What to Bring?
Packing for The Arctic can seem daunting so we here's a list of what we consider essentials.
The key to packing for the Arctic is layers. Lots and lots of layers. Wearing a light-weight, long-sleeved shirt with a turtleneck over the top and a water-proof jacket over that will keep you much warmer than one chunky jumper and a hefty coat. The Arctic’s climate is changeable, one day its clear skies and the next it’s a sub-zero blizzard, so its important to be able to take layers off when needed. We also recommend that you opt for insulated clothing over cotton to keep you extra warm.
Here are the essentials:
- A Parka. Something lightweight and water resistant with a layer of insulation. Bonus points if its in a bright colour as these are easier to spot (traditionally, Polar travellers wear red).
- Warm, waterproof trousers. Ski pants are preferable, but you can also opt for thick trousers and combine them with rain over-trousers.
- Thermal underwear. This is non-negotiable and should come in the form of a long-sleeved top, trousers and socks.
- Jumpers. Pack wool jumpers or a medium weight, fleece jacket are both perfect.
- Rubber boots. These are an essential and we recommend that you pack boots that go at least mid-calf as sometimes the water level is above your ankle.
- Socks. Thick socks should be worn over a thin pair to help insulate your feet but bring lots as your feet will inevitably get wet at some point on your trip.
- Hat and scarf. Woollen or fleece are always best.
- Mittens and under gloves. Thin polypropylene gloves should be worn underneath warm mittens, so you can whip your gloves off and snap a photo with ease.
- Extra gloves are a godsend. Even waterproof gloves get damp, so a backup is always a good idea.
- Sunglasses with straps. The Arctic is a large expanse of ice with 24-hour sunshine during the summer months, so it gets very bright. You really don’t want to lose your sunglasses!
- Hand and foot warmers. You are likely to hiking through tundras and then stopping to spot wildlife, so hand and foot warmers are a nice addition to your suitcase if not an essential.