First things first. I am bringing underwear, toiletries, and socks.
Second, I am a very fortunate person. I entered a video/photo contest a few months back on my day off and won, and now I leave for the southern-most continent in less than two weeks for a vacation of a lifetime, one that happened to be on the top of my bucket list.
While most of this trip was paid for, I had to pay for the flight to Ushuaia, Argentina, where the cruise starts, as well as any gear I will be using. Because of weight limits on the flight from Antarctica, I am only allowed 44 pounds of luggage so I had to choose carefully. Here's what I'm bringing:
1. T-Shirts $20-35
Traveling through South America in December means it will be summer, so I am bringing a handful of t-shirts I can wear while making my way south to keep myself comfortable. Most of them are 100% synthetic, meaning they won't absorb sweat like cotton variants do.
2. 100% Wool Pendleton Flannel $19 (eBay)
I picked this vintage flannel up off of ebay earlier this year and I was immediately struck by how warm it is for what seems like a fairly light shirt.
3. The North Face Summit Series 1/4 Zip $40
A Moosejaw clearance rack grab from a few years back, this 100% synthetic 1/4 zip will make for a good mid-layer when I venture off the boat and onto the mainland.
4. Patagonia Lightweight Snap T $60
Another clearance rack grab, this time from REI, the Patagonia Snap T is my go to throw over fleece. Even this "lightweight" variant keeps me plenty toasty.
5. Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight 1/4 Zip Baselayer $52 (eBay)
The one thing that comes up in everything I read about what to bring to Antarctica is layering, and this 1/4 zip will make a great baselayer. It is warm and snug, but not so tight that I'm uncomfortable in it.
6. Patagonia Refugitive Jacket $297
The outermost layer of my ensemble, the Refugitive Jacket is both wind and waterproof, a must for the zodiac boat rides we will be taking from the ship to mainland.
7. Zamberlan Vioz GT Boots $40 (eBay)
I really lucked out with these boots. I bought them off of eBay for only $40 (they are originally $300) for my trip to Patagonia earlier this year. After hiking around in them for a week, I noticed the vibram soles were breaking apart. Apparently there was a bad batch of soles from Vibram and the wonderful people at Zamberlan had me mail them in and replaced them with new ones for free.
8. 100% Wool Toronto Blue Jays New Era Fitted Cap $35
I'm a die hard Tigers fan. That being said, I love the look of the retro Blue Jays cap. Plus, my favorite ballplayer is Cecil Fielder who started his career with, you guessed it, Toronto, before playing first base in Detroit.
9. Nike Free Run 5.0 $99
These are my go to tennys. After spending a lot of time in boots, it'll be nice to throw on some light shoes to relax and walk around the boat in.
10. Ray Ban New Wayfarers $140
I was originally going to bring my prescription Oakley Holbrooks, but for the first time in my life, I misplaced them and have no idea where I put them, so the RayBans are going to make the trip with me instead.
11. Spy Optics Goggles $30
These are primarily used as my ski goggles. I doubt I will need these, but they're light, and better safe than sorry.
12. GoPro Hero 4 Black $400
Everyone's favorite action camera.
13. Canon 5D S $3500 (rental cost $300)
I rented this over the 5D Mark IV because of the image size of 50 megapixels. I am also bringing along a Canon 5D Mark III.
14. The North Face Kelvin Gloves $160
I had a $130 gift card to The North Face so in reality, these only cost me $30. I would have gone with Arcteryx gloves otherwise.
15. Patagonia Beanies $22 Each
Both of these are synthetic and keep my noggin super warm. The aqua slouch beanie tackles the cool air and when the temperature dips below freezing, the fisherman's beanie does the job.
16. Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoodie $149 (eBay)
Balaclava built in, this hoodie does a great job as a midlayer.
17. Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka $320
This is the biggest budget hit of any one item I bought specifically for this trip, but the 800-fill power down makes this the warmest jacket I have ever worn.
18. Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Onesie $129 (eBay)
I'll be honest, I always wanted a reason to own a onesie, and this was the best one. Originally $199, I snapped up this one from eBay as soon as it hit.
19. Journal $8
My co-worker gave me the leather cover of this journal when he moved to Seattle, and the filler paper is cheap.
20. Seiko SNM035 "Land Monster" $125
My favorite of my Seiko dive watch collection. For this trip I took it off of the metal band and put it on a bright orange nato.
21. LowePro ProTactic 450 AW $198
This all weather camera backpack is tough and understated. It doesn't scream "I AM CARRYING CAMERA GEAR" which is nice while traveling, and it can easily fit a 15" MacBook Pro. Also, it has a waterproof cover built in, which I will be using during the zodiac boat rides.
22. Patagonia Refugitive Pants $299 (eBay)
Just like their upper body counterpart, these pants are 100% wind and waterproof.
23. Polyester Joggers $16
These 100% polyester joggers I picked up at TJ Maxx have proven to be very warm and are slim enough that they make a great lower body mid layer.
24. My passport.
It helps with the getting through borders.
25. Canon Lenses $600-2000 (rental cost $150)
I am bringing three different focal lengths with me on this trip, a 17-40mm f/4, a 24-105mm f/4, and a 100-400mm II f/4. I own the 17-40mm and 24-105mm, and rented the telephoto from lensrentals.com
26. Patagonia MLC Bag $199
Ever since my wife got me this bag for my birthday, it has become my favorite piece of luggage. MLC stands for Maximum Legal Carryon, meaning that whatever plane I get on, this bag will fit in the overhead compartment. It is very well segmented and I'm always surprised how much I can pack into it.
27. Eddie Bauer Guide Pants $64
My wife got me these for my trip to Patagonia. I love them so much I ended up wearing them most days on that trip.
28. Patagonia RPS Rock Pants $59
These climbing pants are the lightest that Patagonia makes, which will help when packing. They're super comfy and allow full range of motion.
29. Nike Pro Combat Tights $50
I've worn these tights while running in -25 degree weather so I know they'll do the job.
30. Patagonia Board Shorts $30 (eBay)
Two words. Polar Plunge!
$3600 is a lot of money, but I didn't buy all of this gear just for this trip. In fact, I had most of it beforehand. The total for the gear I bought specifically for this trip is half that, $1800.
I have no idea if all of this is what I should be bringing to Antarctica, but after all of the research I've done, this is what I've come up with. Check back after the first of the year to see how the trip went.