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perience 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 con-
sidered it necessary to keep the men in camp during mid-
winter, thinking the storms, darkness and low tempera-
ture too disagreeable to be faced. But through his ex-
perience of the methods used by our expeditions, Knight
looked upon the midwinter as second only to the early
spring as a period of travel and other activity. Maurer
had had experience of being confined in a ship both when
he was on an arctic whaler and later when on our 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
before they sailed north that the party should establish
at least two camps about ten or fifteen miles apart. They
themselves had advanced the plan of having four camps,
each with one man, but I had suggested they start with
two men in each of two camps and then change partners
occasionally. If that did not work, they would estab-
lish more camps. For daily activity they had the hunt-
ing and the trapping of foxes. In the Arctic an Eskimo
who hunts and traps for a living ordinarily leaves his
family in the morning and returns to it at night. But the
white trapper will have “a line of cabins,” sometimes as
many as seven or eight houses ten to fifteen miles apart.
If this is in the interior of some land, the houses are ar-
ranged in a great circle; but if it is on a coast, they are

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