Stacy in Antarctica

An adventure to the frozen continent

Planning stages.

Planning for a trip to Antarctica is serious business. Especially since there are no gift shops on the continent and no turning back for another pair of socks. This has been exacerbated by the fact that I have just returned from two years living overseas (in the desert no less) and essentially have to start from scratch. One concern I have with this trip is that I hate being cold. I can think of nothing worse than being in the snow but feeling too cold and miserable to enjoy it. Therefore, I spared no expense ensuring that I have the right clothing for the job. It was also essential for me to have good camera gear with more than enough memory and charge because I intend to take an absurd amount of photos of icebergs and penguins and whatever else I find. Anther important consideration was sea sickness medication as the trip crosses notoriously rough waters and while I don’t normally get motion sickness, the only boat trip I have been on before crossed the Bass Strait so I won’t be risking it. Instead I visited my GP and politely asked for something that will definitely do the job if the need arises.

So here is a bit of a run down on what I’m taking with me,


  1. Waterproof gear: jacket, pants and gumboots are provided by the tour operator, along with a waterproof backpack and binoculars. All pre-booked.
  2. Thermal clothing: merino long-johns, merino long and short-sleeved tops, merino tank top, polar fleece pants, medium weight cotton jumpers, heavy weight polar fleece jumper
  3. Hands and head: waterproof gloves, merino thermal glove liners, polar fleece beanies, polar fleece scarf
  4. Socks: thick and thin woolen, thick and thin cotton
  5. Shoes: Gore-Tex lined walking shoes, sheepskin Ugg boots, sandals

Camera Gear

  1. Sony DSC-HX1 camera, 2x battery, 8 Gb & 16 Gb Memory Stick Pro HG Duo
  2. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX10 waterproof camera, 2x battery, 2x 8 Gb SDHC Extreme
  3. Camera manuals, chargers and data transfer cables
  4. Zip-loc bags (used as a weather shield, an idea I got from reading another blog series on Antarctica; holy F stop)
  5. Desiccant packets (in case the weather shield isn’t 100% effective)
  6. 13″ MacBook Pro Laptop
  7. External backup HDD

Other Important Items

  1. Seasickness tablets: Stemzine (prescription only medicine, last resort), Blackmores Morning Sickness Formula (It’s not what you think! Contains the same ingredients as Travel Calm, but twice the number of tablets at the same price. Thanks go to the woman at the pharmacy who recommended this for me)
  2. Travel insurance details (mandatory for a trip of this type, no hospitals on the continent either)
  3. Prescription sunglasses (so I can see the things in the distance everyone else is pointing at)
  4. Towel (because as we all know, it is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have)

Along with some necessary summer clothing for South America and toiletries my luggage weighs in at a paltry 13.5 kg. Not bad for an amount of clothing that entirely fills my backpack. Also, with a luggage allowance of 23 kg for my internal South American flights I am left with almost 10 kg extra weight to fill (for the inevitable spending spree, what was that about gift shops in Antarctica?). One good thing about cold weather gear these days is that its unbelievably lightweight. I remember back to the old days of big, thick woolen jumpers and big, heavy walking shoes. Of course the real test will be on that first day I get off the boat and onto dry land. I’ll never need to buy cold weather gear after this, that’s for sure!


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