What to Pack for Antarctica

Are you planning your tour of a lifetime but wondering what to pack for Antarctica? Here is an overview from our destination experts.

Covered by ice approximately a mile thick, it’s safe to say Antarctica is the coldest place on earth. Temperatures often drop to as little as -70 degrees Celsius. With no precipitation, Antarctica is a dry place too, and is technically classified as a desert. So as you can imagine; what one wears is of the utmost importance, be it day or night.

Suggested Clothing

Fleeces are very suitable and waterproof pants for the landing are essential.

The average temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula area during the austral summer is about 0°C (32°F), although sometimes it may feel a little lower because of the wind chill factor. For this reason, it is best to wear several layers of light, warm clothing. The suggested clothing for Antarctica is very similar to that recommended for skiing: thermal underwear, a couple of warm and wicking mid layers, and windproof and waterproof jacket and pants as the outer layer. The best clothing is always a layered system with an outer layer that is waterproof. The air between the layers provides additional insulation. Fleeces are very suitable and waterproof pants for the landing are essential.

You will also need a hat, a scarf, waterproof and insulated gloves, and sunglasses with high UV protection. Our pre-departure material provides further details.

Waterproof Boots

Sturdy walking shoes or sneakers with a good grip sole will be provided.

You will need to stay as warm and dry as possible all the time. Therefore, correct footwear is very important. As most landings in Antarctica are “wet landings”, the best footwear is knee- high waterproof boots. You will not need to carry them with you since your air cruiser will provide you with a pair of thermal rubber boots before arriving in Antarctica. Sturdy walking shoes or sneakers with a good grip sole for the slippery deck, and rubber boots, will be provided.

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Face Protection

You will also need good sun block lotion for your face.

Good quality UV filtering sunglasses are essential. Glacier glasses have leather flaps at the sides to stop the light from passing through. Due to the high reflectance of UV radiation, you will also need good sun block lotion for your face (this means a high protection factor of perhaps 30 and above) and lip balm.

Photography

Take with you a good supply of memory cards and spare batteries.

To see the wildlife you should have a good pair of lightweight binoculars (the suggested magnification is 7× or 8×). If you are passionate about photography, do not forget a good zoom lens to shoot wildlife while avoiding close approaches. Also, take with you a good supply of memory cards and spare batteries since cold temperatures can reduce their lifespan.

More tips on what to pack for Antarctica

As a side note, don’t forget to carry all your personal medications and a suitable backpack for your belongings during shore excursions. Lightweight disposable rain gear will not endure more than one landing, so please bring high quality, expedition-weight waterproof pants.

Our destination experts are happy to advise you further. Get in touch with us for Antarctica travel tips and customize your obligation-free itinerary to match your specific interests!

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