What to Pack for the South Pole

Antarctica is the driest, coldest, windiest, and the highest continent on Earth.  So I’m pretty much planning to dress as I did in Boston last winter.

Here’s what I have ended up packing, keeping in mind that none of this includes my EXTREME COLD WEATHER (ECW) gear, which I will receive in Christchurch this weekend. You can also view the beautiful Excel sheet I made to keep track of everything –> WHAT TO PACK

Or there’s also THIS LINK to Chapter 3 of the US Antarctic Program Participant Guide: How and What to Pack.

Am I overpacking? Under-packing? I have no idea what I'm doing.
Am I overpacking? Under-packing? I have no idea what I’m doing.

I’m only allowed 75 lbs, or 2 bags total of luggage. Trying to pack as minimally as possible. I have one 90L Patagonia Black Hole duffel bag and another Eagle Creek 60L duffel which I’m planning on using.

Typical black North Face jacket, Shiny new black North Face Thermoball jacket, North Face 1/4-zip pullover (x2), North Face fleece hoodie, Patagonia zip-up sweater, another poofy Patagonia pullover, Smart Wool midweight baselayers, t-shirts and normal things for indoors/gym time.

I bought my first pair of snow pants!!!! Okay so, Patagonia insulated snowbelle pants, Smart Wool baselayers, jeans (for indoors), some pretty classy Northeastern sweatpants, as well as some running shorts and yoga pants.

OMG Shoes
UGGs, Toms, flippy-floppies (shower shoes…), maybe my converse or my Salomon trail shoes… Planning on pretty much only wearing UGGs though when I’m indoors.

(Thanks Rob!!!)

Other Important Stuff
2 wool hats, Turtlefur neck gaiter, wool socks from grandma, other merino hiking socks, mittens that I probably won’t use because they’ll give me gloves, polarized Ray Bans, journals, extra earbuds, camera stuff, moist towelettes, yeah.

Oh, and my lovely onesie from Rob. I shall never be cold again.

Leaving in TWO DAYS!!! YIKES.


———————- UPDATES FROM 11/5 ———————-

So I ended up doing a lot of last minute shopping and such, and including or leaving behind some things.

As anticipated, the only indoor shoes I’ve been wearing are my UGGs, and I bought some pretty awesome Baffin brand snow boots that I’ve worn on my hikes and such. They’re a bit bulky for hiking but they keep my feet warm and that’s what’s important.

I ended up packing a Patagonia R4 jacket instead of your average black North Face jacket, because it was warmer, but then I was worried about weight limits, etc. so I left it in Christchurch. It probably would have been nice to have if I was staying here at McMurdo a bit longer, but so far my Thermoball North Face has been perfect for the 10˚F weather we’ve been having.

And as per usual I am packing more than anticipated so to fit everything I ended up using my dad’s North Face Rolling Thunder duffel bag instead of my Eagle Creek small duffel. I definitely have lots of extra space now, but that’s for the goodies I bring back, right? 🙂

Oh and I love my Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle pants but I should have ordered them with a 30″ inseam. They’re way too long and I have to uncomfortably tuck them into my boots.

I haven’t worn half of my clothes, but then again I’m only a few days in so there’s still plenty of time for that!


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