What to pack for Antarctica

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Most Viewed What to Pack in Antarctica

  • Josilver's Profile Photo

    Packing list for GAP explorer

    by Josilver Written Dec 8, 2005

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    Luggage and bags: Waterproof day pack for taking on shore landings

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Gum Boots- wellingtons etc. there are several options
    1) bring them with you-they are heavy and take up a lot of space
    2) Hire them from Turismo Ushuaia (Gob Paz) for US$20 or 60 pesos PLUS $50US deposit
    3) Buy them in Ushuaia from the general store in the main street San Martin for 20-25 pesos, this the cheapest and best option
    4) there are some available on the boat but this cant be guaranteed

    1) Water proof ski pants
    2) water proof gloves, under gloves that you can use to manipulate your camera
    3) Water proof and lined jacket
    4) Beanie and head band
    5) Sunglasses
    6) sunscreen, moisturiser and lip balm
    7)long sleeve thermals plus long johns to wear under your ski pants
    8) lots of socks ( you need 2 pairs in you r gum boots when landing)and under wear (wahsing is expensive (ie US$1.50 per pair of underpants)
    9) 4 or 5 Tshirts and long pants ect to wear around the boat
    10) Maybe somthing nice to wear to the captains dinner-farewell, but most people dont bother so you may be way over dressed

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: For sea sickness there are a range of solutions available, if you get sea sick or a not sure PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!!!!!!!!! here are a few ideas
    1) Stematil - general antinausea medication availableon presecription
    2) Sea bands - available in Australian chemists, but not in Ushuaian pharmacias, they are for sale at Turismo Ushuaia (Gob Paz) or for US$20 on the boat
    3) Other people had patches that stick behind you ear, not sure where you get them
    4) Ginger tablets
    5) If all else fails the doctor on board can give you a shot in the butt.

    Photo Equipment: The explorer has european style 2 prong power points, if you need to charge camera batteries, you will need an adapter. Australian plugs fit into STH American plugs and you can buy an adapter from any hardware store (ferreteria) for 1.80pesos (90cents Aus)
    -cold sucks battery power so keep them warm
    - There is a charger available at the reception desk on the boat
    - Memory cards are also available for purchase on the boat
    - The digital camera mention on the web site is available but you have to ask for it

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  • kweg's Profile Photo

    Better remember everything!

    by kweg Written Aug 21, 2005

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    Luggage and bags: Bring a small backpack to keep your gear in during shore excursions. You can put your cameras in here to prevent them from getting wet during the zodiac rides.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring the warmest clothing you can find!

    Photo Equipment: Bringing a video camera should be mandatory! The sounds of Antarctica are almost as cool as the sites. You can also do a video journal and say hello to all your friends from the actual Antarctic continent.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Beaches

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  • Layers

    by kirkeby1 Written Jan 28, 2005

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It isn't as cold as you'd think; it was 30-35 farhenheit when I was there in late december. However, the wind gets cold, so I highly suggest a Gore-tex outer layer jacket. My jacket was just a Gore-tex shell and I was afraid it wouldn't be warm enough. But with layers of a sweatshirt or long thermal underwear and then a t-shirt over the top and then a polarfleece top I was plenty warm, sometimes too warm.
    I don't think the pants need to be gore-tex though. Waterproof and some wind resistance are enough for the pants. At least 2 pairs of gloves as you might get one wet.
    Casual clothes (jeans, sweatshirts) for onboard and most people wore the same things a couple of times so pack light and do the same! Laundry is very expensive ($1.50 for 1 pair of underwear, $3 for pair of pants), so keep that in mind too.
    $15 Walmart rubber boots are exactly what you need. Use wool socks inside and you can get the disposable foot warmer packets and you're feet are warm and dry.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I took it all as far as cold medicine, asprin, etc and fortunately didn't need any of it. But, if you do need it don't plan on getting any on the ship, so bring your own to be safe. I used the "patch" for sea-sickness and it didn't completely work as I still got sick. However, it helped me sleep on the Drake as it does make you drowsy. I found laying down felt better anyway when I was sick.

    Photo Equipment: I read several tips to use only 100-200 speed film. I regret using that advice. I wish I had taken at least more 400 speed film as it was overcast most of the time I was there so the 400 would have worked better. However on sunny days the 200 would be best, so just take a ton of each kind! You have to control yourself on picture taking, I have one roll full of the same leopard seal!

    Related to:
    • Cruise

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  • grets's Profile Photo

    Warm clothing

    by grets Written Jul 2, 2004

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Almost without fail, we had all packed far to many cold weather clothes. It was nowhere near as cold as I expected, only dropping to minus two.

    Bring waterproof trousers as you will get a wet bottom sitting in the Zodiacs.

    Wellies can be hired in Ushuaia through a company called Antarctic Equipment. Wellies are a necessity as you sometimes land in 8 inches of water.

    Our ship had a very relaxed dress code, apart from the Captain's parties (welcome and farewell), jeans was the order of the day. Even for the Captain's parties dressing up was optional.

