When traveling with a travel company they always provide a “What to Pack” list. In my case, it can be accessed here in PDF format. Because I had so much time (a year and half from booking to boarding) I had a lot of time to research things. I could be wrong in some of my choices, and I’ll report on that after the trip. I found a great site in my Googling, called Cool Antarctica – lots of resrouces. That site, and forum, really helped in finding some other options than just sticking to the regular recommended retail sites.
The big items
- Rain Jacket
- Water-proof boots with high-traction soles
- Water-proof pants
- Thermal underwear
- 2 pairs of sunglasses
- 2 pairs of gloves/mittens
- Warm cap
- Casual trousers to wear under water-proof pants
I’m a big fan of The North Face gear because it fits me better than other stuff. I also love Oakley sunglasses because they don’t require a “nerd-cord” to keep them on your head in rough conditions, and their polarization is top notch. The hardest decision was on which boots to buy. I turned to the helpful folks at Zappos Outdoor for that decision and I’ll tell you later if their advice kept my feet dry…but I bought two different pairs of boots just to be sure. For work-out stuff, I’m just taking some Nikes and a pair of shorts. I am taking absolutely nothing for formal-wear. I’ve been wearing a tie since high school, and refuse to put one on while on vacation!
What I’m packing:
- Parka – Lindblad is supplying this
- Rain Jacket – Gore-tex North Face jacket with the ability to zip-in linings
- Boots – Kamik Marquettes (buy a size smaller than usual) & North Face McMurdo Boots (buy a half-size larger)….I think I’m just going to take the McMurdos now that I’ve got the Liberation pants (next)
- Water proof pants – North Face Liberation Gore-tex snow pants. These are incredible! They’re double layered and bound at the bottoms so water cannot get in, but I also plan to duct tape where my pants meet my boots just in case. However, with these pants I can wear the more comfortable arctic hiking boots and not have to bother with knee-high’s.
- Casual Trousers – Some North Face casual pants and jeans
- Thermal Underwear – I actually went with some Patagonia bottoms and North Face tops that can be worn as work out shirts
- Sunglasses – I’m actually taking 3 pairs of Oakleys just because I’ve already got them and everything I’m reading is saying the sun can be extremely strong due to the hole in the ozone layer
- Gloves/Mittens – On Rikki Swenson’s advice, I picked up some kayaking gloves with rubber on the fingers for manipulating camera settings, then I’ll pick up some water-proof mittens I can slip those into. I also found some Gore-tex Burton mittons with pull-out interiors. Just for fun, I tested the interiors by playing a few minutes on the XBox with them and didn’t have any problems working the controls.
- Sweaters – This is a very important part because it is all about layering. Again, the North Face is getting my money here. I’ve done a few different combinations of their synthetic sweaters for wind and water protection
- Cap – I will be taking a beanie and a gaiter (something that will cover from neck to nose)
Of course, you’re going to want to take some extra-circular activities such as books, magazines, games for a laptop, iPod, journal, etc….I imagine there will be quite a bit of down-time with 8 hour plane rides and days at sea. Some cash for booze isn’t a bad idea either :)