Packing is always the least exciting part of any holiday. Whilst it means the trip is close to getting underway, you still have to overcome the obstacle of getting all of your things into your suitcase before you can go anywhere.
Usually, you have a pretty good idea of what you need to take, though. Previous holidays will have helped you learn exactly what you will need whilst you are away and (perhaps more importantly) what you can afford to leave behind. But when embarking on an exhilarating polar expedition, many people will not have previous experiences to draw on and therefore may not know where to start when organising their travel bag.
Don’t fear though as Fred.\ is here to help. Here are a few things that should definitely be on your list.
You may think that travelling to the colder parts of the world will mean that you can leave the sun cream at home for a change, but it should still be high up on your priorities. Although temperatures may not be anywhere near what they are in the Caribbean, the way that the sun reflects off the snowy landscapes around you could still result in sunburn if your skin is not protected. The air in these parts of the world is also pretty clear and this can help intensify the sun’s rays.
Even if you are not a photography buff, you will certainly want to capture some of the sights you witness on your polar expedition. And with this being a once in a lifetime opportunity; there is no better time to buy a new camera or dust off one that hasn’t been used in a while in order to produce some magical memories that can be treasured forever. With all the camera clicking that’s likely to occur, you will also need plenty of additional batteries, memory cards and anything else that keeps your camera going.
The best way to keep warm in the Polar Regions is to dress in layers. Therefore, you should ensure you have a few vests or similar undergarments, some t-shirts, some jumpers and your trusty coat. Some operators will provide you with their own branded Parka coat when you book with them, so you may want to see if this is the case before you use up valuable luggage space with your own. Dressing in layers will also mean that you can easily adjust your outfit according to how mild or cold it is outside.
There’s a reason why you always see skiers and other winter athletes wearing a mask or goggles, and that’s because it helps to eliminate the sun’s glare off the snow and ice. This effect can mean that things get really bright and so you won’t be able to experience the full glory of your surroundings without your eyes being protected. If you don’t have any ski goggles then a decent pair of sunglasses will do the trick equally as well.
A Small Backpack
All of our expedition tour operators aim to give you as much time on shore as possible, and so you don’t want to be carrying things in your hands all the time. A small rucksack will give you room for all your essentials such as your camera, sun cream and maybe your travel journal, whilst still leaving your arms free to help you navigate the often rugged terrain.
A Sturdy Pair Of Shoes
As you will spend a lot of time exploring these vast and pristine landscapes, you can be certain that there will be quite a bit of walking involved. And the last thing you want is a blister to ruin your adventure or, worse still, a situation where your shoes break at the start of the trip, leaving you exposed to the elements for the remaining days. Find a pair of comfortable shoes that are both sturdy and waterproof and these will be your best friends throughout your expedition.
If you are buying a new pair, be sure to wear them in before you travel. A good way to do this is by wearing two pairs of socks. Not only will this help to prevent you getting blisters during the ‘wearing in’ process; it will also help stretch the frame quicker.
Although the myth about losing half of your body heat through your head has been debunked in recent years, you can still lose a large amount through this area of the body if it is one of the only areas left uncovered. When we go outside we usually cover the majority of our bodies in clothes and so leaving the top of your head exposed could counteract all the good work your gloves and coat are doing. Completing your outfit with a good woolly hat will mean you are completely insulated.
Preparing effectively is the best way to get the most out of your trip to the Arctic or Antarctic. And so whether you are going to be investigating Iceland or feeling your way on a Falklands expedition, we hope these packing tips will help you to plan for your astonishing adventure.