    Wear thermal underwear or leggings under your waterproof trousers, it makes it easier to move and is more comfortable.

    Layers are more convenient as it can get quite warm if you climb to the top of glaciers. Two of our ladies became known as the Calender Girls when they stripped to their bras after a particularly hot climb!

    The ship's interior became very hot and many people wore shorts on board.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Everything you might need - there are no drug-stores in Antarctica! There was a small shop on board, but it only stocked things like film, batteries, post cards and T-shirts.

    Suntan lotion! It might not be your first thought, but the air is clear (no pollution), there's a hole in the ozone layer and the sun is remarkably strong. A sunburnt nose is not very becoming!

    Photo Equipment: Lots and lots and lots and lots of film!!!!!

    Related to:
    • Cruise

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  • MissAntarctica2002's Profile Photo

    For Sweet Dreams...

    by MissAntarctica2002 Updated May 21, 2004

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take an eye shade and earplugs with you. The eye shade is because if you are there in the austral summer (like 99.9% of people), the sun will shine most or all of the night. I don't know what the cruise ships are like, but on our little yacht there was a hatch in each cabin that couldn't be covered. The light didn't bother me, but it was worth taking an eye shade just in case. If you are the slightest bit sensitive to light, this is a must have item.

    The ear plugs are to ensure that the sounds your boat or your roomate makes don't keep you from getting a good rest.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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  • MissAntarctica2002's Profile Photo


    by MissAntarctica2002 Updated May 21, 2004

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    Photo Equipment: Make sure you have plenty of batteries for your cameras, camcorders or other battery-powered equipment. When the temperature is cold, batteries lose their charge in a fraction of the time they normally would.

    Even if you have rechargables, you probably want a spare so that you can have one charging all of the time. If you have rechargeables you'll also want to check ahead of time that you will have the facilities to charge them (i.e. power outlet).

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Whale Watching

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  • MissAntarctica2002's Profile Photo

    Protect Your Camera

    by MissAntarctica2002 Written Feb 27, 2004

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    Photo Equipment: I would recommend taking a waterproof housing for your camera if you can get your hands on one. You will likely be taking a lot of dinghy trips and even a small amount of salt water on your camera will wreck it.

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  • MissAntarctica2002's Profile Photo

    Take Everything You Might Need

    by MissAntarctica2002 Updated Feb 27, 2004

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    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: There really isn't any place to shop in Antarctica. Perhaps some of the cruise ships have shops or canteens on them, but I wouldn't know. It's important that you pack considering all sorts of contingencies. This is especially true for medicines and toiletries.

    In hindsight wished I had packed more medicines. I picked up a cold on my flight from Canada to Chile but it didn't really materialize until I got to Antarctica. I hadn't packed any cold medicines or throat lozenges and consequently fairly miserable a lot of the time. (I'd still rather be miserable in Antarctica than bored at home).

    I recommend for packing things such as:
    -cough/cold flu medicines
    -throat lozenges
    -seasickness meds
    -antacids/stomach upset remedies
    -allergy medicine
    -headache medicine
    -lip balm

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  • Sharrie's Profile Photo

    Oakley & Chanel

    by Sharrie Updated Feb 5, 2004

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Ok, I'd never have guessed these 2 would mix.
    No idea what I'm referring to?
    Well, these are the 2 brands of sunglasses I brought along on this trip.

    Ok, let's face it. I'm not into branded goods. Been over that long time ago.
    Neither do I like to be labelled "Miss Brands", if you know what I mean.

    Reason why they appeared here is simple.
    Eye protection.
    I figure I shouldn't mess around with my eyes (ya know, the window to my soul, lol...) while in Antarctica. One can go blind here just simply by staring at those beautiful icebergs.
    Who'd have guessed, right?
    Yep, make sure you have a decent pair of sunglasses, if not 2.
    The reason I brought along the branded ones (& I do wear tons of those unbranded ones, simply because I like the design & they are affordable to lose...) is because I can at the very least be sure they state what they are supposed to do!

    (Cont. on Miscellaneous)

    Miscellaneous: Chanel is good for wearing onboard the ship. Because it's not so darned dark that I can hardly see what I'm shooting with the camera!

    Oakley is great for protection.
    Against the blinding sun & the wind!
    & I guess they do look cool ;-)
    If you can, try to get those polarized ones.
    I should have :-(

    Me against the elements!

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  • Sharrie's Profile Photo

    Waterproof protection

    by Sharrie Written Feb 5, 2004

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Rain coat helps quite a bit with the waves.
    Shoes had to be waterproof... or rather it's boots! Bring your own.

    Photo Equipment: Essentially, you might want to have some kind of protection for your camera as one'll get wet on the zodiac in more than one occassion. Plastic bags come in handy. But I never did use them. Good gracious, how on earth am I gonna take a pix if I put my camera in a bag? So, it's a no case for me. But if it happened to rain, then you need those bags!

    We see here Rosemary with her new camera & trying her best to protect it. Jen is such a sweetie to cater to her every whims & as far as I am concerned, risking the zodiac for a pix is not the way to do it. I don't ever want to end up in the freezing water!

