In 1882, Fridtjof Nansen sailed past the Greenland ice cap and found himself asking a lot of questions.
So in 1888, after four years of dreaming and planning, he became the poster boy for polar exploration. Nansen and his small team of five became the first people to cross the Greenland Ice Cap – an incredible feat in a time without man-made insulation, waterproof synthetics and high-tech equipment.
Undeterred by his lack of GORE-TEX, Nansen simply decided to create what they needed. His innovations include the Nansen Cooker and the Nansen Sledge which were later utilised by explorers including Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen in Antarctica. Sleeping bags and clothing were also designed specifically for the expedition.
Thanks to Nansen’s innovations, long distance polar exploration was possible for the first time.