Polar Exploration

A practical handbook for North and South Pole expeditions

By Dixie Dansercoer

A handbook about the mental and physical preparation and detailed planning required for different styles of polar exploration, to the Arctic or the Antarctic, by polar pioneer Dixie Dansercoer. Sections cover topics such as motivation, understanding the cold, what to take, camp organisation and hazards from polar bears to crossing melting ice.



Arctic: flights in/out from November to April - early winter or late spring best for daylight; Antarctic: commercial flights in/out from late October to early March.


Arctic: fly in from Canada or Russia to Resolute Bay Station, among others; Antarctic: fly in either from Puenta Arenas (Chile) to Patriot Hills or from Cape Town to Novolazarevskaya
17 Apr 2012
21.6 x 13.8 x 1.3cm
  • Overview

    With regular coverage in the press and on television, polar exploration seems to be becoming more and more accessible. The number of people travelling to the North or South Pole as ‘tourists’ is rising at a great rate. But it is not something to be done lightly.

    Making the most of your time in this life-changing, and sometimes life-threatening, environment requires many months of mental and physical preparation – and a lot of detailed planning. To appreciate the beauty of an Arctic storm or the survival skills of a polar fox, you will need to have everything under control. In this comprehensive handbook, veteran polar explorer and pioneer Dixie Dansercoer tells you all you need to know to select, plan and enjoy the expedition of your lifetime.

    • describes both the Arctic and the Antarctic terrain, climate and particular challenges
    • includes a chapter on understanding and coping with extreme cold
    • packed with practical tips on preparation and planning, from keeping expedition sponsors happy to what to pack
    • illustrated with vivid first-hand accounts of many expeditions and evocative photographs
  • Contents

    Foreword by Eric Phillips, President of the International Polar Guides Association (IPGA)

    About this Guide     

    1 Introduction            

    2 Motivations and limitations       

    3 Understanding the cold           

    4 Preparations            

    5 What to take            

    6 Out there            

    7 In camp            

    8 Problems and dangers            

    A Good Polar Regime            


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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews

    'The guide offers practical advice on all manner of topics, with the ultimate aim of making polar journeys as safe, successful and enjoyable as possible. Nutrition, training, kit and skills on the ice are all covered in detail. Throughout the book are numerous personal anecdotes from the author, highlighting not only his experience but also how he himself has drawn upon the advice in the book.

    A great book, that I read cover to cover an unusual feat for a practical guidebook!'

    Hugh Collins, polar-exploration.blogspot.co.uk

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Dixie Dansercoer

Belgian native Dixie Dansercoer is the ultimate polar explorer and outdoor enthusiast. His achievements include a high-altitude mountain biking world record, becoming windsurfing champion of his country and completing several marathons and triathlons, but he is particularly captivated by the Polar landscapes. Dixie has pioneered crossings of both poles on foot and has advised the European Space Agency. His renown has even led to a statue in his home town of Nieuwpoort.

View Articles and Books by Dixie Dansercoer