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briar14

Cold Weather Gear Advice for Antarctica

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Best advice for cold weather gear for Silver Cloud expedition cruise, January 4? We have lived in the South for 20 years so will need to purchase some clothing and ?other items. TIA.

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They will provide you with a plenty warm parka when you get onboard the ship.

 

You will need waterproof (Not resistant) pants and boots.  You can rent both of those (do it now) and have them ready for you on the ship or you can buy your own and bring them.  You will want waterproof gloves.  You will want a warm head cover, either a hat that covers your ears or a "buff" that can cover whatever parts of your face you need to cover.

 

Fleece layer below the parka is a good idea.  We had a couple sunny days where we took the parkas off and just went around in our fleeces.

 

By the way, you should have lots of documentation from Silversea already with this info and lots more.

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The must-have is waterproof pants. Whether you rent them or buy them, you will not be allowed ashore without them (as you typically step out of the landing boats directly into the water). I would actually recommend using uninsulated rain pants, because they're more versatile. You can change the warm layers underneath depending on the weather and activity, and they're more useful after the trip. I have used mine extensively for hiking and also for staying dry and cozy when visiting the scenic waterfalls in Iceland. I've also used them for outdoor concerts and food festivals on rainy days!

 

As for the warmth layers - My first choice would be a wool base layer top and bottom. Wool is nice and warm, and a good wool base will also wick moisture if you start to sweat.

 

I also highly recommend a pair of thick warm socks. On my first expedition, the boots didn't have insulation, and people's feet got quite cold. Since then, the trips I've been on have used insulated Muck or Bogs boots that aren't as bad, but I still appreciate having warm socks. I find the SmartWool expedition socks to be excellent, and I know a few expedition staffers who use the same ones.

 

Assuming the ship provides a waterproof parka, the rest is just a matter of having a few mid-layers of various weights. I tend to take a few fleece tops (one in a lightweight fleece, one in a thick fleece) and a fleece pant (similar to sweatpants, but made from a synthetic fabric instead of cotton). I usually only add the fleece pants (between the wool base layer and waterproof shell) when it's particular chilly, like during extended zodiac cruising. I carry a backpack on landings, so that I can remove my fleece mid-layer if I'm getting too warm. I like to dress a little warmer than necessary, since the zodiac ride in can be chilly, and then I'll remove that layer once I reach shore.

 

I do have waterproof outer gloves, but I actually don't use them much. Sometimes I'll throw them on over my thinner glove liners during zodiac cruising if it's getting splashy, but during landings I mostly just use a pair of glove liners (made from capacitive fabric, so I can use my iPhone). I would actually recommend taking two pairs of regular gloves, and just carrying a backup pair if one gets wet.

 

Beyond that, bring a warm hat and a scarf or buff, and you're pretty much good to go.

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