On the land

Survival skills.

The Arctic is a harsh land in any season. Storms may blow up without much warning whatever the season. Those who would spend time on the land must know how to survive, must be prepared, and must understand the old ways.

Most travel by skidoo now, and, when going any distance at all will pull a qamutik. Whatever the weather, strict attention must be paid to what you will wear. This land can kill in an instant. Wise travelers use a gear list when they pack their sled before leaving to travel on the land in winter.

What to wear.

Clothing: dress in loose layers, from long underwear to windproof outer parka (japa). Insulated bibs or wind pants are essential, as are good socks. Many people still wear caribou skin clothing, which is warmer than down or synthetics.

Boots: the traditional caribou skin boots (tuktuqurtiik) or seal skin boots (kamik, plural: kamiit) are still better than most commercial boots. These flex when you walk, and this keeps blood flowing in your feet, keeping them warm. Otherwise, people use boots with heavy felt liners and, most important, good insulation between the soles of their feet and the ground.

Gear List.

In your pockets:

On your snowmobile:

On your qamutik: