From the Art of Manliness: What an Antarctic Expedition Can Teach You About What’s Truly Valuable
Shackleton knew their efforts were not enough to save the ship; the next day he ordered the Endurance abandoned. “She’s going boys,” he said. “I think it’s time to get off.”….Posted by Jill Fallon at October 9, 2013 1:23 PM | Permalink
Gathering his men around him, he told them of the new plan: they would begin a march across the ice towards Paulet Island, some 346 miles to the west. As they hoped to hit open water along the way, the men would have to drag two, one-ton lifeboats along with them, hauling them across a vast wasteland of ice and over ridges that could rise two stories high. …..
Given the arduous nature of the task ahead, Shackleton solemnly informed his men that “nothing but the bare necessities are to be taken on the march, for we can not afford to cumber ourselves with unnecessary weight.”….
Shackleton had come to believe that traveling light was absolutely paramount, as “those that burdened themselves with equipment for every contingency had fared much worse than those that had sacrificed total preparedness for speed.”
Each member of the team was allowed the clothes on his back, plus two pairs of mittens, six pairs of socks, two pairs of boots, and a sleeping bag. Beyond these basic provisions, Shackleton ordered that each man only bring a maximum of two pounds of personal possessions…
Shackleton placed the torn pages inside his jacket and laid the Bible in the snow. He then reached into his pocket and withdrew a gold watch, gold cigarette case, and a handful of gold sovereigns. He gave the items one last look before tossing them into the snow as well.
It was a dramatic gesture, but Shackleton was determined to impress upon his men the absolute necessity of each man stripping himself of every ounce of superfluous weight. “No article has any value when measured against our survival,” Shackleton intoned. “Everything is replaceable except your lives.”
What They Left Behind
Money/Jewelry/Gold. …Clothes. ….Scientific instruments…..Books……Suitcases.
What They Took
Toothbrush….Religious items…..Photographs ……Medical supplies and instruments…..One banjo (Shackleton insisted it be lashed underneath one of the lifeboats and brought along. “It’s vital mental medicine,” he said, “and we shall need it.”)…..diaries.
The most important question then becomes: are you putting your time and money where your mouth is? Are you investing the resources of your life into what you truly value, or are you wasting them on things, that, if push came to shove, you would ultimately leave behind in an icy grave?