How to Pack for an Antarctica Trip

Antarctica is a dream destination but because of its nature it has some very unique requirements when it comes to packing for your trip. This top five list will help you pack the most important things.


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    Pack appropriate Antarctica clothing. The number one thing to add to your packing list is winter clothing that you can layer to help you deal with the climate. You will need an inner foundation layer, an insulating mid layer and an outerwear shell layer to be ready for the worst weather that Antarctica can throw at you. Remember there are four main activities that you will engage in on your trip so prepare your clothing accordingly - spending time inside on the cruise ship, going out on deck to look at wildlife and the scenery, cruising in the small Zodiac boat and landing on the ice for day excursions and sometimes a nights camping. Bring a lot of the same warm clothes as you may get wet or dirty and need to change or layer.
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    Add seasick pills and patches. Leave these behind at your peril. The Drake Passage is one of the roughest stretches of sea in the world and even though you might be lucky enough to have one calm crossing, two is pushing your luck a little. Being seasick won't kill you but it's not a lot of fun at the time and there are a few things you can try to avoid it but results will vary from person to person: 1) Scopolamine patches 2) Meclizine (Non Drowsy Dramamine, Bonine), Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or antihistamines (Benadryl) 3) Ginger tablets 4) Homeopathic remedies like Trip Ease and Oral Spray 5) If all else fails the doctor on board can give you a shot.
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    Always take a digital/video camera and binoculars. How many photos do you think you will take in Antarctica? Use that amount and then double it to get closer to the figure it will probably be in the end. The landscapes and the wildlife are just so spectacular and unique that people can't help themselves and take vast amounts of pictures. Take as many memory cards as you possibly can or if you have space take a laptop with to download all your photographs daily. Most of the cruise ships have a computer on board but you will be sharing it with the rest of the passengers so burning a CD might not be a viable option.Your own pair of binoculars will be very handy for spotting wildlife and far off scenery.
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    Pack sunglasses and sunblock. A good pair of sunglasses or even two in case one gets lost is essential. Snow blindness is a real possibility here when the sun is shining brightly and in the summer you have up to 20 hours of sunlight and they also protect your eyes from windblown snow. Make sure the sunglasses you choose have a U.V. filter and a good polarizing effect.
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    Choose a good quality backpack. When you go out in the Zodiac to make a landing on the ice you are going to want to take a few things with you like your camera, binoculars, sunscreen, chap-stick etc and the best way to carry them all is in a waterproof backpack. Waterproof because things can get a bit rough in the landing craft and sometimes there is some spray thrown around. The day pack will keep your hands free for things like photography and clambering around on the ice. If it is a warm day and you have too many layers on you can always remove something and store it in the backpack.


  • Remember that extreme cold degrades the life of the camera battery so you need to take precautions for that not.

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Categories: Travel Packing