How To Survive Antarctica: The Ultimate Packing List

When travelling to one of the harshest climates on earth, you naturally need a some good equipment. But what is that exactly? I thought I would use my experience on my Antarctica cruise to help come up with a packing list that should mean you have no trouble when you are in Antarctica.


One of the biggest mistakes I think is that the weather is going to be extremely cold and you tend to overpack, but this is not necessary. It is the summer there after all, but again that does not mean it will be warm. You still need to be prepared, but you probably don’t need as much you think.

A jacket

It is possible to go and get your own for Antarctica, but the reality is that most Antarctica cruise ships will offer this in the price of the cruise. These will be some sort of bright colour to make sure that the cruise operators can see you! The best thing to do is to check with your tour operator to see if this is included in the tour before simply going out and buying a super expensive jacket to brave the cold.

Waterproof boots

One of the best ways to survive some activities that you might find yourself doing in Antarctica is to have a pair of knee high waterproof boots to protect your feet. You are not likely to need these on the ship directly, but when stepping onto the mainland or when taking a small boat these are absolutely perfect. With these you can conquer just about any wild and wonderful activity that you want to do in Antarctica.

Good socks

Socks are another must have for protecting the feet! Your boots can definitely help to protect your feet from the cold, but you need some breathability and protection against your skin and good socks are the way to do this.

Waterproof pants

These are another good idea, especially when taking the small Zodiac boats that we talked about above. You may find yourself sitting in the ice at some point too, which you need to think about, so waterproof pants are a great option and an absolute must.

Clothes that you can layer

We already talked about what it is like in summer in Antarctica, but that it can still be cold. Therefore clothes that you can layer are the best option. Imagine wearing three thick layers and you get too cold and take one off, then you become cold very quickly and then you want to put the layer back on. This will mean you are constantly switching and is not a very comfortable way to deal with the weather. Thinner layers can easily be taken off when it is warm and you can more easily put them on when it is cold.

Protect the extremities

Naturally you need to protect your hands, feet and head. This is where we tend to lose the most heat from our bodies, so investing in some good gloves and a hat are crucial. Trust me when I say that it isn’t pleasant to have a cold head or hands, and you don’t want to chance it in Antarctica.