What Do You Bring to Antarctica?

Originally this post was my detailed annotated personal packing list. You can now find that here.

This is a basic list of things I recommend bringing:


  • Snow Boots
  • Hiking Boots
  • Gym Shoes (you’re not supposed to wear your outside shoes inside the gyms)
  • Flip Flops
  • Lounge Shoes
  • No-Slips (if working in Galley)


  • 5-6 thick wool pairs
  • Few pairs of silk liner socks
  • Few pairs of “regular” socks for work/chilling


Base Layers

  • Tank top base layers (2-3)
  • Long-sleeve wool base layers (2-3)
  • Synthetic mid-layer pullover

Mid Layers and Shell Layer

  • Wool Sweater
  • Merino pullover
  • Thin fleece zip jacket
  • Super fuzzy thicker zip jacket for layering
  • Parka – preferably the kind with the two pieces that zip together where one is a shell and one is a “poof” layer


  • Thermal leggings (2-3 pairs, different weights)
  • Fleece pants/mid-layer pants
  • Soft-shell pants, windproof
  • Snow pants
  • Non-cotton underwear (10+ pairs)

Casual Wear


  • Sports bras (x2)
  • Gym shirt
  • Two tees for sleeping or gym
  • Casual tank tops for gym/bar (x2)
  • “Nice” t-shirt for bar nights
  • Sweater


  • Workout leggings
  • Sweatpants (aka pajama bottoms)
  • Gym Shorts
  • Casual pants/jeans


  • Swimsuit
  • Costume or two
  • Belts (x2)
  • Bandanas (x2)

Warmth/Gear Items

  • Balaclava
  • Thick Hat
  • Thinner hat
  • Polarfleece hat liner
  • Neck Warmer
  • Windproof Buff
  • Outer shell mittens
  • Sunglasses, wraparound, 2 pair, plastic frames w/UVA
  • Scarf


  • Hobby items (sketchbooks, etc)
  • Notebook and pens
  • Headlamp – more important in winter/winfly
  • All important paperwork and cards including prescriptions and copies of IDs
  • Towels – 2 bath, 1 hand, 1 washcloth
  • Tupperware selection
  • Nalgene water bottle
  • Thermos/Coffee cup(s)
  • Zip-lock bags
  • Rechargeable calling card
  • Pocket knife
  • Throw blanket, pillow from home, and XL Twin Bed Sheets
  • Room decor (tapestries, fake plants, etc)
  • Backpack for hikes/work
  • Toiletry organizers
  • Luggage locks, luggage tags, and in-bag ID cards


  • Rechargeable AAA and AA batteries and charger
  • Surge protector and New Zealand Plug Adapters (x2)
  • External Speakers and a few sets of headphones
  • Phone (to use as MP3 player, point ‘n shoot, and alarm clock)
  • Camera and accessories including a tripod
  •  Large portable battery charger (great for airports)
  • 64+ GB Thumb-drives (x2) for passing around media
  • External 4TB hard-drive full of movies, TV shows, and music
  • Laptop, mouse, and external DVD drive


  • Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc….
  • Lipbalm!!
  • Alive! Max Potency Multivitamins
  • Travel first-aid kit
  • Tampons, pantyliners, cleansing wipes
  • Two toothbrushes, holders, floss, tooth stabby floss things
  • Razors, eyebrow scissors, tweezers, nail clippers, Q-tips
  • Hair-ties, Bobbi pins, hairbrush

New Zealand Bag

  • Pair of hiking shorts
  • Thin jacket
  • Bug-resistant pull-over
  • Camelbak and red day pack
  • More sunscreen
  • Sandals



4 responses to “What Do You Bring to Antarctica?

  1. Pingback: …What if? | Demeter on Ice·

  2. Pingback: What Do You Bring to Antarctica? (Take 2) | Demeter on Ice·

  3. I see you don’t monetize your blog, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional bucks
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    • I edited this comment to remove what to search for, because the comment is spam. However, in case anyone was wondering, I don’t monetize my blog for one very simple reason: I’m not allowed. I’m here for work. I am here working the position for which I was hired, not for any other reason. Folks are not permitted to take jobs down here in order to make money off of a blog or a YouTube series or anything else like that. We have to focus on the reason we’re here: to support science. Thus, while I am under an employment contract you will never see any monetization of my blog.


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