Scott and his team were woefully undernourished on their expedition to the South Pole. Polar explorers like Scott knew that they would face the challenge of carrying enough food for the whole trip. The more food an explorer added to the sledge, the heavier it became, the harder it became to pull, and the slower he moved; eventually the explorer would reach a point of diminishing returns. Scott tried to solve the problem using two methods:
- First, Scott spent a long period of time setting up depots at various stages along the route South which contained food, fuel, and other supplies.
- Second, Scott went forward to the Pole with a large support team that combined the use of animals and many men. This way, the most food could be taken the farthest distance. Along the way, the animals would be sacrificed as needed, turning them into a truly portable food source.
At a final stage, Scott and a much smaller team would break away from the support group and continue on to the South Pole. If traveling in the Antarctic wasn't already life threatening by this stage, everything was just about to become even more dangerous.
Prepare as much as he might, Scott (and explorers of his time) were not aware of the knowledge we take for granted today. Scott faced significant informational disadvantages. The knowledge of human physiology with regard to sustained exercise was only just beginning to take form in scientific circles. No one knew about calories, no one knew about hypoxia, no one knew about vitamin C, and the knowledge of dehydration was near to non-existent .
Movement in the Antarctic results in perspiration. Dragging a 600lb sledge will make you sweat that much more. Scott and his team sweat. A lot. The diary entries of all the explorers are filled with pages of them describing how surprised they were to find their clothes soaked with sweat despite the fact that it was -40 degrees Farenheit outside.
Scott would have been dehydrated constantly, particularly during the final stages of his trip to and from the Pole. Dehydration affects your ability to focus, your heart beats faster, but less blood moves around your body. Your whole body starts undergoing stress as you put strain on joints that need water for flexibility. As it gets worse, it begins to affect decision making abilities and emotions. you experience pain in muscles - toxins that would normally get excreted remain in your body because you can't wash them out.
What makes matters worse is that there was water everywhere around Scott. Turning the Antarctic snow into water either required him to melt it in a pot in his tent, or just eat snow. The first option disappeared on his way home from the Pole because he ran out of fuel, and the second option was dangerous because it would force his body to work harder to increase its core temperature.
In Antarctic Simulator 2014: Heroes of the Antarctic the player will have to manage their hydration levels or face similar dangers.