Inventory Complete!

I have not really explained what my job during this winter has been, so here it goes…

Our biggest job for the winter as a materials person is to count every single item that is in inventory. There are 13 inventoried storerooms that we counted this winter and we are finally done. We have many other storage locations, including the berms and many milvans, but there is not a proper system for counting that stuff yet. It took us eight months to count all of these items. Our biggest one was the Garage Storage, which was 260 pages and took about 3 months. I usually listen to music or podcasts which helps, but it is still a very slow process. Most of the other storerooms averaged 20-30 pages. None of the inventories have been done for a few years so our boss is really happy with our work so far.

Another job we do every week is pulling and delivering food. This is something we also did in the summer, but it is much easier in the winter with a third of the population. Every Friday afternoon we get all of the food that was ordered off the shelves and put it on carts. Then, on Monday we deliver the food to the galley using the elevator when it is warmer than -80(if colder we line everyone on the stairs and do a “food chain”). Once we have finished pulling the food, we issue each item and quantity to the galley in our computer system. That is how we know where to find things and how much we have of each item.

Our last usual job is to help people find things. We do not do this as often in the winter since people do not need many supplies. The process is usually that someone will come to our office with an item # or description of the item they are looking for. We then plug the information into our computer system and find the location. Sometimes this is very easy, but often takes a little searching.

Here are some pictures of five completed storerooms that we inventoried this winter: Thank you for the photos, Max!

Our LO DNF- This is a big storeroom that is downstairs from our office. You can barely see our office in the back of the photo on the right above the dark space. This space houses batteries, paint, cleaning supplies, tape, and other similar items that should not be frozen.

This is Voltron, our forklift, which we use in our DNF (Do not Freeze[building]) as well as in our food arch for getting food crates off the top two shelves.


Here is our LO arch which has about a third of the food we have at the South Pole (the rest is on the berms). The middle isle is four rows high. We can get to the second row with a ladder, but we need a forklift for the third and fourth shelves which mostly has duplicate food items. We use a ladder to access all of the shelves on the side isles. Yes, we inventoried all of this also.

Here is the winter carp shop. We only inventoried the Flammable cabinets in this room. The other stuff is not in inventory.


The top left photo is the UT roof (in the arch above the VMF), it has many light bulbs and other random things. The rest of the pictures are of the Garage storage, which took the longest. This only show less than half of the space and it is all packed full. There are also many screws, washers, gaskets that also get counted. I am quite tired of counting to 100!

This is the Garage Bay taken from the upstairs garage storage room. You can’t see the shelves on the left side that we inventoried, but there were 25 pages. These are both Bull Dozers(D4 and D6 Catepillar machines).




  1. The last time I had to do an inventory, it was counting tablets and capsules, in a hospital pharmacy. By the hundreds, or thousands!!! But for you, I can see how accurate it has to be, and I am guessing that most/all of your supplies can only come in during the summer. Huge storage facilities, I so enjoy learning more with each of your posts.


  2. Thank you for this, I wish there was such a detailed post for all of the jobs on base. I wonder what kinds of things Max did aside from the outdoor stuff you already showed, and what the doctor’s did to keep busy for the winter when they didn’t have patients (besides inventorying as you mentioned). Either way this post really shows how busy you guys were. I believe you mentioned that the goal was 54 h/w, and this is the stuff you did. Very cool.


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