The Ultimate Packing List for Antarctica

by Tykesha77
Photo of people in yellow jackets in Antarctica with snowcapped mountains and the ocean is in the background and light gray skies

Danco Island, Antarctica

I recently returned from an awe-inspiring and life-altering trip to Antarctica.  The hardest part about preparing for the journey (other than saying goodbye to my kids for 12 days) was trying to figure out what to pack.  Packing for a once in a lifetime adventure can be a bit daunting.  Since I had to prepare to travel to one of the most remote locations in the world, it was imperative that I pack everything that I’d need, to include warm clothing essentials and enough photo gear to capture great images for this epic experience.

Since I opted to fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina, instead of Ushuaia I had to travel via charter plane from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, which is the southernmost city in the world and the location of the port we were leaving from.  The charter airline had very strict luggage allowances.  Checked luggage could not weigh more than 44 pounds, and there was an 11 pound limit for carry-on bags.  Therein lies the rub,  I needed to be prepared for any situation AND pack light.

Here is the list of all of the clothing and gear that I packed for my trip:

Communication & Electronics

Apple Airbook

Antarctica isn’t exactly a kid-friendly vacation destination.  It’s not a budget-friendly one either.  We had to save up for a while to pay the $6K for a seat on Quark Expedition’s Antarctic Explorer Cruise.  So, I had to go it alone.

I left my two little ones (ages 18 months and 4 years old) behind.  My mother agreed to fly in, from Miami, FL, to help my husband care for the children while I was away.  Since I was leaving my babies at home, it was imperative -for the sake of my sanity- that I could communicate with my family while I was away.  The ability to communicate was a HUGE deal to me.  I figured, what good is a dream trip to Antarctica if I spent hours in my cabin crying because my imagination and mommy guilt were in overdrive.  Nope, I opted to sign up for the cruise company’s WiFi, which was sloooow but it worked.  I was able to facetime a few times and communicate via Whatsapp.  Here are a few other communication essentials that I packed as well.

Waterproof Cell Phone Case
Lightning Cell Phone Chargers
Hard Drive
Power Strip with USB
Travel Adapter Power and Voltage Converter
Portable Charger
Universal Travel Gear Organizer

Cold-Weather Clothing (the art of layers)

Close up of African American woman with yellow coat and GoPro on her head with snow on her while snow flakes are visible on the photo.

This was one of the coldest days that I experienced in Antarctica

As a Floridian with Caribbean roots, keeping my butt warm was of paramount importance.  Even though it would be summer Antarctica when I visited, temps were still cold enough for layers.  I packed the following clothing items:

Black long-sleeved undershirt

Icebreakers Merino Wool Long John Shirt

Base Layer

Long John Shirt
Long John Pants

Mid Layer

Fleece Jacket
Fleece Pants

Outer Layer

Ski Pants

Clothing Accessories

Two pairs of Liner Socks
Two pairs of Wool Socks
Two pair Glove Liners
Thermal Gloves
Waterproof Jackets

Photography Equipment

People on Mountain side with rocks on the ground, two penguins in the photo and about a dozen people facing away form the penguins. Snowcapped mountain ranges in the background.

Danco Island, Antarctica

Capturing good images of the Antarctica experience was a high priority.  This was the most expensive trip I’ve ever taken and I knew this was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  As such, I really wanted to capture the essence of the Antarctic so that I could share it with my family and readers.  I splurged and purchased the Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera and the GoPro HERO7 Black.  I am still sorting through the video footage and photos that I took and I am blown away by the quality of the images. The Canon is a top-notch professional grade camera.  And the footage I caught on the GoPro really brought the Antarctic to life.

It was definitely worth the expense but I really doubt anyone could take a bad picture in Antarctica.  So, if you pack a point-and-click or a decent cell phone camera, I’m sure your pics will be amazing as well.

Canon 5D Mark IV


GoPro HERO7 Black

Canon EF Wide Angle Lens (16-35)
Canon Polar Filter Lens
Extra DSLR Batteries
SD Extreme Cards
DSLR Rechargeable Battery Station
Camera Backpack with side access
Camera DSLR Backpack
DSLR Rain Cover
GoPro HERO7 Black Accessory Kit
San Disk for GoPro


Here are a few other things I stuffed into my sack, just in case.

Dry Pack with Waterproof Cell Phone Case

Dry Pack with Cell Phone Case

Water Bottle
Sleep Mask
Scrubba Portable Clothes Washing Bag
Portable Clothesline
Compression Packing Cubes


I used these travel guides to compile lists of things to do and see while in Buenos Aires and Antarctica.  You might find them helpful as well.

Frommer’s Complete Guide to Buenos Aires
Frommer’s Top Ten Sights: Buenos Aires (Kindle Edition)
Lonely Planet Antarctica (Travel Guide)

Here is a pic of all of my gear stuffed into a duffle bag camera backpack and tote.

photo of one black camera book bag, one turquoise duffle bag and a hot pink carry-on tote

All of the things on the above list are stuffed into these bags.

Have you gone on an Antarctic Cruise or winter adventure?  What should I add to this list?

Need more tips for Antarctica?  Follow our Antarctica Pinterest Board

Related Posts:  I’m Going to Antarctica

Up Next For You


Sharon Doyle March 28, 2019 - 9:38 PM

Awesome job ! Keep on enjoying life to its fullest.

Tykesha77 April 12, 2019 - 6:08 PM

Thank you

Brooklyn October 10, 2019 - 1:31 AM

😍 🙌🏿

Tykesha77 October 10, 2019 - 12:31 PM



Leave a Comment