> 10. Re-entry.
> There is often a huge sense of isolation and disconnect when you come back to everyday life. For so long, you have been out in the wilderness and singularly concerned with survival and mileage, so when you get back to the real world and people talk about their jobs, or what they did at the weekend, it all feels foreign. You must remember that people have their own lives and their own interests. Just because you like Antarctica and polar expeditions, it doesn't mean anyone else should give a damn about you or what you did.
It was hard to come back to the real life...
But yeah reading this article I'm thinking, I HOPE I never have to worry about frostbite. Kudos to the author.
This book  is one of the most astonishing I have ever read. Anyone reading this grab a copy, you won't regret it. It's quite a unique story in all human history, and superbly told.
I think it’s perspective of just getting away from what you’re used to.
Re-entry isn’t the issue, it thats that it your new awareness can’t be shared with people who haven’t left.
I was forcibly repatriated due to a visa issue a few years ago, and I feel into a deep depression as a result. I was not a pleasant person, and I couldn't figure out why I was so miserable. It never occurred to me that, after having traveled and worked across the globe, that the simple fact of an unexpected trip home would be the source of a huge wave of depression. I definitely burnt a few bridges as a result of this, most of which I don't think I can repair.
The State Department has a very good page on this, dubbing it "Reverse Culture Shock"  I remember reading over this page and being amazed as to how succinctly what I was experiencing had been put into words, and it hit me very hard, especially since overall I felt I had acclimated well to life abroad in a non-English speaking country. Having all of that hard work just suddenly stripped away and being forced back into a place that no longer felt like a home for me was very hard, and it weighs heavily on me even today.
That lack of connection between people is incredibly devastating, and the GP post about re-entry is quite true, in my experience.
 - https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c56075.htm
I have also traveled and lived in third world countries and I agree with you the issue is that one can't share perspective gained from the experience very effectively.
It would be great to be able to share with that kid some of the perspective learned traveling and meeting people living in poverty. It could mean the difference between life and death, but as you say it's very difficult to share that awareness.
This kind of thing is fascinating to me. It reminds me of the guy  who took 64,000 extra calories of olive oil along on his tiny-yacht trip across the Atlantic, because it's so dense in calories. Or the fact that on the day a climber summits Everest, they'll burn around 20,000 calories. That's almost 40 McDonald's Big Macs worth of energy.
A lot of people will talk about calories in/out, but the body is far more complex. For starters diet will dictate the primary fuel source (glucose or fat), a body that burns fat as the primary source of energy will have nearly infinite energy supply while glucose store will empty relatively quickly, and once that’s used up the body will start breaking down the amino acids in muscle tissue and converting it to glucose.
Like you I find nutrition very fascinating, but I’d take that olive oil (healthy fat) over 40 Big Macs any day.
Not quite true.
The body can convert fat into glucose, just like protein, through the process of gluconeogenesis. If I'm not wrong, the body will usually only start breaking down muscle if there's no fat it can make use of.
So, someone on a lower-carb, decent protein, high healthy-fat diet will probably have far greater energy than on the usual high-carb, high bad-fat diet. Likely won't have hunger pangs at all, and won't burn out as quickly as the junk food carb-fat-loader.
A diet for hunter-gatherers, and Eskimos. And people who want consistent, constant energy through the week. :)
The difference between a normal person and somebody with insulin resistance is that the latter will feel hungry for longer before starting to burn fat.
Contrary to what the GP says, you need to be low on fat (think extremely skinny) before the body starts scavenging healthy non-fat tissues.
The process of converting muscle tissue into glucose falls under the umbrella of gluconeogenesis.
If you burn up your glucose stores, your body may turn to fat (more efficient than converting muscle to glucose), but the body can "skip" the fat burning and turn to the break down of muscle to convert the amino acids (proteins) into glucose. Hint: its build right into your post...Insulin. If a body burns up glucose, and there are high levels of insulin in the blood, then the body will go into gluconeogenesis to breakdown muscle to convert the amino acids into glucose instead of burning fat.
If you want science/studies I would start maybe with the krebs cycle/ATP, ketogenic diet, ketosis, ketones as a by-product of fat buring. Maybe mix in studies about insulin, blood sugar levels/glycemic index, glucose, glycogen, glucagon/pancreas, amino acids/liver/gluconeogenesis.
For more practical/functional/anecdotal information, usually your interest will be in sports/athletic performance. You might start with more generic blogs about glucose vs fat and then work your way into blogs of individual athletes in the sport you are most interested in. Although I distance run, I don't limit myself to the experiences of just other ultra runners. I also really enjoy reading about the various diets/experiences of body body builders, sprinters, other endurance sports, and mixed martial artists. It is such a wide gap in terms of performance goals and mass/muscle/weight goals.
