The idea of crossing Antarctica alone by foot is unfathomable for many of us, but now that two explorers, Colin O’Brady and Louis Rudd, have both completed successful expeditions across the southerly continent, they can tell us what they ate in order to keep up with 10-12 hours of skiing per day. With a kind of physical exertion matched only by ultramarathon runners, the extreme climate conditions prevented them from being able to gobble down the bananas.
One of the main constraints of this expedition is that the men had to be able to pull everything they needed for the entire journey on their specialized sleds, known as pulks. They were determined to make it across the frozen wasteland without having any backup supplies dropped in. Not only did they have a limited amount of space, they needed to keep things as light as possible.
The men started their days with slightly different meals. O’Brady chose the healthier route of oatmeal mixed with extra fat and some protein powder. Rudd went straight for the powdered hot chocolate.
According to the New York Times profile on the men, “After each segment, the men stop for five-minute breaks, taking a sip of warm water and eating a snack. O’Brady opts for a bite-size chunk of an organic, calorie-rich energy bar that his sponsor made for this expedition. Consisting of coconut oil, nuts and seeds and other ingredients, each chunk contains as many as 500 calories. Rudd grabs a fistful of chocolate and nuts or some salami and cheese from his ‘grazing bag.’ The salami melts in his mouth, but the cheese has been frozen solid, so he keeps it tucked into his cheek like a hamster until it thaws, as he continues to move.”
Though only O’Brady also included a full lunch on his daily roster, both men once again turned to warm meals for dinner.