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Top 10 Gear and Accessories for Polar Travel

1 min read

Don't Leave Home without Them

You're traveling to Antarctica or the Arctic, and are wondering what to pack for cold weather.

Make sure your gear and personal belonging are covered when you book your Antarctic trip insurance.

We asked Quark's Merchandise Operations Manager, Danny Pastuk - an expert on polar clothing, gear and accessories - for advice on top gear to pack to make the most of your polar expedition. Check out his suggestions below on how to stay prepared, comfortable, dry, and toasty warm:

  1. Base Layers
    Long underwear (both leggings and a long sleeved shirt). Layers should fit close to the body but allow for movement. Synthetic fibers or wool work best. We suggest Icebreaker Merino base layers, available onboard most Quark voyages.
  2. Gloves
    Well-fitting, durable, waterproof gloves are essential. Consider your needs - you may want a glove with a removable liner, or one with touch screen capability if you're a photographer.
    Enjoying the view at Neko Harbour - Photo credit: Corina Hitchcock
  3. Waterproof Pants
    A must have! Lightweight, breathable waterproof pants are essential for Zodiac cruising, hiking or trekking. Don't leave home without a pair!
  4. Extra Socks
    Don't let cold, damp feet spoil your day. Keep an extra pair of breathable, warm socks in your pack at all times.
  5. Hat or Toque
    Don't leave the ship without a hat, as weather can change quickly. Grab a knit beanie or toque and keep it in your pack.

    Quark hikers on Deception Island, Antarctica - Photo credit: Corina Hitchcock
  6. Waterproof Pack
    A waterproof daypack is essential to keep your gear, cameras, accessories and extra clothing dry in all conditions. It should be light-weight and comfortable to wear.
  7. Sunscreen
    The sun's rays are surprisingly strong in the Polar Regions. Bring a SPF 30+ or higher.
    Don't forget your sunscreen!
  8. Multi-purpose Neck Wear
    An infinity scarf (neck-gaiter) can fast become your favorite gear. In a pinch this multi-purpose accessory can transform from scarf to headband to toque to face shield. There are endless ways to wear it, and you'll be sure to find at least one unexpected purpose for it on your trip.
  9. Batteries and memory cards
    Always bring a back-up memory card with you with lots of storage as you never know when the photo opportunity of a lifetime will present itself.

    Photography is one of the top activities onboard small expeditions ships, both onboard and on shore landings.
  10. Last but not least, don't forget your camera!
    Bring a camera you're comfortable with and have used in the past. Make sure to read the manual, test the features, bring a spare battery and lots of accessories (waterproof bags, lens wipes, a good strap for around your neck).

You can also check out our gear shop, or watch the “Packing for the Polar Regions” video, to prepare for your upcoming polar expedition.

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