These videos by the channel "What I've Learned" are great:
- Fasting vs. Eating Less: What's the Difference? 
- Longevity & Why I now eat One Meal a Day 
The channel  also has many other videos on the topic of nutrition, with similar emphasis.
Also see the excellent and readable book "The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting" by Dr Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore .
If 70% or more of your calories come from fat, your body starts increasing its fat oxidation rate, but it also down regulates the carb burning pathway
The video on the page provides a detailed look at how the body breaks down glucose and fat for energy:
I’ve been following a keto diet for some time now and still learned a lot from Peter’s discussion with Joe.
I think there is just a difference in the use of "controlling" here. Fat/Glucose will always be used jointly as energy, but the idea is to "control" which is the primary fuel source. A Ketogenic diet or ketosis is part of that, still giving you a fair reading I can understand how you conclude that is not "control", though I would argue it is because I am controlling my fuel source, but to your point I am not eating whatever I want (carb/sugar heavy diet) and controlling my primary fuel source like a light switch.
Separate and apart from the diet, there are other things you can do to "control" or "train" your body to burn fat as the primary fuel source. Again keto is a large part of it, but lets assume I am in ketosis and about to go for one of my runs...in short, aerobic or anaerobic. Is my body going to go for the fat or is it going to go for the available glucose which is the preferred energy source for anaerobic exercise? Also, in anaerobic exercise the muscles produce lactic acid as a by product and as anaerobic exercise can only be maintained for a short period of time, when its over and the body is recovering the lactic acid goes to the liver and is converted into glucose, of course that raises the blood glucose level which in turn may encourage the body to use as the primary fuel source. Keeping my run aerobic I am "controlling" the primary fuel source and burning fat, both in the short term (same run) and long term (over periods of time) I am training my body to be pushed harder and harder while maintaining my aerobic threshold increases.
So training in a glycogen depleted state (back then we called this bonking) is bad news if you want to increase your aerobic threshold, since the kind of training that has been shown most effective in causing the required adaptations involves repeated maximal efforts.
The only training effect you can hope for is nudging your body towards using more fat at lower levels of exertion, thereby saving valuable glycogen. This isn't very relevant for most running events which are typically done at a consistently high VO2max percentage, but beneficial for say cycling races where you have low intensity (riding in the slipstream on the flat) mixed with very high intensity (up a steep grade).
These is a difference between burning glucose as the primary fuel source, depleting it, and bonking vs using fat as the primary fuel source to begin with (there is no bonking).
But basically glucose store empty pretty quickly and if not refueled the body shuts down to conserve the limited glucose for the brain because that is it’s primary fuel source (the body shut down is the bonking).
When in keotsis, the burning of fat produces a by product, ketones, which is a different source of fuel for the brain. So when in ketosis when burning fat as the primary fuel source (which is essentially limitless compared to glucose) there is no bonk because 1. You don’t run out of fat (like you would glucose), and 2. As you burn fat you produce ketones to fuel the brain (which isn’t happening when burning glucose as the primary fuel).
For example my last marathon I ran in ketosis I did with only water and electrolytes (no fuel), I cant do that if I’m not in ketosis.
Your point about being able to more efficiently increase the aerobic threshold while using glucose sounds right.
It made me realize, often when we say we are hungry and we are craving something, it's not that we are hungry, it's that we are craving carbs.
Back when I did it, I had two friends that did it with me. One of them got cognitive benefits like I did while the other did not. It might be that we were deficient in or sensitive to something else. In fact the energy was so boundless at the 2-week mark that we actually had a hard time falling asleep at night.
It worked well over couple of months. Actually, I found the chart I made then:
(Measurements are blue, running average (of AFAIR a week) is green. I used the running average as an indicator of progress, to eliminate measurement noise / daily variations.)
That ~8-10kg drop in 3 months is when I was on ketogenic diet. I carried it a bit longer, then I guess at some point I just decided I miss pizza too much. One permanent change this caused though, that I have to this day, is that I switched from sugar to artificial sweeteners in my tea/coffee, and always opt for sugarfree coke/pepsi instead of the regular one.
Following your conversation I have a wild guess...you likely were not exercising and therein likely was.
First, I’ve never meet anyone who did some form of working out/exercising who couldn’t tell if they were in ketosis (good or bad).
If I am right, this may also explain the feeling of mental clarity therein experiences that you didn’t. Glucose is fuel for the brain, but fat isn’t...ketones are which are a by product of fat burning, so the more fat burning/ketones the more fuel for the brain.
Interesting if you both chime in on my theory.
> Glucose is fuel for the brain, but fat isn’t...ketones are which are a by product of fat burning, so the more fat burning/ketones the more fuel for the brain.
