Expedition Packing List

Packing Checklist

With 25+ years of experience bringing travelers to the most remote places on Earth, we've assembled some of the best gear required to keep you warm and dry on your next expedition. Below are recommendations from our Expedition Team and travelers that will make packing for your next expedition a breeze.

   To Wear on Landings       List of Suggested Items   
Base layers (wool or synthetic)  Waterproof backpack or dry sac
Mid-layer warm/fleece top Swimsuit - for the polar plunge!
Mid-layer warm/fleece bottom Binoculars
Wool and synthetic socks (3-4 pairs) Camera with extra batteries
Glove liners Extra memory cards
Waterproof gloves (2 pairs minimum) Earplugs
A scarf or other face protection Eye masks for sleeping
A warm hat that covers ears Voltage adapters
Waterproof pants (Zodiac mandatory) Extra pair of prescription glasses
Sunscreen Plastic bags with zippers
Sunglasses with UV protection Small medical kit
   To Wear Onboard    Seasickness, indigestion, headache or other medicines or prescriptions
Comfortable casual clothing Alarm clock or watch with an alarm
Lighter shirts Your preferred water bottle
Non-slip close-toed unheeled shoes Fitness gear


We've Got You Covered

Base Layers

A good set of base layers are the foundation of warmth when dressing for the polar climates. Wools and synthetic fibers are best as they will draw moisture away from the body. Cotton should be avoided. Baselayers should sit next to the skin and have a slim fit. Put these on over top of your regular underwear and continue to layer. Bring two or more sets when traveling to ensure you always have a clean and dry pair.









Fleece Tops and Bottoms

For added warmth, a layer of fleece (synthetic or wool) worn over your base layers will provide additional protection from the cold during times where you may not be active. From bird-watching to zodiac cruising, an additional layer will provide maximum heat and comfort. Be sure to try them on with your base layers and waterproof pants before packing to ensure a comfortable fit.

Vests and Sweaters

A warm sweater or vest that can easily be removed is the final layer for added warmth. A full-zip vest (down or wool) will keep your body core warm while allowing you to zip open or remove if you get too warm. If wearing a full sweater you may want to consider a quarter zip which allows heat to escape from the chest and neck if you overheat.



Protective Outerwear

The Quark Parka

An essential part of every Quark Expedition, a 3-in-1 parka will be provided during your expedition to keep you warm and dry during your travels. It features a durable protective hooded outer shell with a removable insulating layer. Sizing will be requested during your reservation process and parkas will be distributed on board the vessel or upon arrival to a land-based expedition.

Waterproof Pants

Durable waterproof pants are essential for going ashore as you’ll likely encounter splashes of water during zodiac operations or snow while walking ashore. Make sure they fit over any base and insulating layers of pants you wear and have a wide enough leg opening to fit over the top of a pair of boots (Quark supplies Muck Boots onboard).










Gloves and Glove Liners


To keep your hands warm and dry at all times, consider packing two pairs of layered gloves. You’ll need a durable waterproof and insulated pair to wear ashore and while in zodiacs. Consider a pair with removable liners that allow for flexibility and for taking photographs. An extra pair is always recommended should your gloves become wet or lost during your trip.

Glove Liners

A thinner pair of gloves is great to wear for short stays on the ships outer decks when a bulkier pair is not required. Some glove liners will feature touch-screen capability which allows you to use your smartphone or camera without taking your gloves off.


Durable Footwear


Nothing can spoil a landing like cold and wet feet. Pack extra thick warm socks made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton fabrics should be avoided here. Bring several pairs and you can layer on the coldest days. Bring an extra pair ashore in your day pack in the event you get wet.


You will need a pair of shoes with nonslip soles when walking around the ship. Slip-on sandals, slippers or flip-flops are neither safe not suitable for wearing on board.


Heavy-duty boots appropriate for walking ashore in the Polar Regions will be supplied during your expedition. Quark uses the Wetland model from Muck Boots and these will be provided to you.














A warm hat can be your best friend.  Fleece or thick wool is best as they are lightweight and warm.  Bring a hat that’s comfortable and can cover your ears for added warmth.

Neck Gaiter / Neck Warmer

More practical and lightweight that a scarf; a gaiter is the easiest way to protect your neck from the cold.  Make sure it’s tall enough to pull over your mouth and nose and wide enough that it can be removed easily.  A good neck can be used in multiple ways; they can be turned into a headband or a hat in a pinch!


A comfortable pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses will keep the wind out of your eyes and help block the glare of the ice and snow on sunny days.  Straps such as Croakies will ensure your sunglasses remain around your neck when you need to remove them.

Heat Packs

Hand and Foot Warmer packs are great to add targeted warmth where you need it most.  Open a pack of hand warmers and stash them in your gloves before going ashore and you'll be warm for hours.  If your day calls for hiking through snow or standing stationary to photograph wildlife, consider foot warmers to keep you comfortable. 


Don't let the cool temperatures fool you; the suns UV rays are strong and a few hours ashore can result in a bad burn.  Apply sunscreen prior to a landing to exposed skin and consider bringing a face-stick to reapply to cheeks, nose, and forehead while ashore.


You will be traveling to the coastal regions of Antarctica during the southern summer when conditions are mild and changeable. Enjoyable sunny days can swiftly change to cold, windy storms with snow flurries and rolling seas.

Pack to dress in layers so you are prepared for these rapid weather changes. Average daily temperatures in mid-season are between 25 and 35 Fahrenheit or -4 and +2 Celsius; however, wind conditions can make it seem colder. It is common that you will experience daytime temperatures below freezing.