As part of AAD operations and safety requirements, each Antarctic expeditioner is required to undertake 24-hour survival training and field travel training. For those that have been south previously, this training remains current for 3-years. In early December 2019, three of us here at Mawson set off into the Framnes Mountains with our station Field Training Officer Ian Whiteley to undertake the required training. Daleen and I (Tim) were renewing their training as they were out of the 3-year timeframe, with new Summer Dieso Jono undertaking the training for the first time.
The destination for the overnight campout in a Bivvy was the area below Fang Peak. With correct survival clothing and de-hydrated food packed away in our packs and the first session of compass and map readings undertaken, we were off.
With fine weather and spectacular scenery, all was looking good for the evening. Once we arrived at our destination we then proceeded with learning the correct use of our Shellite camp burners cooking up our pre-selected de-hydrated food, be it the lamb casserole or the beef and green bean casserole. With that all safely in our bellies it was time for the evening SITREP. SITREP being a report back to VLV Mawson via radio of our current situation using the guidelines in our field books on what to report. With all required duties carried out it was into the Bivvy bags for the evening for a pleasant night out under the stars.
In the morning, we all woke having survived the elements and passing the requirements for 24-hour survival training, with a hearty cheer we enjoyed the morning views and welcome hot breakfast in the hut of bacon, toast and Tabasco sauce washed down with mugs of tea or coffee — Excellent.
- Tim Kerr (Mawson Summer BSS Projects 2019/20)