It was quite a hectic week last week. The deadline for unaccompanied cargo closed on Thursday (19th) so I had to think of all of the things that I wanted to take with me to Antarctica and then decide what I needed to take on the boat and what I could pack away for when I arrive. I filled up a suitcase with some extra clothes, shoes, toiletries and bits and bobs that will hopefully make my life at Davis a little bit more comfortable. Not an easy job, believe me.

What are three things you would take with you to Antarctica?

Here’s my list:

1. eBook reader

My parents bought me an eBook reader as an early Christmas present so that I don’t have to pack a suitcase of books to take with me. Instead, all I need is my computer and the Project Gutenberg website and I have more than enough reading material for the next 5 months.

2. iPod dock

When the project is running I will be spending about 8 hours every second day a window-less shipping container. This will be my lab where I do all my research. For the majority of the time I will be in there alone so my iPod dock is going to be my best friend during those long hours.

3. Photos

While we do have internet at Davis Station, we aren’t able to use Skype to call family and friends. Instead we have a highly subsidised satellite telephone system, which is marvellous and means that I can talk to my boyfriend and my family for just a little more than the cost of a standard STD call. What this does mean is that I don’t get to see my family when I talk to them so I want to take some photos to put up in my room to remind me of home (just like I have photos at home of Antarctica!).

I was also supplied with a huge pile of cold weather clothing from the AAD to make sure that I am properly equipped for the Antarctic conditions:

  1. The biggest and heaviest down jacket you’ve ever seen and GoreTex jacket and pants in bright yellow
  2. Polar fleece and merino thermal layers and socks, wrist and neck warmers
  3. Work pants, shirts and overalls (all high-vis orange and navy blue)
  4. Three different pairs of shoes (work, snow and boat)
  5. Approximately eight different pairs of gloves
  6. Hats, goggles, sunglasses, shoe chains, water bottle

…and the list goes on.

Some of my kit goes into a red Survival Kit bag, which travels with us on the boat. A few things (socks, sunglasses, thermals) will travel with me as well and the rest went into cargo for when I arrive. I can take 30 kg with me on the boat and I’m comfortably within that allowance. All I have left to take with me are some comfortable clothes for on the boat and my computer, camera etc. They say everyone takes too much their first trip south so I’ve been conscious to keep my cargo limited to avoid having a room full of things I don’t really need.


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