Preparing for Antarctica

Cape Adare, Icebergs, Iceberg, Antarctica, Borchgrevink, Ross Sea

Hi, my name is Nicole and I hate packing.

Yet, here I am going to Antarctica where you probably would pack more than anywhere else you’d visit. At least I live in Alaska so I already own most any component you’d need to survive in sub-zero temperatures.

Tomorrow I embark on a 32-day voyage from Bluff, New Zealand across the Ross Sea to the Ross Ice Shelf, many an island, the Antarctic Peninsula, Drake Passage and several research stations with Oceanwide Expeditions. And what I’m going to talk about today is what I’m lugging around down there with me. Afterward, I’ll tell you how it went and what I would change.

*I have a business relationship with Oceanwide Expeditions and will travel onboard the M/V Ortelius sailing South to the Ross Sea and Antarctica as an independent press & media representative. Follow my travel blog as I visit the Ross Sea & Antarctica.

Camera gear:

I’m bringing all my normal stuff, except with one change. I was given a Canon EOS M3 mirrorless camera body as a gift, so I’ll bringing that instead of the 600D. Read up on my travel photography gear.


I’m bringing my good old Oakley Gretchen Bleiler Jacket that I wear most of the winter long at home and my snow pants. I’ll look straight out of the ’80s like usual, but what’s new? I am a bit of a beanie lover so I have quite a few to choose from to bring with me, including my new ‘messy bun beanie’ for the gigantic ball of hair that I can tie up on top of my head. For gloves, I’ll bring my weird wool ones that the fingers all flap back off of and people just seem to be mesmerized by and my waterproof mittens I snowboard in. Then, of course, I’m a self-proclaimed scarf-whore, so the sky’s the limit.


Thankfully Oceanwide Expeditions provide rubber boots for their expeditions on the Ortelius! It saves me a ton of weight, as I do have a really nice pair of insulated muck boots and I do not want to carry them as they weigh nearly a metric ton.

On the last epic adventure I went on I only carried two shoes with me: my Merell hiking boots and my Crocs (no not the ugly clog ones, but a cute pair that look like ballet flats). I usually only bring 2 pairs with me and that’s it. But this trip, this trip is different. I’m also bringing my Sorels, don’t worry, their small and not clunky.


Normally I only pack a dress, a pair of leggings, harem pants, one pair of shorts, two t-shirts, two tank tops, 1 pair of undies, 2 hiking socks, 2 normal socks, two sports bras, a normal bra, a hoodie, and bikini. That is it! Of course, if I’m going somewhere on the chilly side I’ll pack a long sleeve shirt.

But this time layers are key, and the fact that it’s summer in the southern hemisphere has thrown a wrench in my plans. I’m packing for summer, eternal winter (although technically summer), summer.

For this trip, I opted to bring long sleeve tops, leggings, sweatpants, a couple of hoodies, and some undies. In addition to this I’ll be lugging around the summer clothing that I needed for Australia & New Zealand, and of course a swimsuit for that polar plunge.

Other Stuff:

Most importantly I’m bringing my Delorme Inreach yet again so that I can keep in touch with people while I set sail into the wide-open abyss. Otherwise, there is internet aboard the Ortelius but from what I understand it’s painfully slow, think like 1995 speeds… Not conducive to me getting any online work done on here… Don’t worry I’m writing up posts that will release on here while I’m away to keep everyone occupied.

So there it is. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining comparing what I’m bringing to what I think I should’ve brought after I get off the ship.

See you when I make to Ushuaia!

Need Travel Insurance?

Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

4 thoughts on “Preparing for Antarctica”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top