The Ice Camp Barneo is a drifting ice base located about 100 km (60 miles) from the North Pole. It exists for just 4 weeks each year.

Because of the constant moving ice on the Arctic Ocean. Barneo has to be rebuilt from scratch each year. All equipment and advance personnel are parachuted into a suitable location. Barneo is not merely a tent camp; two bulldozers parachuted in, are used to flatten the snow so cargo planes like the Antonov AN-74 can land.

Barneo ice base is the unique complex consisting of ice runway and ice camp. Both are integral parts of the project.

The Ice runway

This is an airstrip of about 1200 by 60 meters size, built at the end of each March on a suitable drifting floe in the area around 89 degrees North. This is a fully functional runway capable of landing the Antonov AN–74 cargo-passenger aircraft.

Ice Camp

Ice Camp is the main component of North Pole expeditions' infrastructure. It is a unique complex for hosting visitors and base personnel. The Ice Camp consists of specially designed tents with rigid frames. All the tents are heated, and the temperature inside is kept between 15 and 18 °С.

The largest tents are the mess tents: one for staff and one for visitors. These tents are connected by a kitchen block. Mess tent for visitors is the main place for meetings and briefings, here travelers meet and get to know each other. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served here at specified times, and snacks, tea or coffee are available 24 hours a day. Living tents for visitors accommodate up to 12 persons. Camp staff live in separate modules. There are also technical modules for storing and maintenance of equipment.

If necessary, the Camp doctor can provide first medical aid.

Life at Barneo is always precarious. In early April 2010 the ice floe cracked; a good chunk of the runway broke off as researchers, explorers and adventure seekers alike all rushed to relocate the camp’s infrastructure before it drifted away! The water is very deep - close to 14,000ft, some 4,250 metres.

The Scientific Camp and the camp of helicopter crews are satellites of the main Camp.

Since it is impossible to keep the runway on drifting ice floe for more than one season, the Camp has to be constructed from the scratch every year. This is the main difference between this project and that of the similar projects in the Antarctic. At the end of every season all the equipment and waste are taken away from the ice.

The map below charts the drifting of the base over just 4 weeks in the 2008 season, some 200 kilometres.