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Mocamps

Packing list? ....what we used and what we didn't!

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Just back from the Antarctic and thought others may be interested in what we learned about what we took, what we wished we'd taken, and what we wouldn't bother with again.........

 

Would definitely take again

Merino wool long sleeved top and leggings - I took 2 of each and rinsed them through when necessary. My husband also had a short sleeved vest underneath and I had a sleeveless one. This was sufficient underneath the very warm double layer jacket provided by Silversea. On only one of the days did we wear an extra 'fleece' layer and that was for a zodiac tour lasting over an hour.

Merino wool hat - only used it on one day but couldn't have been without it on that day.

Merino neck thing (can't remember the proper name for it!) - as above.

Waterproof ski gloves - again only really needed them on one day but definitely needed them

Thinner inner gloves - used on all days.......on most days these were the ONLY gloves I needed.

Waterproof trousers - absolutely essential for all trips ashore and for zodiac trips. Mine were waterproof to 10,000 and were fine. They were good quality but thin (not ski pants)

Warm socks - I took loads of different thicknesses but actually found I only needed 2 pairs of thick warm ones for inside the muck boots........wear them one at a time and alternate! I found that putting thin ones inside the thick ones actually only constricted my feet and if anything made them colder. So I only used the thin ones on the ship (without the thick ones) so had taken far too many.

Binoculars - we used ours almost every day for looking at/ for whales mainly.

Suncream - high factor!

Swimsuit - for sitting in the hot tub on the ship. We did this even in a blizzard and it was great - with a cocktail of course! But we met people who hadn't thought of taking one!

 

Would definitely not take again

Walking poles - complete waste of space unless you have some with very wide snow baskets. Otherwise they just sink into the snow and are more of a hindrance than a help.

New camera - we're not great photographers and didn't really know how to use ours so we usually resorted to our phones which were a lot more convenient. Since we got home I've posted photos from my camera on Facebook, have showed them to my friends and haven't even looked at the ones we took on the camera!

Gaiters - not needed with proper waterproof trousers.

Hand warmers and heated insoles - didn't use any of them and was perfectly warm without. I suppose I might throw in 1 of each in case of emergency but we could have bought them on the ship if we'd REALLY needed them.

 

Maybe?

Muck boots - these ARE an essential item but the ship had loads of good quality ones to borrow (for free). We DID take our own as they're Arctic Ice ones with vibram soles so had a good grip on ice. But I would be happy to borrow them if I was going again and didn't have room in my luggage. And no way would I pay the ridiculous prices that were being charged for hire boots! Incidentally, mid-length boots were absolutely fine.

 

Hope this is helpful - will add to it if I think of any more.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Mocamps said:

Just back from the Antarctic and thought others may be interested in what we learned about what we took, what we wished we'd taken, and what we wouldn't bother with again.

 

Hope this is helpful - will add to it if I think of any more.

 

Thank you!  We are on Ponant's L'Austral in late February 2019 and your information will be very helpful to us. Any other 'would/would not' that you may want to share, would also be appreciated.

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Thanks Mocamps!

We will be on the Silver Seas Explorer in January and so many different packing lists out there. 

Did You go fly from Santiago to Ushuaia? I am concerned about our luggage weight as we will be touring South America before  and after the cruise.

Thanks, Kathy

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Hi,

We actually flew from Santiago to Punta Arenas as that was where our cruise started. It ended in Ushuaia and Silverseas had organised a charter from there back to Santiago. We also did some touring before the cruise so we had the same issue with bags. I have to admit that my careful planning really paid off in that area!!!......I packed 1 bag with warm clothes, waterproofs etc for the Antarctic, and the other bag ( both rolling duffels and both weighing around 20 kg) with clothes for warm weather which then doubled up as casual clothes for use on the ship later. We both had rucksacks as hand luggage into which we packed valuables like camera, binoculars etc.mWe then stayed in an airport hotel at the beginning and returned there immediately before our flight to Punta Arenas. The hotel were happy for us to leave our Antarctic bag there and collect it after our touring so we didn't have to cart both heavy bags around for the whole time. The ship had a free launderette so I used that twice while on board to wash undies, t-shirts and etc. It really all worked well and we could hav got away with taking even less.

 

Another essential I thought of was sunglasses and non-essential was ski goggles. We took both and only used the goggles on the one bad day that we were still able to go ashore - I was glad of them on that day but I noticed that most people still wore sunglasses so I wouldn't bother with goggles if I went again. The thing is that when the weather is really bad (we had a blizzard on one day) the zodiacs can't go ashore anyway so you stay on the ship - in the warm!!

 

Have a great time!.....I absolutely loved it!

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Mocamps,

I wanted to ask about the walking poles. I noted you put them in your definitely would not take list. I  have some mobility issues and often have to use my cane when walking on uneven terrain.  I was planning on bringing my walking sticks. I hope I will be able to use them. 

I will skip the  ski goggles for sure.

Thanks, Kathy

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We took walking poles but didn't use them because we saw a lot of people struggling with them as they sank into the snow. If you really need them I would recommend taking ones that are more like ski poles and have wide baskets on them. But later in the season it may be a bit harder packed. We were walking in very soft snow at times.

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If you’re headed to South Georgia, a walking stick can be nice to have because of the fur seals. If you point a stick at an aggressive fur seal, it will generally back off. I have no idea why, but expedition staff often carry long sticks for precisely this reason, and we were astonished by it at some of our first South Georgia landings.

 

Later, in Grytviken, we were startled by an unexpected fur seal in. I was a bit scared, because it was equally startled by us and started to react. A nearby passenger promptly pointed her walking stick at the seal, and it backed down and left us alone. After that encounter, I started thinking it would have been nice to have a walking stick with me in case that happened again!

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I take a single foldable hiking pole with a small snow basket that can be swapped with a stumpier end. 

I like it for added balance when on pebbly shores and slippery icey surfaces. 

And as above - well and truly useful for Sth Georgia and the aggressive fur seals. 

 

Ive taken normal Polaroid sunglasses and also ski goggles on all of my trips and interchange them as needed. When speeding in a zodiac in katabatic winds googles are invaluable. 

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Agree about the hiking poles. We encountered agitated Fur Seals and one growled at me. Also, in Antarctica we hiked up a snowy mountain and much easier to get down using your poles.

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Thanks everyone for the information about the poles. I will bring them and hopefully find them useful. I guess we will take our chances with the muck boots being available on the Explorer.  We will need to really curtail our packing for this trip due to the various weight restrictions of luggage on South American flights. 

Kathy

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 We went to Antarctica with Quark they provided walking poles with every landing.  You might want to check with your tour company before bringing them to save luggage space and weight.

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On 12/6/2018 at 9:27 PM, kaisatsu said:

If you’re headed to South Georgia, a walking stick can be nice to have because of the fur seals. If you point a stick at an aggressive fur seal, it will generally back off. I have no idea why, but expedition staff often carry long sticks for precisely this reason, and we were astonished by it at some of our first South Georgia landings.

 

Later, in Grytviken, we were startled by an unexpected fur seal in. I was a bit scared, because it was equally startled by us and started to react. A nearby passenger promptly pointed her walking stick at the seal, and it backed down and left us alone. After that encounter, I started thinking it would have been nice to have a walking stick with me in case that happened again!

 

I just recently got back from S Georgia.  Another way that the walking sticks were useful was when you are walking the the tusek grass.  The grass is really high and you really couldn't see where you were walking and it was easy to lose your balance.  Sticks helped a lot.

 

DON

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