What to Pack for an Antarctica Sailing Adventure

Bark Europa in Antarctica

On January 11, 2015, less than two weeks from now, I will embark on what could be the greatest travel adventure of my life. As part of the sailing crew on Bark Europa, I will cross the Drake Passage and sail to Antarctica from Argentina. I have no question that it will be a remarkable, life-changing voyage, but there are a few things that I can pack to make it more comfortable and warm. With the support of Whitecaps Marine Outfitters and Pilotur, I now have my packing complete.

Here is a list of all of the gear I’m packing for 22 days on board Bark Europa:

Whitecaps Marine Outfitters Gear/Clothing: Gill Gear for Antarctica

Gill OS2 Offshore Jacket
Gill Women’s OS2 Offshore Trousers
Gill Tall Yachting Boots
HT8 Windproof Fleece Hat
Gill i2 Women’s Leggings (x4)
Gill i2 Women’s Long Sleeve Base Layer (x4)
Gill Neoprene Socks (x3)
Gill L050 Waterproof Duffel Bag
Gill Thermal Hot Socks (x3)
Gill Extreme Gloves (x2)
Gill Spectrum Floating Sunglasses
Gill i4 Women’s Fleece Jacket
HT27 Women’s Beanie

Why Whitecaps Marine Outfitters? Whitecaps Marine Outfitters is the leader for great gear, great value, and great service. They offer a large variety of products and are a one-stop-shop for all my Antarctica clothing needs.

Why Gill? Gill clothing performs as well as any of the other higher-priced clothing companies with a sailing line yet the price point is significantly lower. They make ultra-technical marine clothing that is tested in their lab and on the water.

Pilotur Watch - North of Denmark Style

Pilotur

Pilotur Watch – A special subzero version of the HawkEye watch made from the Danish SAR Squadron (ESK 722). Straps include a black leather and a Nato (Velcro) strap that protects skin against frostbite.

Why Pilotur? Design input from famous explorers and adventurers such as Felicity Aston and Ripley Davenport and previous testing at the South Pole make a North of Denmark Pilotur watch the ideal fit for this trip and many of my 2015 adventures. The watch can withstand extreme temperatures of down to minus 40 degrees yet it still looks fantastic.It’s designed with inspiration from employees of the Danish Air Force and is used by employees at the Air Force Squadron 722 and 723.

My Travel Gear Packing ListElectronic Gear 
13″ Macbook Pro
2TB Portable Hard Drive
iPhone 6 Plus 64GB
LifeProof iPhone Case
Lighting Cables for iPhone (x2)
USB Wall Charger Travel Kit
Universal Charger & Surge Protector

Photography Gear (I wanted to upgrade my camera and lens kit and I thought about lens rental options but the extended time frame wasn’t a good rental match so I’ll go with what I have and make the best of it. I am; however, open to camera and lens suggestions for the near future.)
Canon EOS Rebel T5i
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Zoom Lens
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens
GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition
64GB High Speed SDXC Class 10 (x2)
64GB Micro SDXC (x2)
XShot Camera Extender
Silk Lens Cleaning Cloth

Essentials 
Toiletries
Sunscreen
Cold & Flu Medication
Underwear
Money
Passport
Argentina Reciprocity Fee
Other 

Camera Gear in Antarctica

I’m sure before the first week on Bark Europa is over, I’ll realize something that I forgot and I’m even more sure by the end of the trip, I will have a completely different list of things I wish I’d had with me. Am I forgetting something obvious? I’d love to hear your suggestions before I leave.

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55 thoughts on “What to Pack for an Antarctica Sailing Adventure

    • The Gill women’s leggings and long sleeve base are both thermal. Do you think that 4 of each is enough? We can do a wash once on the ship but I’ll pretty much be wearing the same things every day. It’s not like I can just go shopping if I forgot something. I also have thermal socks and waterproof outer layers. I lived in northern Manitoba for 2 years in extreme weather conditions, sometimes getting as low as -65, so I feel prepared for the cold but sailing in extreme conditions is all new to me.

      I think I’m just so excited that I’d never feel 100% prepared but I’ll get by regardless.

      What is your first adventure for 2015?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually my first adventure for 2015, will be getting out of bed after the New Years Eve party. Good luck with your trip, I look forward to reading about it. I am certain that you have all you need to keep warm, it is an exciting adventure, I am just jealous.

