Field training in Antarctica

An expeditioner roped onto a cliff with a sretcher with quad bikes far below in the distance.
Expeditioner about to descend down cliff with stretcher (Photo: A. Hull)
Hands on map with a compass Expeditoners walk roped together in a long line across the iceExpeditioners pull rope tied to quad bikeExpeditioners looking at map

Field training

Field training is conducted by AAD field training officers (FTOs) during predeparture training in Tasmania, and is continued following arrival in Antarctica. It covers all aspects of living safely in the Antarctic/subantarctic environment, with particular emphasis on survival skills.

Field training is divided into a number of competency units and, once completed, training records are entered onto a training database and are valid for 3 years.

Field training is planned and delivered according to work requirements and limitations are placed upon travel in Antarctica according to the level of training completed.

Expeditioners are all trained in common core competencies which include:

  • use and care of clothing and field equipment
  • field trip procedures
  • survival techniques
  • self rescue
  • basic navigation
  • radio procedure
  • safety around stations & aircraft
  • environmental responsibilities

Specialist training units

Additional specialist training units are provided according to work requirements in the field in Antarctica and may include such topics as:

  • field huts and camping
  • sea ice travel
  • glacier travel
  • crevasse rescue
  • GPS navigation
  • over-snow vehicle travel
  • remote area communication and power systems

Generally, wintering personnel and remote area groups receive a greater level of training than station based or round trip voyage personnel.

This page was last modified on 12 August 2010.