What Do You Wear in the Antarctic


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This topic contains 5 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  12tripssouth 8 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #757

    Anonymous
    Member

    I’m curious to know the typical layers of clothing worn when you are outside. Is a single appropriate jacket sufficient, or must you wear several layers? Do you feel like a blimp? Do you wear, for example, the McMurdo Jacket made by North Face (heh heh)? I’m only half kidding. I wonder whether you buy the usual commercial winter clothing that is available to all of us or whether you need specially made jackets, gloves, hats, boots, socks, pants, etc? Can you ever let your flesh be exposed to the air? Or only at certain times of the year.

    Thank you

    Horizon

    #7783

    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    The answer depends on where you are, what the weather is doing, and the time of the year.

    All the clothing is off-the-shelf stuff that you can buy commercially. The Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear is typically a large parka, a wind breaker, a variety of long underwear and thermal pull-overs, gloves and mittens, wind pants, hats, goggles, and cold weather boots. The white rubber bunny-boots tend to be the most exotic thing, although they’re available from outdoor outfitters like Cabal’s (sp?). Many people also get insulated Carhartt jackets and bibs as well.

    As to what you actually wear… Is is summer or winter? Are you near the coast, at McMurdo (which is near the coast but typically frozen-in), or inland? Inland temps will be 30-60F colder than near the coast. If it’s winter or the wind is blowing hard, you may wear all of the ECW. If it’s summer at McMurdo and you’re just working around station, a windbreaker, jeans and hiking boots may be enough.

    Right now at the Pole it’s toasty, about -20F most days with a light wind. If I’m outside for a half hour or less I won’t bother with all the gear, I’ll just wear jeans and hiking boots with the parka (I’m a wimp). In about a month the temp will drop to -50F or colder and I’ll be wearing everything.

    g

    #7784

    Anonymous
    Member

    Wow. Fascinating. And to think I bundle up like that for our 28 degree temps of today. I’m humbled.

    Horizon

    #7785

    Anonymous
    Member

    @Horizon wrote:

    Wow. Fascinating. And to think I bundle up like that for our 28 degree temps of today. I’m humbled.

    Horizon

    Clothing on the ICE. Brings back memories of Deep-Freeze I. As a member of the Icebreaker Eastwind in 1955 I can only recall two parkas for the whole ship. The Skipper had one, he may have purchase his own. The other was used to have our picture taken in. I remember lining up and as we approached the camera one man at a time, the parka was handed to us to put on for the picture and then handed off to the next man. We knew if we didn’t make it back our widows would get a nice picture of us bundled up. I was thankful for the new foul weather jacket, usually snipes got the deck force cast off’s Semper Par….

    #7786

    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    Holy smokes Dave! That’s pre-IGY. You saw Antarctica before, well, just about everybody else on planet Earth. (With regards to the heroic-age explorers and Adm. Byrd’s team.)

    The stations have changed, to say the least. I’m happy to say that, for the most part, the continent is probably much the same as you saw it then.

    Thanks for checking in!

    g

    #7787

    Anonymous
    Member

    @Glenn wrote:

    Holy smokes Dave! That’s pre-IGY. You saw Antarctica before, well, just about everybody else on planet Earth. (With regards to the heroic-age explorers and Adm. Byrd’s team.)

    The stations have changed, to say the least. I’m happy to say that, for the most part, the continent is probably much the same as you saw it then.

    Thanks for checking in!

    g

    Yep, older than shelf ice (ha) Adm Byrd was along with us, but Adm. Dufek was the guy that made things happen, The Eastwind was Flag for a little while. The SeaBee’s were building huts for the IGY who were coming the next year when I got on the ICE and saw Scott’s hut from 1904, I’d guess it’s still there. Glad for your reply,

    #7788

    12tripssouth
    Member

    Personally, I was partial to white Chuck Taylor All Stars, merino wool underwear (ah, NZ…) and whatever kept me comfortable and warm. Pulling 14 months at Pole, it’s “whatever makes you happy…”

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