Top Ten Pieces of Gear to Bring to Antarctica
Polar Gear you won’t want to forget
If you are planning a trip to Antarctica you are most likely joining a ship and exploring the Antarctic Peninsula – which is an amazing place. We’ve helped guide many guests to Antarctica and there are a few things that stand out that may not be on every list, but we think are definitely worth having. In order to make your Antarctic experience the best, we are going to highlight the top ten items. Including these will help ensure you have the best once-in-a-lifetime experience in Antarctica.
1. Basic waterproof backpack
Your main method for going ashore in Antarctica will be in a zodiac, a small inflatable boat that will whisk you from the ship to the shore. It will also be used as a vehicle for exploring small icebergs, getting up close to wildlife and glaciers. That said – you could get a splash or two while going through the water. It may be snowing. Having a simple waterproof lightweight backpack is the easiest way to keep your camera gear, spare hat and gloves dry. While you could buy a separate dry sack, I personally love the simplicity and ease of using a waterproof backpack. My favorite is the Outdoor Research Dry Summit HD Pack. Its super light weight and can pack down in your luggage, its shoulder straps are durable enough that they provide support. The bag itself is waterproof – its an overall winning combination and its one we use often when going ashore.
Outdoor Research Dry Summit HD Pack
2. Small waterproof camera
Please bring you DSLR’s and lenses – you will want them for some amazing wildlife shots. But also- please DO GET an all weather proof camera that can easily be slipped into your pocket. Keep it with you always – you never know when you are eating dinner, in a lounge and suddenly there are whales at the bow. Maybe you are going to shore and there are some incredible icebergs, but its snowing and wet.. you probably don’t want to break out your camera kit worth a few thousand. I highly recommend the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera. I know many adventurers and travelers who keep this handy as their go to camera. It’s not the lightest out there, but the quality of photos (and videos) is excellent. It’s nearly bombproof and can be used under water. (you are asking if you should get a gopro – they are better suited to jumping out of an airplane or kayaking down a raging river and have much more limited functionality than this winner)
Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Red (V104190RU000)
Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Black (V104190BU000)
3. Small puffy down jacket
There will be quite a lot of time standing around in Antarctica – standing still looking at Wildlife, standing on deck watching albatross or whales. Thus you will need layers and most importantly a warm down jacket is indispensable. Outdoor Research makes high quality, well priced warm down jackets. The jacket will keep you warm in Antarctica and they are stylish enough that you can also wear it around town. These also aren’t so puffy that you can’t throw another layer – say your waterproof jacket over them. Insider tip: Bring you down jacket on the plane and use it as a pillow!
Women: Outdoor Research Women’s Sonata Hoodie, Flame
Men:Outdoor Research Men’s Transcendent Sweater
4. Merino Wool Long Underwear
Merino Wool is becoming the go to fabric again for adventure sports and for good reason. Its soft, incredibly warm, perspires well, and doesn’t start to stink up the first time you sweat. And it’s a natural fiber making it that much better. Slipping a pair of merino long underwear under your pants and shirt will go a long way to keep you warm and happy. We recommend making it a part of your daily attire while in Antarctica. Icebreaker makes some of the best!
Women’s Top: Icebreaker Women’s Tech Top Long Sleeve Half Zip Top
Women’s Bottom:Icebreaker Women’s Oasis Leggings
Men’s Top: Icebreaker Merino Men’s Tech Top Long Sleeve Half Zip
Men’s Bottom:Icebreaker Men’s Oasis Leggings with Fly
5. An address book
These days so many of us have stopped updating our physical address book and instead do a quick google search or check an old email. However you may not have great internet access and if you want to send a post card for Antarctica… you will need the addresses, so plan ahead, collect them and put them in a small address book you can tuck into your luggage. or… if you are as organized as one of our guests, print them out on labels!
Little Black Book of Addresses
The Little Pink Book of Addresses (Address Book) (Little Pink Books)
The sun shines nearly 24/7. Snow and water are some of the strongest reflectors. So don’t forget to pack sunscreen… but not just any sunscreen. How are you going to apply it while wearing gloves? We love Neutrogena’s Sticks, which you can apply with gloves on! Yes, we admit they look like sticks of deodorant and you might get a few weird looks, but once those naysayers realize the brilliance of these sticks, they won’t be laughing any longer.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spf 70, 1.5 Oz.
Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, 1.5 Oz (Pack of 3)
When in the zodiac or walking on shore a breeze can change everything – you can go from comfortable to freezing quickly. Much of that is due to the wind finding its way into and under our jackets. One of the quickest, lightest easiest ways to combat wind and keep yourself comfortable is the very versatile buff. Use it as a neck warmer, or forgot your hat – just pull it up. In fact I often use two just in case!
8. Hydaway Water Bottle
While you can not bring food ashore, bringing a water bottle ashore is a good idea, especially if you are going to do a good bit of walking at some of the sites. Also don’t forget to drink water. It may not be hot, but you still need to hydrate – more than ever, especially since the air is dry so you don’t realize how much water you are losing. Water bottles can be a bit bulky to pack, so we love the new water bottle from HYDAWAY. Its super packable, available in bright colors, and guaranteed to be leak proof. And for when using it after your trip – fits in most car drink holders.
New! HYDAWAY Collapsible Pocket-sized Travel Water Bottle
9. The Antarctic log book.
We think this book is pretty cool. It a mix journal and guide. Its got plenty of space to write your thoughts, plus space to put the stamps you might get at scientific bases or historic sites. Plus small tid-bits of info and well designed.
Antarctica Log Book
10. Extra camera Batteries
Its cold in Antarctica and your batteries last much less time than you may be used to. Our experience is we always have one spare set in our camera bag / backpack /pocket, so that just in case, we are ready. Spare batteries are fairly cheap insurance against missing an amazing shot. ** triple check before buying that they are compatible with your camera model!
Olympus Tough: 2 Pack Battery And Charger Kit Bundle For Olympus TOUGH TG-Tracker, TG-5, TG-2iHS, TG-3, TG-4 Waterproof Digital Camera Includes 2 Replacement (1500Mah) LI-90B, LI-92B Batteries + Charger + More
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