Do NOT leave packing for your Antarctica trip to a few hours before you need to leave for the airport. You do need to put a little thought into it! Chances are you’re going to Buenos Aires or Santiago before and after Antarctica which are probably going to be hot and summery, just like here in Australia. I had only 15kgs of checked baggage, so you don’t need to go overboard with your luggage.
This is the video I made after my first landing.
After that first landing, I ditched the neck gaiter/buff in favour of the scarf wrapped hijab-style around my head and neck (with beanie over the top) because I could move more easily in it.
So my packing tips for Antarctica:
* Waterproof pants from Anaconda/BCF (I bought these ones)
* Dish washing gloves over my polar fleece/thinsulate gloves – worked a treat
* Polarised sunglasses and/or polarised ski goggles – polarised all the way. It’s glary even on cloudy days.
* Lip balm & moisturiser – lots of it
* Extra memory cards
* Extra camera batteries
Cold weather saps the charge in batteries quickly. I charged both my camera batteries each night and put in a fresh one on the first outing, and usually had to swap it for a full battery on the second outing. For mobile phones: you can get adhesive heat patches for your toes/fingers – stick these on the back of your mobile phone to extend the battery life. (That tip comes directly from the expedition staff.)
On my trip (I travelled with Quark Expeditions), the jacket had:
* A thick, puffer-jacket type, removeable lining
* Two large front pockets
* Two polar fleece lined pockets directly behind the large front pockets
* Two small zip-up pockets on the chest
* An inner pocket on your chest – an excellent spot for keeping your smart phone warm!
Don’t panic too much about sizing – they have heaps of jackets and boots on board so you can swap larger/smaller if you need to. The women’s jacket is a different shape to men’s jacket. If you’re busty you may prefer a men’s jacket. The lady I shared my cabin with swapped her women’s jacket for a men’s jacket and that wasn’t a problem at all.
My tips for landings and zodiac cruising:
* Don’t take a backpack with you on landings; unless you have heaps of camera gear you don’t need it. If you do take a backpack, be mindful of not hitting other guests with it when you’re getting in/out of the zodiac.
* Hang your camera around your neck.
* Keep extra camera battery and memory card in a zip-up chest pocket.
* Keep a pack of tissues & lip balm in the other zip-up chest pocket.
* Keep binoculars (if you take them) in one of the large front pockets.
* I kept my mobile phone in the inner chest pocket to keep the battery from draining as I was mostly using my real camera.
I didn’t take a water bottle on outings – I did the first time, but then realised it’s just taking up room in my hands/pockets and I could survive a couple of hours without it.
This is what the dry suits look like – not flattering!! But they will keep you dry should you fall into the water! I had on 1 pair thermal leggings, tracksuit pants, thermal long sleeve shirt, thick polar fleece under the dry suit. You also have a life jacket, but I’d taken that off to climb up the hill. I think the kayaking dry suits also had the skirt-thing on it to keep water out of the kayak.
The photos of this last trip are open to the public on Facebook if you want to check them out (there are heaps of them!) Argentina & Antarctica – Feb 2019