Antarctic Chronicles- Clothing



Clothing Preparation:

  • boots
  • waterproof pants
  • waterproof gloves
  • liner gloves and mittens or outer gloves
  • long underwear
  • deck shoes for ship
  • fleece or wool sweater
  • wool boot socks and liners
  • pants and shirts for wear on ship (very casual)
  • workout gear if you are so inclined
  • Balaclava or cover for neck and ears and head


Having an idea that Antarctica is cold makes you want to prepare like going to Yellowstone in the winter. The coldest weather I’ve been in there was -40°F(which happens to be -40°C) and that was pretty cold. The Antarctic Peninsula, where most cruises go and the most wildlife is seen, doesn’t get quite that cold during the summer time (which runs Nov/ Dec/ Jan). The temperatures got down to mid 20’sF at times and up to about 32°F at the highest. But since there was little humidity, the air never felt that cold.
Boots are the most important as you will be making “wet landings” which means you step out of the Zodiac at times into water that may come up to your knees. If you will never need these type of waterproof boots again, you can rent them and they will be supplied to you on the boat. Cost was about $75. Or you can buy them and take them with you for about $165 (Dan Cox suggested these Muck Boots from Cabela’s and they worked great and are great to walk in the streams in east TN while I’m shooting there also!)


For most landings, I wore long underwear (I have converted to wool such as SmartWool or Icebreaker from Polypro) and pants and a sweater. Usually over the sweater I wore the parka given to us by Linblad/ National Geographic as part of the package. It was plenty warm and plenty of pockets and the orange color will fit right in to East TN and all of the UT Volunteer people.. Over my pants, I wore my GoreTex rainpants. These fit over the boots and to make sure no water crept up between boots and bottom of rainpants, I used a bungee cord to seal them off. This worked well and pretty much turned the combo into waders. You can see that Katrine did something similar with a sturdy set of rubber bands!



For hands I used heavy liner gloves that allow touch screen capability, something I never thought I would need until I started shooting my Panasonic Lumix GH4. I had a pair of waterproof gloves that I used when we were cruising in the Zodiac or in the kayaks. I took a number of handwarmers, but those were mainly used by my Norwegian/ Australian friend who can never be too warm! For my head, I used a balaclava which worked well.

For on ship wear, the dress is casual, so jeans and a shirt or sweater worked fine and then I used my running shoes as deck shoes.

Clothing preparation wasn’t difficult except deciding on the boots and the uncertainty of the temperature. I was prepared for even colder weather, but I guess it is better to be prepared than to be cold!

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