That definitely makes sense to me and would even to a certain extent explain the difference between individual experiences with ketogenic diet.
No. You are hungry, not necessarily for carb or protein or fat, you're just hungry. If you wait long enough, your body will switch to burn body fat.
Even after knowing that my body has switched to primarily using ketones via Ketone Measurement Strips used on urine daily, I would find myself wanting to eat something, but once I realized all I had at home that I could eat was food full of fat and protein but not carbs, my craving would disappear or I would become disinterested.
And even after eating, I could still feel that it didn't hit the right spot at satisfying my cravings. I would be really full, and really full of energy-dense food but I would still be dreaming of a slice of bread or even a sip of lemonade next to whatever dish I am eating. I realized what I craved wasn't food but that spike in blood sugar.
Diet, or training?
Deplete your glycogen stores after constraining carbohydrates intake to under 20g a day, and your body will switch to fat consumption for energy needs within 48 hours.
All those weird foods that runners and cyclists eat are (or rather, were, before the ad men got involved) optimized based on research into absorption. I don’t know where things are now since I’m a recovering couch potato, but there was a time where our best research said anything denser than Gatorade would not hit your bloodstream any faster.
What keeps you from digesting your own muscles immediately is that your liver stores a few thousand calories of reserve sugars. So one day of heavy exertion you can mostly shrug off. Days or weeks take planning or moderation or you’ll digest the muscles you aren’t using (see also bicyclist physique)
That's what your body is doing 24 hours a day. It takes a LOT of energy to do that. Quite frankly I think it's incredible that stuff like this is even possible.
For the record, I've eaten butter camping in the winter - long lasting dense energy source for sure :-) My favorite is Kerry Gold Irish unsalted :-)
* Doesn't spoil, like butter could (clarified butter may work, but it's liquid at room temp)
* Less of a chance to get all over the place, like olive oil.
* Found in the strangest of places, like tiny grocery stores in even little mountain towns.
* Smell less than butter (or bacon), so less of a chance to find a friendly bear in my food.
I mostly ate peanut butter (caloric rich itself) and jelly tortillas. Put some coconut oil in that sucker, and it tastes like the finest french pastries.
I never liked the stuff before. I was considering just eating Crisco (doesn't spoil at room temp, no mess), but coconut butter seemed a bit more appealing.
I talk a bit about what I ate in a presentation I did recently. Fast forward to that part:
The next slide shows that, despite the added calories, I was at a caloric deficit, in which I lost 15 pounds over 2 months.
Why can't they? Because it exceeds their maximum rate of oxygen consumption. That also tells us they can't in any scenario burn that many calories in a day.
Even Andre The Giant is billed "only" at 236kg.
I always wonder if the same would apply to soldiers. A former special forces soldier I know said that they didn't look for jocks (though you need some athleticism); they looked for people with the ability to perform as a highly functional team member under extreme stress and exhaustion - sort of like the developer who maintains their sense of humor, keeps everyone loose, and still turns out work to the highest standards after a week of 18 hour days, with a deadline breathing down your necks and an angry boss. It seems to me that older people are generally more capable in that regard.
> [the butter] tastes revolting, but then your body just craves the fat content and you eat the butter like blocks of cheese.
He needs a bit of better butter. I highly recommend eating Plugra butter straight, assuming that your heart doesn't need all that blood all the time. Really; go buy some and you will come back and thank me. I can't even imagine how good it would taste in the author's situation.
(I have no affiliation with Plugra.)
A programmrr enduring 18 hour work days is shitty/abusuve management.
It's god-tier. I haven't eaten it straight but in thick (1/4") slabs on fresh bread. Found even better butter in Iceland, flew home with 5 pounds of it. Somewhere between butter and triple-crème cheese. Got odd looks at customs, but they had no problem with it.
I think this quote applies well to entrepreneurship
Celebrate teams who work well together.
Don’t celebrate fund raising.
> On the traverse of Antarctica we were trying to cover 1,850km. After the first week, we had only done a few miles total and then had to climb 3,000m onto the high polar plateau.
That's 3 distance units in two sentences where 1 unit would suffice with almost no changes ("a few miles" is approximately identical to "a few kilometers").
Your discussions are going to talk about 60m, 9.8mm lead ropes, two 7mm cordolettes (they're usually 20' long when untied,) some spare 9/16" webbing, and a bunch of 60cm/single length slings. Your climbing route can be anywhere from 30' to 3,000'.
Like all jargon and measurements, you just get used to it. I know what 9/16" webbing looks like and implies. I also can do the mental math to convert it to metric, but there's no point unless I'm talking to someone who needs those details and doesn't speak the same lingo (i.e., climbers from Europe who aren't yet used to our bullshit.)
