Whether Iceland, Siberia or Antarctica, the principle is always the same: plan everythin carefully. Natura will have no mercy for you if you don’t dress properly. You won’t get hot tea or soup, or two jackets and five hats. If there is a frosty trip ahead, prepare properly!
When choosing a polar trip full of challenges don’t stick to `half measures`. Buy equipment and clothing (so-called thermal / thermoactive clothing) from proven manufacturers. It will usually serve you for years, because decent clothes do not deteriorate quickly and you can wear it to many expeditions.
Closest to the body, so it must fulfill its function and protect to maximum. The one made of merino cotton or synthetic materials like gore-tex works very well. Such underwear “breathes”, does not hold moisture and protects well against cold.
What we put on underwear should not be ordinary clothing, taken out of the closet. Another fabric that works well is fleece, which helps maintain body temperature and doesn’t stick to wet skin (and you’ll sweat even in the cold!).
Outerwear should be both waterproof and windproof. Polar outerwear doesn’t have to be made from breathable materials, its function is to tightly protect the body.
The Gore-Tex fabric created from a special membrane works well in this case. It will not let through frost, rain and snow, protecting you from the harsh arctic elements.
You should also get a down jacket with fur sewn around the hood. This will provide protection against frostbite to the face. The jacket must be large (larger than the size you usually choose), because you will hide many layers of clothing under this outerwear. Length is also important: it’s best to cover your thighs, so rather go with longer jackets than shorter.
Most heat escapes through the head. Therefore, don’t forget to take some good cap. Get an ear hat that protects your forehead, ears and neck. In addition, a headband, balaclava and special mask are necessary in case of high winds and jamming snowstorms.
Wear not one, but two pair of socks on polar journey. The first pair should be made of synthetic material, the next one can be woolen. There are many kinds of socks you can get on winter expeditions.
Rigid foam boots won’t work at all for arctic. When your shoes get icy in the morning, you won’t be able to put them on your feet. Felt is the correct material for sub-zero campings. The insoles can be removed at night and held close to the body so they can maintain temperaturę, so that it would be easy to put them on in the morning. It is better to avoid plastic that can contribute to dangerous frostbite to the feet.
Your hands should be protected as well as the head. Frozen hands would force you to abandon your polar journey. So take a few pairs of five-finger and one-finger gloves. They tend to deteriorate quickly in harsh conditions, so it’s better to have some extra just in case. In addition, take with you thin, thermoactive gloves necessary to perform manual work.
That’s all the basics, so take a look at more of our suggestions on our website and have a happy Arctic Recreation!