Top 10 Tips for the Antarctic

By Franny Bergschneider | August 18, 2022

We asked our Wild Women’s resident polar-expert, Program manager, and life-long adventurer, Franny Bergschneider to give us her top 10 tips for preparing and packing for an expedition to Antarctica.  Read on for her tips!

 

The White Continent, Antarctica, is dedicated to peace, science and conservation. I have always been drawn to remote wilderness landscapes. When you go to Antarctica it can feel like an other worldly experience. The ice-capped glaciated landscape and icebergs will satiate your eyes and ignite your imagination. Living on a ship you can completely disengage with the electronic world. There is no cell reception in Antarctica. Here you can deepen your relationship with yourself and connection to the earth’s most vulnerable and fragile ecosystem.

 

Ready to go? Here are my top 10 tips:

1. Prepare by practicing yoga.

The most physically demanding part of the experience is living on a ship during the Drake passage. And so, core strength is encouraged, as well as a certain sense of balance. The other physically demanding part is getting in and out of the zodiac in weather and waves. And so, having a strong core, and a strong sense of balance is important.

2. Listen to your guides.

You’re held in this safe space on this ship, the guides are the experts. You don’t have to worry about where you’re going and what you’re doing, just listen to the announcements, you can leave your phone in your cabin, you can leave your watch, it’s a whole guided, self-experiential immersive experience where if you can just let go and fully immerse yourself in this experience, it’s such a gift. It’s such a time to actually be living in the moment, which is something that everybody talks about, but it’s easier said than done!

3. Take Binoculars.

You never know what wildlife you will see in the distance, having binoculars will increase your experience. I recommend Vortex. It’s Canadian, glass, and guaranteed for life. So, if anything happens, you can send them back and they’ll fix them for you. And if they can’t fix them, they’ll send you a brand new pair. I recommend the 8 x 42 mag, although smaller ones are available.

4. Packing.

Make sure to have waterproof gloves or mittens. Face sunscreen, an eye mask and earplugs, a waterproof daypack for shore excursions, and of course a bathing suit for those polar dips! If you’re bringing a camera, don’t forget how fast batteries die in the cold. Bring at least two spares, and your charger. And don’t forget your sense of adventure!

5. Have travel insurance.

Make sure to purchase the recommended travel insurance.

6. Bring seasickness pills.

Concerned about the ‘Drake Shake’? Try ginger (stem, candied or pills), or acupressure wristbands.

7. Bring books to read before or while you’re there.

I recommend some of Barry Lopez’s books like Arctic Dreams, or A Woman in the Polar Night by Christiane Ritter.

8. Learn about climate change and watch Thin Ice.

Geologist Simon Lamb takes a look at what’s really happening with global warming by filming scientists at work in the Arctic, the Antarctic and around the world.

9. Participate in Citizen Science.

From the comfort of your living room with Penguin Watch. Watch the live stream right here.

10. Silence.

Remember to carve out time and space to be quiet. Reflect on the landscape, and listen to the rhythm of its song.

 

Ready to start packing? Wild Women Expeditions offer expeditions to the Antarctic. Learn more here or contact one of our Adventure Experts today at adventure@wildwomenexpeditions.com.