Antarctica is a land of superlatives and is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see an amazing place, so you need to be well prepared. What clothes should you take? In this new series, I’ll be outlining the main types of things you need to ensure your trip runs smoothly. It’s been almost 2 years since I visited Antarctica so I’m feeling like writing about it again!
OK so you will need clothes to keep you warm on the world’s coldest continent. No shit, Sherlock! But I travel light – I’m a backpacker so the option of hiring your clothes is an excellent one. The city of Ushuaia (the main port from which Antarctica cruises leave) has a host of places to hire clothes from. I hired a coat and trousers from here: Hiring Antarctica Clothes .
You can actually book them in advance of your trip and collect them when you arrive in Ushuaia, this would be handy for those not bothered too much about budget,yet pushed for time, try this place: Cool Antarctica .
I’d actually recommend staying in Ushuaia a couple of nights before your trip just to make sure you have everything sorted! I stayed in 2 hostels in Ushuaia (had to move as it was full the second night) and both are well recommended: 1. Patagonia Pais: Patagonia Pais and 2. Cruz del Sur Hostel: Cruz del Sur Hostel . I’ve actually done reviews of these hostels before on here. As you might have heard I also stayed in the horrendous Hotel Ushuaia (I’ll NOT be putting a link for it up as the place was terrible!!).
These gloves were the ones I took – they were excellent – still in great condition – you can find them here though the models may have been updated and changed slightly since my trip in 2010: Outdoor Designs
And Rohan for thermal socks and underwear is also a good bet. Rohan
So buy some of the stuff you need (as you will be able to use them again, and hiring socks for example would be ridiculous – might as well buy them!). BUT the advantages of hiring clothes are:
1. It’s cheaper
2. After and before your trip you don’t have to carry these bulky clothes around in your backpack/suitcase!
3. You don’t have to wash them!
What clothes I brought with me specifically for Antarctica:
– 2 thermal hats (one would have been suffice)
– 3 pair of thermal socks (wore these underneath my normal socks on 3 of the landings – but in some cases didn’t need them – got them from Rohan as pictured above)
– A pair of thermal leggings
– A windproof and waterproof jacket (I actually took a very tight fitting small jacket that didn’t use up much space in my backpack – I often wore this under the coat I hired)
– 2 pairs of gloves (one is enough, I just took an extra pair in case they got wet/lost in the snow! get the decent ones above from Outdoor Designs )
– A scarf (didn’t always use it, but worth taking)
– Sunglasses (the sun shines bright in parts of Antarctica, they will also protect you from the hail and blizzards – believe me!)
– Swimming shorts (yes, you have the opportunity to go for a dip in the ice cold waters – well worth it for the experience! Plus there’s a sauna and swimming pool on most of the boats)
– A neck warmer (again not essential but I did use it)
– A Northern Ireland football shirt (OK, well that’s just me!), buy them here, lol! – IFA
For reference a lot of those on my boat were wearing Canada Goose stuff, they have their own special Antarctica range!! Canada Goose
What clothes I hired:
– waterproof windproof thick black trousers
– waterproof windproof thick black coat
(in the photo above I originally went to a shop to hire boots but found out later that night that they were being provided by GAP so I didn’t need them)
What clothes were provided on the Boat (I went with GAP Expeditions, well recommended by the way, some great personalities amongst their knowledgeable staff: GAP ):
– Boots (these boots are Gum Boots/Wellington Boots – perfect for Antarctica)
– Compulsory lifejackets for all Zodiac cruises
Please also bear in mind that I am from Northern Ireland and therefore cold weather is not a big worry for me – you may want to take more than I did. I didn’t get cold once in Antarctica – not even when I went skinny dipping on the “polar plunge” at Whaler’s Bay!! I’ve tried to keep this article concise by the way.
Any advice let me know – you will have a wonderful time in Antarctica!!
Might as well stick one video on here just to show how amazing Antarctica actually was (you can view the rest on the previous posts):