A general account of hunting and fishing in the Arctic, by the eminent explorer who later rescued what was left of Adolphus Greenly’s expedition. Schwatka’s brief Introduction summarizes his intent:
In writing of Nimrod in the North, the author has confined himself almost exclusively to such scenes and adventures as came within his personal knowledge a few years since, in the region north of Hudson’s Bay, and, more recently, in the interior of Alaska. He has sought at the same time, however, to describe in a general way the life of the sportsman in the Polar wastes,—his trials and his triumphs, his cares and his comforts, his camps and his sledges, his singular native allies and their ingenious weapons of the chase, and (above all) the animals he may pursue—or that may pursue him,—and in doing so has added a very few interesting hunting anecdotes from the Arctic works of others. [That last phrase is the only indication of Schwatka’s reading here.]
p. 61, on clothing in Arctic conditions: When the white man has become entirely at home in this furry clothing, and accustomed to life in the native igloos, the question of temperature alone, however low it may be, becomes of inferior importance. The igloo, or snow-hut, has been described so often by previous Arctic travelers, that it would be a superfluous burden on your time to describe it here. The utility of the igloo and reindeer clothing cannot be exaggerated. Habituated as my little party of four white men was, during our two winters in these desolate zones, to a constant life in these simple habitations and the many comforts accruing therefrom, I often marveled how white men could stand the distresses and oftentimes even dangers of a spring tent life, on the many expeditions wherein tents were used. I have read so often of their sufferings while living in this manner, and dressed in clothing made from the furs of the temperate zone, under circumstances that to my party would have been absolutely pleasure, and of their discomfort even when housed in ships, and of the perils they risked in short daily journeys from these abodes during such intensely low temperatures as—50°,—60° and—70° Fahrenheit, when, under the same temperature, my party was prosecuting a sledge journey, with no discomfort, four hundred to five hundred miles from its depot, with no provisions except such game as was killed from day to day, that the conviction becomes two-edged that the accessories of igloos and reindeer clothing are essential to a well-managed Arctic sledge journey. With their help the subject of the intensity of cold, strange as it may seem, becomes of secondary if not entirely of minor importance, and if it were not for the long dark night which accompanies the season of these depressions of temperature, a winter sledge journey could be carried forward in almost any part of the Arctic region appropriate for it with no small chance of success.