As you know, packing for Antarctica isn’t like any other trip. If you forget something, there will only be shops in Ushuaia for last minute purchases. Depending on what boat you are on, if you are on a good one they will have a shop. Our ship had a store with pretty much anything you need. Otherwise like we mentioned earlier, when you land in Ushuaia there are plenty of stores to buy winter clothes. Note that this packing list is mostly for those travelling in November as by the end of December, it can start getting warmer and you could have one layer less! So before packing, one thing you should know is the weather in Antarctica at the time you will be cruising.
There are many packing lists on the web that are quite long, so we decided to make you a quick packing list so you don’t spend too long reading the list and can also print it as a checklist. If you think we forgot something that you thought worked for you during your trip, do not hesitate to drop a comment.
- Everyday cruise wear as you stay and sleep on the boat (don’t over pack this)
- There is a gym on most boats, so you can bring attire to train.
- A comfy sweatpants and jacket set (perfect when you feel like being really casual on the boat and chilling around)
- Footwear for the gym if you train
- Footwear to wear around the boat
- You don’t need winter boots as your expedition company will provide a specific pair just for landings
- Wool socks (around 5 pairs should do, we personally had less and it was fine since it’s cold and our socks don’t stink!)
- Waterproof Pants (this is a must if you want to sit on snow and maybe slide down hills when you are allowed to) or snow pants
- Windproof Jacket is provided by your expedition company. Some companies, will offer you a good windproof jacket to keep, others will lend you a coat literally, with EduOutings, you will 100% get one!
- Depending on what your company offers, you will need your winter jacket. We had both our down jackets from our Everest Base Camp hike
- Wool jackets, good quality wool jackets to wear under your down jacket is so essential to stay warm
- Skins (top and bottom), these thermal skins will be to be worn under your wool layer and will be your base layer
- Underwear, duh 🙂
- A good pair of thin gloves to be able to have mobile hands to manoeuvre your camera
- Hats & scarves are not mandatory, we didn’t always wear our beanies and Mitch didn’t even have a scarf
- Seasickness pills or patches as the Drake Passage can be a rough ride
- Day backpack, useful to put camera and everything you need for landings
- Waterproof bag if you want to put in your technology
- If you are a fan of watching wildlife, bring your binoculars
- Your camera equipment, find the full list on our Photography guide for Antarctica
- Laptop if you have work to do. Wifi if usually available on board for a fee (obviously not high speed internet!)
- Vaseline, will help you a lot if you apply over your face and lips as a last layer
- Antarctica is very dry and applying Vaseline really helped our skin to stay nice
- Sunscreen is essential as the ozone is thinner in Antarctica and the reflection of the sun on the snow sure makes it stronger for your skin than you think
- Sunglasses, make sure they have proper UV protection
- Moisturizer is important if you want to not have dry skin and in our case, it was super useful for our feet
That’s pretty much it! This is our list of things you must NOT forget if packing for Antarctica. Any extra things you want to bring will be based on your preference.