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Royal Navy Method vs Amundsen Method

When Roald Amundsen set out to find the Northwest Passage, he decided to do things differently.

He would not follow the British Navy model of exploration with crews that sometimes numbered 100 or more. There were not enough resources in the Arctic to support large groups in case of a shipwreck (the ill-fated Franklin Expedition was a good example of that), and besides, Amundsen didn't have any money for a big expedition.

Instead, he studied the methods of explorers like Dr. John Rae, who, with few companions, carried out some of the most fantastic Arctic trips of all time - living off the land, wearing Inuit clothing, and even wintering in igloos.

Amundsen would travel light. His vessel was a small, 70 foot / 21.3 meter fishing boat called Gjøa (pronounced "y-eu-a"), and its crew was a total of just seven men.

Compare this with Franklin: two iron-clad, locomotive-powered ships, 3-5 year supply of food, and a total of 129 officers and men.

Franklin failed - but Amundsen found the Passage in 1905.

PICTURE: The ENTIRE crew of the Gjøa: Peder Ristvedt, Godfred Hanson, Adolf Lindstrøm, Roald Amundsen, Anton Lund, Helmer Hanssen and Gustav Wiik.

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Library: Arctic, Explorers, Exploration
Inuit, Franklin Expedition
Links: Roald Amundsen
Arctic, Northwest Passage
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