        Pete

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  1. What an amazing trip! We’ll be living vicariously through you – and your posts and pics! Happy New Year! What a great way to start 2015 : )

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  2. Yes obviously after you go you will know what ya “should have” taken but didn’t huh..always a learnin lesson there is, i hope u gotz all u need 🙂 extra pair of gloves is yes a good idea 🙂 i always take more than one camera also, for a back-up jest in case ya nevr know…. have a safe trip heart ❤ felt thoughtz ur way 😎 fer some sunshiney dayz also 🙂 Q

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  3. For future camera I would consider the 5D Mk III – full frame and with dual card slots, it accepts your SD cards. I also like the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM. A great, fast lens that can also be used with the Canon 2 x extender for 400mm, but at loss of 2 stops. I also like the 16-35 f/2.8.

    Although only a short cruise, depending on work schedules you may have a few spare hours. Might want to consider taking a Kindle or other eReader.

    Good choice of binoculars, only other worth while option is auto-focus. For best results on a moving ship, especially when out on RIB’s, keep the magnification factor less than 10.

    Enjoy the cruise and I look forward to seeing photographs, as it is one of the few cruise destinations I didn’t work.

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    • Great camera, and other, tips. I think when I’m not “working”, I’ll spend a lot of time writing. Maybe a notebook and pen would be a good addition. It’s been so long since I hand wrote something, I may forget how 😉

      I’m going to research the cameras you suggested now.

      Have a great day,

      Lesley

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    • My brother-in-law suggested the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM. I almost bought it for Christmas but I couldn’t justify the cost right now, especially since I’m going to Antarctica and the costs continue to surprise me. Maybe that should go on my list for 2015. 🙂

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  4. I’m SO jealous!!! 🙂 people always scratch their heads when I tell them I’d go to Antartica if I ever won the lottery. I love all things cold weather related and would hope to see a penguin some day in his natural home. I can’t wait for your post about your epic adventure. Safe travels and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. More SD cards in smaller sizes. I use big cards too. But, on a trip like that if you lose one big card you lose everything. They can also fail. Extreme weather calls for extreme precautions. Also a card reader-storage device. Or, use your computer and portable HD. Back your work up. Twice. Duct tape, Sharpies, Lomotol and the reverse. Motion sickness meds. A general purpose knife and multi-tool. Silk lens cleaning cloth, extra usb cables.

    Talking about cameras. Switch to Sony. A7 Series. When you return, research them and the lenses. You’ll see why. Smaller, lighter gear = better time, better pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just went and picked up a silk lens cleaning cloth and added a few smaller SD cards, but I will be backing up on my hard drive and computer – you can never be too careful with photos though.

      Good suggestions 🙂

      As for the camera, I’ll look into a Sony when I return. I use to own a Sony as my main camera and loved it. It’s hard to switch now that I have so many lens for a Canon… but it doesn’t hurt to look into it.

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      • Sony A7 series uses converters. You can use any lenses that you want. Some will be manual focus, however. In any case, in the digital camera world lenses do need refreshing from time to time. Have a great trip.

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  6. So, so, SO excited for you and looking forward to the pictures from this trip! Wish I could have gone on it but I am beyond tapped out for this year – I currently have seven countries on the schedule for this year and it’s likely to go up. But I’m taking notes from you so that I can knock this one off the bucket list sometime!

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  7. Lesley, thanks for the like on my Antarctica video.

    You will have an amazing trip and Antarctica will haunt your dreams at night (in a good way) like it does mine. You don’t need a fancy full-frame camera, so your T5i will work well! I have a simpler T2i and the same lenses you have. They worked fine in Antarctica, but if you get to camp on the continent one night, I would suggest leaving the SLR on the ship. I didn’t want to risk my SLR’s durability against the below zero temperatures in my bivy sack. I also used my iPhone while kayaking to avoid my clumsy hands from gifting my SLR to Antarctic waters!

    Have a great trip and I look forward to reading about your experience. Godspeed!

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  8. I have a friend headed the same way in January. He has been climbing the seven highest peaks in the seven continents and this will be his last. Hope the weather is kind to you both. The views should be stunning so can’t wait to see the photos.

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  9. Pray you and your family’s 2015 will be filled with His fullness, abundance, and wonder as you travel and share the splendor of His glory in the world around us! Blessings Lesley Carter!

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  10. Wow, spectacular! We know someone here who went, and the adventure sounded awesome! We look forward to your trip report and photos. Good pack list and looks like you got the hook up on some gear too.

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  11. #PiloturBLP. The watch has a tachymeter where the first 18s are reserved for pulse measurement (15 heart beats). Through this feature the rescuers can quickly gain an initial impression of the persons state. The pulse feature is also extremely useful for running or other sports. I like that! And what a lot of prep you did for this trip! I bet all your trips require a lot of work. You earn those trips!

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  12. #PiloturBLP The Hawk Eye pilot watch has been developed for ESK 722, the search and rescue (SAR) squadron in the Danish Air Force. I like that. (Am I running out of ‘new’ Antarctica posts on which to reply for the contest? I don’t know.)

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