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Ice Road Truckers: Survival Guide

Ice Road Truckers

The Ice Road Truckers have been pushed to their limits, hauling supplies to some of the most remote towns of the Great White North in the face of hundred-foot cliffs, hairpin curves, steep mountain ice and the deadliest ice passage in North America. Theirs is a classic story of adventure, perseverance, human ingenuity and pulse-pounding survival.

No matter who the driver is, even the most seasoned truckers will find themselves up against it. Think you're up to the challenge? Here is our Ice Road Trucker Survival Guide for everything you'll need to know for your next Arctic adventure by glaciers.


Protect your eyes

Niphablepsia, or 'snow blindness', is a painful condition caused by the exposure of unprotected eyes to ultraviolet rays or sunlight reflected from the surface of snow. These rays can burn the cornea and cause extreme discomfort, with symptoms including a gritty feeling beneath the eyelids, swelling and double vision. Those who travel to high-altitude regions, where the intensity of UV rays increases five percent for every 1,000 feet of elevation, are at special risk. So pack your sunglasses.


Do not run

Welcome to polar bear country, home to one of the most powerful predators on this planet. While his normal food is seal, they can kill an adult walrus at twice the bea's weight and have even been known to attack humans. However, they have an important place in the cultural traditions of Alaska Natives, engendering both fear and respect. If you encounter a bear, let him know you're human - make noise, wave your arms and talk. Do not run. If the bear attacks, defend yourself by fighting back, hitting him on the nose and face.


Stay connected

How are you going to find your drop off point without directions? Must-have items for a trip across the ice include a map and compass, as well as the knowledge of how to use them. Taken a wrong turning? Found yourself in a tight spot? You might also consider a Personal Locator Beacon, which will send a satellite signal to a ground receiving station that in turn alerts a rescue agency of your location.


Keep warm

When you're exposed to cold weather, your blood vessels constrict and the flow of blood to the skin is reduced. This results in an overall slowdown of the circulatory system and a rise in blood pressure, which the body combats by getting rid of as much fluid as possible through urine production. Known as 'cold dieresis', this phenomenon explains why you have to visit the bathroom more often when it's cold. But, in the bleak, harsh wilds of the north, portaloos are few and far between. You might want to wrap up warm; pack layers, gloves and a sturdy, warm pair of boots. After all - how well can you navigate this dangerous terrain with frostbitten fingers, swollen painful feet or hypothermia?