What Eric Larsen, Polar Explorer, Brings

He's skied to the North Pole and mushed across the Canadian Arctic, and in 2009 Larsen, 37, will try to be first to reach both poles and the summit of Mount Everest in one year. Here's some of the gear he usually has in tow.

Eric Larsen, chilling in his own way     Photo: courtesy, Eric Larsen

1. A tunnel tent [we recommend the Hilleberg Nammajt 2, $545; hilleberg.com] is the easiest kind to set up while wearing mittens in 30-below temps and extreme wind. I anchor one end with an ice screw or snow stake and then let the wind blow it up. I've done it in as little as a minute and a half.

2. I'm always bending something back into place or adjusting my bindings, so my Leatherman Juice S2 [$60; leatherman.com] is indispensable. It has pliers, scissors, a Phillips, a flathead, and a knife—all of which are critical—and weighs just 4.4 ounces.

3. I take a Canon PowerShot G9 [$500; canonusa.com] that I keep close to my body to preserve the battery. It's manual and automatic, has 12.1 mega­pixels, and takes RAW-format pictures, so it basically has all the benefits of an SLR but in a smaller, lighter point-and-shoot.

4. I charge my iPod and satellite phone in a couple of hours with Brunton's SolarRoll 14 [$437; brunton.com]. It works even in whiteouts. It's also durable and very light, a little thicker than the paperboard of a cereal box.

5. I live in sunscreen. I'll use two: a sport cream like Reflect [4 oz, $5; rei.com], with an SPF of 30, and zinc oxide doubled up on my nose and ears. I put it on thick and leave it white. I like the smell. It's great to be sitting in the Arctic and having a really vivid image of the beach in your head.

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