Surviving Across The Globe: Greenland
Greenland is definitely one of the harshest places on earth. It’s dark, cold and windy environment makes it a place hard to live. We believe it is a great place to begin with our Danerd Survival World Tour!
A Greenland Village view from helicopter. Source: npr.org
Geography & Population
Greenland is located between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean. Its territory is composed with hundred of Islands, but the largest one – the Island of Greenland – is the biggest Island on earth, with over 44 thousands kilometers of coastline.
There is no land suitable for crops: it is covered with a 3km thick ice. This ice sheet is also one of the largest on earth, covering 84% of the territory. The rest is permafrost, solid-rock land.
Greenland stretches from about 60° to 80° North. That means the northerners have very little sunlight during the winter and some days, do not see the sun at all.
Inuit is the main ethnic group by far in Greenland: 88% of the population is Inuit or Inuit-Danish mixed. Most of them live through ancestral values, such as hunting, fishing, dog sled, native language and arts. Many young Greenlanders leave at adult age for Europe, and we can understand why. Population density is 0.026 inhabitants by kilometer.
The largest town, Nuuk, has 17 000 citizens. As a matter of fact, for more than 30 years, the suicide rate in Greenland has been among the highest in the world, says NPR.
Greenland mountains. Source: Greenland.com
So – Let’s recapitulate Greenland environmental features before we prepare our backpack !
Hostile Environment Factors:
- Ice Sheet and Permafrost: Must rely on fishing and hunting
- Arctic Climate: Strong, ice-cold winds and harsh temperature
- Dangerous Wilderness: Bears and wolves wander the plains
- Sparse Towns: Greenland has 18 towns and settlements with more than 500 inhabitants
A wandering polar bear. Source: drurymirror.com
Environmental Threats Versus Adaptation:
Here is how a great survivalist can get throught this freezing desert.
For each given situation below, we propose a survival method & useful tools.
Disorienting & confusing environment.
- Adaptation: In the ice plains, everything looks the same and you can get lost easily. Having a GPS device is almost mandatory for amateurs, but expert survivalists can rely on simple map and compass.
- Tools: GPS device, Map, Compass
Water goes from liquid to solid.
- Adaptation: You must melt snow or ice.
- Tools: Match and tinders, iron pot, boiler, water filterer.
Food is scarce and ressources are rare.
- Adaptation: You must bring dehydrated food, and equipments for hunting or fishing.
- Tools: Dehydrated Food, Ice & Winter fishing Kit, Hunting Knife
Cold & strong winds day and night.
- Adaptation: Protect your face and body anytime you go outside.
- Tools: Put on a certified cold weather coat, choose mitts over gloves, use a face-shield
Slippery ice and snow hazards.
- Adaptation: This is no place for normal boots! Watch your steps and use special material.
- Tools: Use spiked-shoes and don’t forget to bring a pair of rackets.
Faint or little daylight time, due to region or weather.
- Adaptation: Wake up with the sun, maximize your daytime and wield the best & lightest flashlights
- Tools: Use a military-grade flashlight or headlamp. Work at night only if necessary: you must save your precious energy.
Cold-weather camping: get yourself at sleep in this environment.
- Adaptation: Bring a solid tent, pickaxe, and a can of gas. You could refill with gas in one of the 18 towns in Greenland.
- Tools: A winter camping tent, a light-weight pickaxe, a gas canister.
The future of Greenland is uncertain.
According to a recent study by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sea-ice cover reduced to its lowest levels since the beginning of their records. Regarding Greenlands geography, it threathens the Island so much that at some point it could disappear. Survivalists, if you want to enjoy these icy wonders, prepare your backpacks now!