Antarctica gear packing list

Image shows folded clothing and supplies

It’s been a little over six weeks since returning from Antarctica. I’ve been asked dozens of times, “how did you pack for the trip?”

The short answer is haphazardly, or so it felt once I got there. I had been preparing for the trip and actively thinking about what to pack for three or four months before we left. And yet… when the time came, I still felt unprepared.

Luckily, I wasn’t any less unprepared than my of my fellow runners aboard the ship. You can make do, but you shouldn’t have to. Learn from my mistakes.

Below is my packing list, plus anything else I wished I would have brought.

Clothing, Outerwear and Shoes
Lightweight Merrell hikers (worn mostly in Argentina)
Casual Saucony shoes (worn mostly on the ship)
Saucony road running shoes* (only because my trail shoes caused an achilles injury) – plan to leave or donate these shoes after the run. You might not need to, but mine were completely trashed.
Synthetic long sleeve tops and bottoms (2 pairs – glad I brought two pairs)
Waterproof jacket* and pants (ran in the jacket and never wore the pants)
Day pack for trekking and exploring
Power adapters (ship had only European outlets)
Sunglasses* if it was over 15 degrees F. If colder, ski goggles.
Cubs baseball cap
Pajama top and bottoms
Zip up hoody sweatshirt
2 sports bras, 2 regular bras*
Three-quarter zip warm fleece running shirt* (worn over technical tee)
Cubs poncho
20 pairs of underwear
5 pairs of warm Smartwool socks
5 pairs of running socks*
2 cotton tees
3 Smartwool long-sleeve shirts
3 running / technical tees*
2 pairs of long running tights*
Marmot down feather puff coat
Cubs beanie hat
Brooks “run happy” cap with bill
2 balaclavas (one warm, one lightweight*)
Running gloves*
Warm running hat*
Ski gloves

Toiletries and food
Toothbrush, paste, floss
Shampoo, conditioner, soap, sponge – all of this was provided, I could have skipped it
Deodorant, Q-tips
Chapstick*
Sunscreen*
Seasickness patch – this was a lifesaver and a must
Bug spray – packed for Buenos Aires but never used
Mole skin – never used, but I’d pack it again for sure
Nail clippers
Kleenex and wet wipes
First aid kit* – never used, but friends and other runners did
Ibuprofen
Vitamins
Ginger chews – so happy I had these
EmergenC chewable – wished I had brought more than one bottle
Zinc / Coldeeze – happy I had these
Non-drowsy Dramamine – never used
CLIF bars – ate fewer of these than expected. In Nepal, they were the only thing I could stomach.
Starburst* (race nutrition) – you can do better
Chewing gum

Electronics 
Headphones (beats and AirPods*)
Mac, iPad, iPhone,* Apple Watch* and power supplies
iPhone tripod
GoPro and accessories*

Miscellaneous 
Duct tape* – indispensable
Nalgene and Nathan water bottles*
Dry and plastic bags*
Deck of cards – never used
Downloaded six Kindle and Audible books – read all, listened to half

*Used on race day