Today I learned that in the English language "kilometers" are considered their own unit, whereas in my native tongue (German) we'd understand a kilometer as 1000 meters - and if anyone asked we'd tell them the unit (Einheit) is meters with a si-prefix in front of it. Especially so if that "anyone" happened to be your electronics/maths/etc teacher.
The combination of a unit and a prefix is called "Einheitenzeichen" in German (of course a unit symbol by itself can be an Einheitenzeichen as well). A concept that doesn't appear to exist at all in the English language.
We also don't have a Wikipedia entry for "Kilometer": it redirects to Meter (SI-Prefix-Chapter).
It appears to be one of those many things that are understood just slightly differently in various languages, only affecting understanding in the rarest of edge-cases.
Basically I wasn't able to find any English equivalent to the system of naming conventions we use to denote "units" in the German language.
Most of the Wikipedia articles dealing with those things in German have no equivalent English article, or the english version bears no resemblance of the German version and vice-versa:
My takeaway is that in English you call the result of adding a prefix to a unit still "unit", albeit it consists of a "base-unit" and a "prefix".
And in your comment you just called "km" a unit again!
Edit: Made both links link to German version to avoid confusion.
Edit 2: What amazes me is that we managed to standardize systems of units and quantities - without standardizing the lingo surrounding them.
Are you referring to "as the difference in units (km vs miles)"? The base units are meters and miles. I use km there because that is the use (with scale) in the original context.
"Unit" can have two different meanings. One is the use of measurement systems: meter vs miles. It can also refer to distinguish between the quantity and the unit in a measurement, such as "1 km" vs "1000 m": in the first case, the "1" is the quantity and "km" is the unit. In the second, "1000" is the quantity and "m" is the unit. As an aside, this sense of unit is often useful in "unit analysis" (also called "dimensional analysis").
You'd never use km or miles for elevation gain. I really don't understand what the problem is.
The switch between miles and kilometers with no cause bothers me more than that.
also, to help with the general mood I bought a bottle of this whisky: https://www.whiskyshop.com/shackleton
I wonder how many sticks they eat a day. 1 stick is around 800 calories. Eating a stick of butter is a popular food challenge video on YouTube, but some guys eat 4 sticks (1lb) without any problem, in just a few minutes.
If we assume a 75Kg standard male human the lethal dose of cyanide would be 37.5 mg (0.5 mg by Kg)[A]. A Kg of sweet almonds has more or less, 25mg of cyanide [B] therefore if you eat 1,5Kg of almond butter in a short space of time you could reach the lethal dose.
Is a lot of butter but:
1) If you eat less you could still vomit or have stomach problems that could lower your chances of survival in such hostile environment.
2) the maker could had used some cheaper bitter almonds in the mix to lower the price. Bitter almonds have much more cyanide so even a few could lower the lethal oral dose.
And 3) there is a possible interaction with vitamin C suplements, that turn amygdalin in cyanide .
Perhaps for the same reasons they tend to be better entrepreneurs.
I'm a lot more interested in going to Antarctica, spend a few months there as part of some scientific research team. Or maybe just go there as a part time low skill worker, so that my whole trip is funded and at the same time I don't have to work more than a few hours a day. I just want the feeling of having lived in Antarctica for a few months. (internet access is a must).
Your idea of an "expedition" is pretty damn weird.
edit: See this link for some information about life in Antarctiva and how to get a job.
Some of the other bases that I could not go in to looked like basically just 2 to 4 huts/sheds - nothing like the "village" style bases/stations with loads of people milling about you might be familiar seeing. They didn't looks like fun or inviting places to hang-out at.
From what I understand, the scientific bases aren't really set up for carrying part-timers. E.g. the scientists are also the cooks and the mechanics etc. I don't think they'd pay to transport, feed, heat, and give a bed to someone to just do a couple of hours work a day then hog the super-expensive bandwidth on the satellite link? They'd much rather give that fuel, food, heat and bed to a scientist I think, or at least not someone there for free accommodation & internet.
tl;dr - join the chilean military and hope you get stationed out there.
I'd expect the baseline is a standard public-sector working week (around 36 hours), although the scientists probably do more.
I'm in the process of getting nationality in the west but that's a few years away (and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to get in without that nationality).
(As for background, I'm trying to finish PhD in a STEM discipline, so I hope that could count).
I'll keep your contact in mind and let you know when I'm ready. Thanks again.
Oddly they include the redundant "C" for -40 but don't include it, or the "F," in the next paragraph:
> by running outside naked in minus 30 and rubbing yourself down with snow
Then they restore redundant ones a few paragraphs later:
> * It may be as low as minus 40C outside* . . . which in minus 40C is quite high
It's a rather extreme nitpick.