Sometimes I like to pretend I’m an Antarctic explorer, braving a harsh, new continent. I imagine that I’m Roald Amundsen forging a path has never been tread on by another human being. In reality, I live a remarkably comfortable life. All my meals are made for me. I work in a heated room. Someone drives me to and from work everyday. There are two bars in town with cheap alcohol. The internet is terrible, but it allows me to talk to all my friends and family. I enjoy all the benefits of a modern life in Antarctica.
So when given the chance, I occasionally forgo the novel in favor of the rustic. Our field camp where we work has heated toilets, but why use those when you can use the long drop? The long drop is exactly what it sounds like, a giant hole cut into the ice. You then put a box around it for privacy, add some packing foam for a seat, and there you have it, a toilet!
I doubt there’s a restroom in the world that has a more beautiful view. The Royal Society Range greets you when you exit. Behind you is the southern most active volcano in the world, Mt. Eribus. After snowfall, the pristine snow stretches farther than you can see, unblemished by any footsteps.
When you use the long drop, you put the flag out so others no not to enter. The cold keeps the air relatively odorless. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer are provided for your comfort and convenience. After a long season, the poopsicle gets pretty large, so the hole is covered with snow and if necessary a new hole is dug.
It’s probably for the best that I don’t live the life that Amundsen lived; I would likely die. But at least I get to pretend I live on a harsh continent whenever nature calls.