How to Pack for Your Big Adventure to Antarctica

Review the essentials you should pack for your Antarctic expedition with Antarctica21 Product Delivery Manager Carolina Pavón

Friday, January 13, 2023

Almost all of the world’s most extreme destinations are traversable if you have the right gear. That’s especially so for adventures with us to Antarctica. We only offer departures to the Last Continent during the region’s Austral summer, which takes place from November to March. Although the weather in Antarctica can be unpredictable, this time of the year often brings temperate days, with some even being quite sunny and hot. But according to Antarctica21’s Product Delivery Manager Carolina Pavón, it’s always better to be overprepared.

“I always suggest packing and dressing in layers, “says Pavón. “The more, the merrier!” Considering the importance of layers, Pavón recommends erring on the side of overdressing when in question about what you should wear on a given day: “It’s much easier to peel one layer off at a time as needed, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.”

Ahead of your trip, the Antarctica21 team will send you a hefty packing list, so you’re prepared for your voyage. It’s especially important to plan ahead given the luggage weight allowance of 20 kilograms (or 44 pounds) for Antarctica21’s air-cruise itineraries. Once your adventure begins, the expedition team of your boutique vessel will inform you of weather conditions prior to each activity so you’re always prepared for each day’s adventures.

How to pack for your trip to Antarctica

Keep reading to learn five essential pieces to pack for your adventure to Antarctica!

1. Thermal Bottom Layers

When considering what bottom layer to use during your adventure to Antarctica, Pavón recommends long-sleeve thermal underwear. “I would bring a couple of pairs of both tops and bottoms,” says Pavón. “On our trips, you’re out and about exploring, which means you’re walking and potentially sweating. It’s best to have more than one pair, so you always have a dry set ready to go for each day’s excursion.”

2. Thick Wool Socks

“The key to staying warm in Antarctica is always to have dry clothes,” says Pavón, which is the case for socks, too. Pavón suggests purchasing either thermal or merino wool socks that are thick and warm. Some travelers, she notes, prefer thin sock liners as a base and then add thick socks over them,  but it’s up to how cold each individual usually gets.

3. Waterproof Pants and Jackets (or Parkas)

“When it comes to weather, Antarctica is quite an unpredictable place,” says Pavón. “You can be enjoying a day that’s sunny and calm, and within a moment’s notice, it can turn cloudy or snowy.” To prepare for any acclimate weather that may arise, Pavón suggests bringing a pair of waterproof pants and a waterproof jacket (or a parka) to protect you from winds and cold splashes of water when riding on Zodiacs during excursions. “It is essential that they are waterproof pants and jackets, not water resistant,” adds Pavón.

4. Warm Fleece Jackets

“This is my personal favorite item to pack on an adventure to Antarctica,” says Pavón. “A fleece jacket keeps you warm and cozy, and I suggest bringing two or even three of them.” On an Antarcrtica21 expedition, fleece jackets are considered the ultimate mid-layer item, which is lightweight and breathable for the many outdoor activities you’ll partake in during your time with us.

5. Insulated Down Jackets

“For me, these are a must-pack piece on any expedition,” says Pavón. “They work great as an extra base layer to keep you warm and comfortable.” She suggests bringing a down jacket that folds into its own tiny pouch, which makes transporting the jacket even easier.

Review our Antarctica Travel Tips page for more information and a detailed list of suggested packing items.

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