EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING
How do you pack for an expedition cruise in the polar regions? Here you will get tips on what might be good to think about in terms of clothing and equipment and more.
The weather in Antarctica is cold, dry and windy. On our trips to Antarctica, however, you never get to the interior of the Antarctic continent, where a grim climate prevails. We only travel in coastal climates and also during Antarctic summer, which means that the climate is much milder.
Around the Antarctic Peninsula, the average temperature is around -2°C in November. However, the degrees may feel lower due to the chill factor from wind and surrounding snow and ice. Alternating weather with rain, snow and fog interspersed with clear skies and sun is not unusual.
The climate in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia is milder but often windy. It is not unusual for the temperature to vary significantly. The summer is short and very intense. The temperature on the Falkland Islands is between +5°C to +10°C and South Georgia around 0°C
HOW TO DRESS
The basic rule is to dress in several layers of material that "breathes" and that protects against cold and wind. The layer-on-layer principle, with three or more layers, also makes it easier to adjust the heat quickly when the temperature changes. Avoid cotton materials as they absorb moisture and do not retain heat.
IMPORTANT! You must wear waterproof outer garments and high rubber boots when you are in the Zodiacs. Below you will find information how to dress in the polar regions.
THE INNER LAYER
Clothing next to your skin must get rid of perspiration from your body to keep you dry and warm. This layer should be close to your body. Recommended materials are wool, silk or synthetic materials. Cotton should never be worn close to the body.
- Thin inner gloves (liner) in wool, synthetic or silk
- Underwear, like Long John's and sweater in wool or synthetic material
- Thin sock (liner) in wool or synthetic
THE MIDDLE LAYER
This layer provides insulation and retains body heat without restricting movement. Suitable materials for this layer are fleece or wool. It is better to wear several thin layers than one thick layer. On cold days you may need extra insulation. This way you control your body temperature.
- Warm sweater in wool or fleece
- Thin down jacket
- Warm pants
- Thick socks in wool
THE OUTER LAYER
The main function of this layer is to offer protection against the wind and water, but also to let out excess body heat. Therefore, it is good to use breathable materials such as Gore-Tex. Impregnated cotton materials are not recommended.
- Wind- and waterproof jacket that breathes – for example Gore-Tex
- Wind- and waterproof pants that breathes – for example Gore-Tex
- Warm, windproof hat
- Wind- and waterproof gloves/mittens
Your head is like the body’s funnel and we always recommend bringing a warm hat! Good materials are synthetic fibre or wool, preferably windproof. Please remember to bring an extra just in case.
HANDS AND FEET
These parts of your body are particularly sensitive. It is important to keep your hands and feet dry and warm. The same layering method applies here as clothes. Use inner gloves made of synthetic fibre, silk or wool and cover with wind- and waterproof mittens. Mittens are much warmer than gloves. It is wise to bring an extra pair. You should wear inner socks of synthetic fibre and the next layer of wool or synthetics. A pair of solid knee-high rubber boots is the secret weapon when going ashore on the Zodiacs. It is also wise to bring wool insoles.
- Sturdy knee-high rubber boots. Please note! On this trip we include the use (loan) of rubber boots. The boots will be ditrubuted after embarkation in Ushuaia
- Shoes, like sneakers to use pre- and post the expedition
- Regular shoes to wear on board the ship. Rubber soles are important to avoid slipping
- Soles to wear in your boots
- Thin gloves
- Gloves/Mittens, should be wind- and waterproof
There may sometimes be requests to bring special equipment on board, always contact the PolarQuest office if you have questions about what is allowed to be brought in addition to the "normal" packing.
- Any medication that you use
- Copies of your passport, tickets and insurance card.
- 1 suitcase, backpack or soft bag for clothing and equipment. A soft case is recommended as this can be easily stored in the cabin during the trip.
- 1 backpack – small water proof to use in the Zodiac for extra layers of clothes, camera etc. on landings
- A good pair of binoculars is highly recommended on this trip
- Waterproof bags to protect your camera from getting wet during Zodiac cruises
- Sunglasses (ski googles) with UV-protection and attached with a neck strap so you do not loose them in the water
- Sunscreen with high SPF (for face and lips)
- Heat pads to put in shoes or gloves should you freeze
- Travel Pharmacy (sea sickness tablets, aspirin, diarrhoea pills, plasters etc.)
- Adapter for 220V/ 110V (domestic Argentina)
- Pen and paper
- Swimwear (in case you get the opportunity to take a polar plunge).
- Water bottle
- Ear plugs
- Trekking poles to use for extra support on landings if needed. Please note! Poles have to be foldable and in your checked in luggage
- Camera and a lot more memory card than you think you will use!
- Extra batteries for your camera. Do not forget the charger!
- Waterproof bag to protect your camera from getting wet during Zodiac cruises
- Cleaning cloth for camera lenses
TIP! Tie a ribbon on your zippers on clothes & bags to access them without having to take of your mittens/gloves.