10 Essential items you’ll need in the Arctic
Explored for the first time more than a thousand years ago, it was only conquered and charted at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Arctic is one of the most unusual and mysterious regions on Earth. It’s unpredictable, inhospitable, mysterious, and it creates a magnetic pull on our imagination, as a cold dead zone.
The amazing Arctic also has an enormous expanse of solid earth and magnificent wildlife. Whether you explore the pine forests and tundra landscapes of Canada, Alaska, and Russia, or cruise the ice caps of Greenland and Spitsbergen, you will love by the incredible views it offers.
For many centuries only native settlers could survive the Arctic, but today things have changed. Modern explorers can combine comfort and luxury with a memorable trip to the loneliest, coldest, and emptiest places on Earth. Adventure enthusiasts brave the freezing temperatures for the majestic views and breathtaking landscapes. But, the harsh and unpredictable weather means that you’ll need a good preparation for the adventure, and bring proper gear, tools, and clothing.
If you’re planning an adventure to the northernmost parts of the planet, here’s what you’ll need.
To walk safely through the snow and thick ice you’ll need some specific footwear. Wearing combat boots and cowboy boots, won’t cut in the Arctic. The waterproof, knee-high, neoprene rubber boots will allow you to safely cross the snow and keep your feet warm. Make sure you buy a larger size or two, so you can wear the boots with thick socks underneath. Also, try to find boots with a removable liner, that are rated to last in low temperatures.
2. Thermal underwear
To have an extra layer of warmth, make sure you wear the right thermal underwear. It will help insulate you against below freezing temperatures. Buy a long comfortable underwear and leggings made of breathable fabric. Also, it’s good to have thick socks made from brushed polyester or wool. Wearing thermal vest or polypropylene long-sleeved shirt under your other clothes will keep your torso warm and cozy. In general, make sure you wear wool or polyester and avoid cotton since it absorbs moisture and will make you feel cold.
3. Neck warmer
On freezing temperatures, it’s essential to preserve body heat, so make sure you pack a neck warmer. It will protect you against snow and the wind, and you can cover your mouth and nose, or keep it under your chin. Besides a micro-fleece neck warmer, bring water-resistant gloves and mittens, earmuffs, and a wool hat.
Apart from insulating layers of clothing, you’ll also need to have a jacket to protect you from cold, strong winds. Get a water-resistant jacket that’s designed specifically for Arctic harsh conditions. Make sure you find one with hood, fleece lining, sturdy zipper, and large pockets, which will come in handy.
To prevent from sinking in the snow, make sure you have snowshoes with you. Get snowshoes with the right traction and design for the conditions and experience level which you’ll be trekking. More experienced hikers might want to have two different pairs of them, one for flatter land and one for steep terrain.
6. Ski goggles
If you’ve ever experienced the subfreezing temperatures, you know that the eyeballs feel the cold too. To protect your eyes from cold temperatures, make sure you wear ski goggles. They will also provide a barrier, so snow and wind don’t mess with your sight. Also, make sure you get glasses with polarized lenses that diminish glare, UV protection, and interchangeable lenses to adapt to brightness and changing weather conditions.
Although it’s known for being cold, the Arctic can have sun rays that are powerful and bright. During summer, some areas even have 24 hours of sunlight. Being surrounded by snow and bodies of water, you’ll be glad to have a sunscreen since the sun reflects on them. To protect your face, eyes, and lips, bring loads of high SPF sunscreen, sunglasses, and lip balm.
8. Tough gadgets
If you’re hiking through remote areas, you’ll want to be sure that your devices can stand whatever the journey throws at them. For example, having a robust and durable screen glass on your phone will protect it from drops and scratches. That way, you’ll be able to rely on it for directions, even on rough terrains and weather conditions. Also, if your device is not well protected, make sure you put a solid case around it.
To get a closer look at the wildlife around you, make sure you pack a pair of binoculars. It’s not smart to get close to the polar bears, caribou, birds, seals, walruses, Arctic foxes, and other wild animals. So why not watching them from a safe distance? Get comfortable binoculars with the magnification, size, and lens diameter you desire, and enjoy the wildlife from a distance.
10. Reliable camera
Being there will make you want to take gorgeous photos and videos of the amazing landscapes and incredible wildlife. Make sure you bring a freezeproof and waterproof camera, designed to handle rough conditions. Also, equip your camera with other features you might want, like extended zoom or wide angle lenses. Don’t forget to take extra batteries as well, since power sources may die quicker in cold climates. You don’t to miss any cool shot of your adventure.
Bonus tip: If you want to capture the Northern Lights or take high-quality photos of the wildlife, make sure you pack a tripod. Lok for lightweight and compact tripods, that are durable enough to stand in the snow and winds.
Visiting and exploring any place of the Arctic is an amazing and once in a lifetime experience, that we highly recommend you have. So, pack your backpack with the proper equipment and gadgets, and have the best adventure of your life.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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