8 Things to Know When Packing for Your Antarctic Vacation
You’ve booked your dream expedition to Antarctica, and now the planning begins! When packing for travel to the most remote place on earth, there are several considerations to keep in mind. Here is a list of 8 crucial things to consider when preparing for your Antarctic adventure.
1. Weight restrictions
If you are travelling on a fly-cruise voyage, the flight to and from Chile has a strict limit on the weight of your luggage. It’s important to keep this in mind when packing for your expedition.
The checked baggage allowance on commercial flights between Santiago and Punta Arenas is 23 kg (50 lb). However, on the flights to and from Antarctica, you are limited to 20 kg (44 lb) in total, including your cabin luggage. It’s also important to note that excess baggage allowance cannot be purchased on the Antarctic flight because the weight restriction is due to operational requirements, not commercial considerations. So do make sure whatever you bring with you for the Antarctic portion of your voyage fits within the weight allowance. If you have additional luggage it can be stored in Punta Arenas at no additional cost to you until your return from Antarctica.
Remember that you can leave your waterproof boots at home. We provide all our travellers with a pair of sized knee-high thermal rubber boots before arriving in Antarctica for use during your voyage.
Because you will be on an isolated continent, if you to take prescription medication we urge you to bring a generous supply with you to last well past the end of your voyage. This will ensure that if your trip needs to be extended for any reason, you are well covered, as we cannot guarantee the availability of your medication in the onboard clinic.
3. Layered clothing
The average temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula area during the austral summer is about 0°C (32°F). With an unexpected storm the temperature can drop quickly Conversely, on clear days it can also become quite warm in the sun. As a way to adapt to this variations, we recommend wearing several layers of clothing including a thermal base layer, one or two mid-layers with wicking properties, and a waterproof and windproof top or outer layer which includes your pants, jacket, hat, and gloves.
4. Eyewear and sunscreen
The sun shines brightly in Antarctica and can be quite strong on even not-so-clear days. Specifically, the UV radiation reflects against the snow, ice and water all around. So you’ll want to invest in polarized sunglasses that have a high UV protection. You’ll also want to bring a good-quality sunblock for your face (rated SPF 30 or higher) and lip balm with an SPF rating as well.
5. Camera, batteries, SD cards
Whether you’re an avid photographer with sophisticated equipment or an amateur with a point-and-shoot camera, it is nearly impossible to take a bad photo in Antarctica. Be sure to pack your favourite camera, along with charging equipment (charger or batteries) and extra memory cards or rolls of film if you prefer. You will be tempted to take photos everywhere you look, and these souvenirs will last you a lifetime, but we also encourage our guests to put their camera down occasionally and take time to soak up the experience.
6. Shopping for your trip
If you need a little help shopping for your voyage, Antarctica21 has an online gear shop with items we recommend to our guests. The apparel we’ve included has been vetted for quality and efficacy in the polar regions. We only recommend to our guests what we use ourselves, so you can trust you’re getting the best. You can purchase gear packages that include all the essentials you’ll need like waterproof pants, insulated gloves, socks, and the Antarctica21 signature waterproof expedition jacket. You can also shop for items individually. And the best part – you can have these items shipped, free of charge, to the hotel in Chile so you don’t have to pack them with you from home.
7. Antarctica21 signature waterproof expedition jacket
A purchase that will keep you dry and comfortable during your voyage, and a jacket you’ll be able to wear with pride. Not to mention a great conversation starter – when people ask you about it, you can tell them all about your adventure to the 7th continent! Purchase it in our gear shop.
8. Travel and medical insurance
For any trip, and especially those to remote areas, travel and medical insurance are a must-have for just-in-case scenarios. Antarctica21 requires participants to be adequately covered by a travel insurance policy that covers aero-medical evacuation from Antarctica in case of a medical emergency during their trip, including emergencies related to pre-existing health conditions. We also highly recommend to all travellers the purchase of a travel insurance policy that includes trip interruption and cancellation coverage for additional peace of mind.