On the land
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.
In your pockets:
- Pocket knife
- Candy bars
- Matches or a lighter
- Flashlight or headlamp (or could be in the grub box on the sled)
- Extra batteries are carried under clothing so they will remain warm, or on the sled.
On your snowmobile:
- Snow knife (pana)
- Survival kit with flares, small first aid kit, pliers,
- Spare belt for skidoo, extra spark plugs, skidoo oil
- Extra mitts, toque, socks
- Rifle and ammunition may go on the skidoo, or on the sled
- A length of extra rope
On your qamutik:
- Sleeping bag
- Extra clothing, including a heavy parka
- Skinning knife
- First aid kit with asprin, etc.
- Larger flashlight
- Food (high protein, high energy, high carbohydrates)
- Drinks: tea, coffee, powered apple drink, hot chocolate, etc.
- Camping stove, pots/pans, utensils
- Camping fuel
- Gas, oil, sparkplugs, and additives for machine
- Extra rope for towline
- Skidoo repair tools
- Tent or tarp
- Rifle and ammunition
- Thermos with hot drink
- Duct tape