    So, my best suggestion to you all is by all means bring your most powerful camera! Just make sure it's NOT brand new! Like that you still get good pix with assured results & your heart won't broke if some water splashed onto the camera!

    NEVER ever risk your life for a photo or a camera! It's not worth it! In any case, no pix will ever do justice to Antarctica!!!

    DO NOT ever risk life for a photo!

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  • Ekahau's Profile Photo

    Every thing is hard to find

    by Ekahau Written Jul 21, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A heavy winter coat. Typical US standard winter coats are fine.
    Waterproof Winter Boots (Arctic boots are not necessary) The better the traction on ice the better. Consider golf cleats (crampons are not allowed in most buildings) or studded soles.
    Gloves - Keep these thinner and more flexible, so you are more likely to keep them on. The temperatures are not so extreme to need big, bulky nylon gloves. Look for thinsulate driving gloves that breathe so your hands donít sweat in them.
    A flexible, comfortable pair of clothes Jeans or sweats, a t-shirt under a sweatshirt or sweater work very well. Long underwear is optional, and may make you too warm. Two pair of socks is suggested.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen, lotion, chap-stick you will get dry hands, face and lips in the bright sun and dry air.
    Very basic toiletries (such as you might take on a long airplane flight) toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, daily prescriptions, deodorant, electric razor. Also a small mirror and hand towel are a good idea.

    Photo Equipment: Camera and 3-10 rolls of film ASA 200-400 is most appropriate. Outdoor exposures on ASA 400 were F/16 1/500 to 1/1000 sec, and indoor exposures were F/4 1/60 sec. Wide angle to zoom lens. (Try to minimize the number of lenses. You will be occasionally carrying all of your gear.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Wrap-around sunglasses bring a back-up pair. Without sunglasses, you shouldnít go outside. Also get a neck-band to hold them around your neck when indoors.
    • Head/Ear /Face protection a facemask is ideal. Polar fleece is good. Snow ski Earbands are great. Donít forget your face. If you ride the snowmobile, the wind will sting unprotected skin.

    Miscellaneous: Your passport for exit and re-entry into Chile

    Transantarctic Mountains

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  • maryellen50's Profile Photo

    Dress Warm

    by maryellen50 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Luggage and bags: Durable soft sided luggage

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Clothing for the Antarctica is done in 3 layers; a silk or capilene thernal layer followed by a lightweight second layer then an outer layer of fleece or Polartec. I found Polartec 200 too bulky most of the time and it was seldom worn so don't bring too much of this.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Standard items for adventure travel plus motion sickness medicine. Some people used acupressure wrist bands and herbal medicines but I took a prescription of the Scopolamine patches worn behind the ear. Definitely recommended if you have any degree of motion sickness due to rough waters.

    Photo Equipment: I used an Olympus digital camera for general scenery and a Pentax point and shoot with 200mm zoom for up close and wildlife photos. Everyone advised to take plenty of film but I only used 1 digital camera card and approximately 14 rolls of standard film. I used 100ASA, 200ASA and 400ASA depending on the sunlight as it varies.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: One pair of waterproof and breathable pants with outer jacket. Waterproof parka is recommended due to riding in the zodiacs.

    Miscellaneous: Clothing consisting of 3 light layers is preferable to several heavy layers.
    I buy most outdoor gear from campmor.com as their selection and prices is exceptional to REI - especially the prices! My favoriate brand available through Campmor is Duofold Ironman Triathlon® Micro Tec Fleece and Duofold Coolmax® Alta™ Lightweight fleece as these are more versatile for climatic changes than Polartec.

    Trash Ice in the Bay
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    • Adventure Travel

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  • K1W1's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by K1W1 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Luggage and bags: Backpack, but as everyone is based on board, a suitcase is just as good.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Warm clothes are essential.
    Gloves, hat, scarf and thermals.
    The ship provides the gumboots (Wellies). So many before you have bought their own and then left them, as they had no further use for them once leaving the ship.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Travel sickness tablets for those who suffer from motion sickness.

    Photo Equipment: It can be very bright due to reflections off the ice so slow speed film is recommended.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I don't think you will be staying outdoors unless you're heqding for the pole in which case you'll know what to take - I hope!

    Miscellaneous: Swimming costume - believe it or not, it's also possible to find natural hot pools down here for those of you not too comfortable swimming with the penguins.

    ice cave
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Packing List

    by southpoleadv Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Photo Equipment: Bring the very best camera you can afford, know it and be prepared to shoot 50-100 rolls or more of film. Keep in mind that you very likely will NEVER be back here again. For most, being in Antarctica is a once in a lifetime chance...LIVE LARGE!

    If you are shooting digital, BRING BATTERIES!!!!! and wear them inside your coat, tucked deep in your clothing to keep them warm and so they dont loose charge.

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  • jd-obsessed's Profile Photo

    sunscreen you can get burnt

    by jd-obsessed Written Sep 6, 2007

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: all the clothes you pack should extremly warm

    Photo Equipment: heaps of film or plenty of memory cards it is a wonderful photography spot

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Whale Watching

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