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In the equipment special provision will be made for wintering in health and comfort. With rocks, ice-blocks, boats, sledges, sails, etc., and the skins of animals, it will be an easy matter to build a warm, snug hut, and also to provide shelter for the dogs. For food we shall depend principally upon the game secured on the spot, but in addition to this there will be a quarter ration of vegetable (desiccated) soups, sugar, butter and bread. With plenty fresh meat there will be no danger of scurvy. For fuel we shall use the oil of walrus and seal, taking with us little stoves weighing eight or ten pounds each, especially designed for burning blubber or train-oil.

By the first of March it will be light enough to start upon the serious work of the expedition, the sledge journey toward or to the Pole and return. It is proposed to take upon this journey six men and 75 or 80 dogs. If any mischance has reduced the number of dogs the number of men will also be reduced, as an important feature of the plan is a large number of dogs per man. Having nine men with us, selection is practicable as to the members of the northern party. If any have fallen ill or met with acident there are sound ones enough remaining. Those left behind can await our return, and stand ready to give us any assistance which we may require.

It has been argued that two men is the most effective number for a sledge journey. But Dr. Nansen's experience shows the inadvisability of setting out with only two men. Nansen's journal often relates that with only two men to do all the work at camp, pitching tents, preparing the meals, caring for the dogs, etc., they found it difficult to put in more than six or seven hours per day at actual travel, and at the same time to get sleep enough for the preservation of strength. It is as easy to pitch a tent and make everything snug for six men as for two. It is also as easy to cook for six as for two, and the economy of fuel is proportionately in favor of the larger number.

The instruments, weapons, cooking utensils and various impedimenta, known as "constant weights," have to be about as heavy for two men as for six. Nansen's constant weights per man were about 225 lbs. Ours will be 100 per man, with more of comfort and convenience. In the larger number of men there is, too, a margin of safety. If, for instance, Dr. Nansen's rheumatism or lumbago had been a little more serious the expedition would have come to a stand-still. If one man breaks a limb or receives other serious injury, the expedition is helpless if there be but one sound man remaining. One man cannot get on alone and carry his companion besides. Five men could get on carrying one. It will not do to say that because two men have made arduous journeys in safety others may be sure of doing so. It is true that parties of 15 or 20 men, or even twice that number, such as were employed years ago, are cumbersome. But a party of two is the opposite extreme. From four to seven is, in the opinion of the writer, the number which gives greatest effectiveness and security.
There is no known land extending nearer to the Pole than the northern limits of Franz Josef Land. Greenland is known to reach as far as 83:30, and probably to 84, but this is believed by Gen. Greely, Dr. Nansen, Prof. Heilprin and other Arctic authorities to be its termination. In latitude there is no known difference between Greenland and Franz Josef Land as an advantageous point of departure for a polar expedition. But in other respects there is a marked difference. In Greenland we cannot be sure of a ship getting farther than 78 deg. every summer; in Franz Josef Land we are sure of taking a ship to 80. Along the coast of the former, beyond 80, open water in which to advance supplies by boat to an outpost is problematical; along the coast of the latter it is a certainty for at least two degrees. The former offers little game, not enough to enable one to feel sure of a winter's supply without hauling from the lower latitudes; Franz Josef Land has food animals in abundance.