Christchurch – ECW Gear Issue

ECW Dude
Some dude wearing ECW gear

Yay! Finally getting around to posting about the last few days. The day after we arrived in Christchurch (so, November 2nd) we reported to the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) at the USAP section of the International Antarctic Center? to receive our Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear that will keep us toasty even in these sub-freezing temperatures. (By the way, it’s 10˚F right now, here at McMurdo, and it feels balmy. And that’s coming from this California girl!)

Everything they give us, we have to try on and pack neatly into bags that we will then carry on or check with our other luggage. We each have a 75lb limit for the bags we check down to the ice and a 15lb limit for our carry-on bags. Our checked bags include one “boomerang bag,” which is packed with stuff we might need for another few nights in Christchurch if our flight is turned around due to weather or mechanical issues. (When a flight does this, it’s called a boomerang. Not fun.)

Ok so back to the gear. What they gives you depends on what job you do, but here’s my list:

  • Big Red!
  • Carhart jacket + hood
  • Carhart overalls, or wind pants
  • 2 fleece pullovers
  • 2 pairs of fleece pants ß so cozy, I’m wearing mine right now
  • 6 pairs of wicked heavy wool socks
  • Bunny boots
  • 2 pair liner gloves, size XS but they are still too big!
  • 2 pair leather gloves
  • 1 pair mittens
  • 1 pair goggles
  • Balaclava
  • Knit cap – Ew. Ugly.
  • Neck gaiter

IMG_5481 Most of these items I also have my own of. So far we’ve had great weather here at McMurdo (it’s been around 10˚F with little to no wind chill) so no need for my big red—it’s too hot! But it will definitely be great to have at South Pole.


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