Status: Indexed

- 15 -

had been earlier in the year and they began to be keenly conscious of the
importance of getting any that came around.

Since the party had decided not to kill until there was
ample snow for hauling the meat at home, the exceptionally late winter was a
misfortune to them. Apart from that, their preparations for the winter seem
to have gone smoothly and much according to plan. The outer house with the
tent inside proved to be a comfortable dwelling and there was plenty of dry
wood for fuel, a circumstance which Knight mentions frequently. He seems to
have considered it almost too good to be true, for it differed so much from
his previous arctic experience.

Before they sailed north we had frequently discussed the
plans for winter. It had been the experience of our various expeditions
and it has been the general experience of polar explorers that when a number
of men lie idle in camp waiting for winter to pass, there is tedium, quarreling
and even general decline in health. No matter how good the cooking or varied
the diet, the men get tired of their food, and no matter how congenial they
may be ordinarily, they also become tired of each other. Some explorers, even
in recent years, have considered it necessary to keep the men in camp during
mid-winter, thinking the storms, darkness and low temperature too disagreeable
to be faced. But through my early training with the Eskimos, I learned from
the very beginning of my work to look upon the mid-winter as essentially a time
for travelling and other activity, and Knight was, therefore, used to that idea.
Maurer had had experience of being confined in a ship both when he was on an
arctic whaler and later when our flag ship,the Karluk, and he was equally
of the view that every man should be outdoors, occupied in some interesting and
profitable way every day of the winter except when a special gale was blowing.
On this basis we had agreed that the party should establish at least two camps
about then or fifteen miles apart. We had discussed the possibility of there

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