Disk SDHC Memory Card
8 LaCie 1TB Rugged Mini portable hard drive
1 Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 Microphone
1 HP Expedition Notebook
1 Iridium 9555 Satellite phone
1 SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger
1 HET Pelican Case 1400
2 Pelican 1564 Waterproof Case with dividers
1 PortaBrace Polar Mitten (POL-MHM100)
2 Pelican Dessiccant Silica Gel
4 Pelican 0945 Memory Card Case
1 heating Pad for Harddrives
2 Transcend USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader
Cleaning kit
Instruction handbook video camera.

Medicine kit

1 tin with tiger balsam (R)
1 First aid kit
1 Nail scissors (R)
1 Tweezers
10 sun sticks for the nose and sensitive places
1 tube Helosan
Alvedon (R)
Antibiotics (R)
Anti-inflammatory medicine (R)
Antiseptic crèmes and powder (R)
Antiseptic means (R)
Blood stoppers (R)
Diarrhea cure
Elastic bandages (R)
Foot powder (R)
Cannulas (R)
Surgeon tape
Knee protection
Compresses (R)
Leukastrips (R)
Leukoplast (R)
Novalucol, 2 pills per day
Penicillin (R)
Plasters (R)
Chafe tape
Painkillers (R)
High sunprotection
Sterile dressings (R)
Wound cleaners (R)
Safety pins
Talcum (R)

Additional kit

1 GPS Silva
1 Binoculars
1 Compass
4 Rolls of duck tape
2 Rolls of Electric tape
1 Tube Epoxy glue
A couple of locks
Sewing needles, thread (Expeditionset)
Repairs kit for ThermaRest

Other items

Passports with visas and all permissions
1 Moneybelt
Money (rubles and dollars)
3 Toothbrushes
A couple of pens
A couple of toilet paper rolls
Photocopies of important documents
2 Towels, middle-sized
Credit card
Soap (R)
Explorer Clubs Flag #179

Mike_logo (1)


  1. Good Luck on your tour. You have lots of gear to fight the elements. The stamina and mental strength must come from within. The local knowledge of your trekkers will be of great importance. I look forward to following your trek.

    It is a balmy 25 degrees F in Eastport, Maine.

  2. Mikael, best of luck luck on your trip. My eight year old son Dylan is very excited to hear about what you are doing. So much so that he wanted to know when we could go there too! We will be following your trip with interest and hope to somehow see your film one day.

    Regards, Jenn and Dylan in Tiburon, California

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