For the regular readers of my blog it will come as no surprise that I am a big fan of the 66 North brand of clothing from Iceland. It is therefore a fait accompli that 66 North is high on my packing list for Antarctica in November this year. For those of you who may be new to my site or have not yet become aware of this Icelandic brand of clothing allow me a moment to bring you up to speed. If you have spent any serious amount of time outdoors you will no doubt be well aware of brands such as The North Face, Patagonia, Mamut etc. These are staple brands amongst anyone who spends any time out in natures elements and many serious outdoor types (myself included) rely upon them. Well, 66 North fits right into this category; indeed in many ways (and certainly in my opinion) its better and in some areas a lot better.
I was quite excited when I first discovered 66 North clothing just over a year ago in Iceland. I new the moment I first picked up and slipped on one of their technical jackets that this was exceptionally well designed and manufactured clothing. I immediately purchased that Glymur Event jacket and it became my ‘go-to’ jacket during my Iceland trip. It has subsequently kept me warm and dry in the South Island of New Zealand in the dead of winter, Tasmania and the Victorian High Country. Everything about the brand exudes quality; from the choice of quality materials to the stitching to the embroided logo – this is extremely high quality clothing that many other manufacturers of outdoor clothing would do very well to pay attention to.
With my preferred brand of clothing established my specific outdoor clothing of choice for this trip to Antarctica consists of a base layer of 66 North 100% Marino Wool. This is then layered with a soft shell Polartec® Power Shield® jacket and pant with a 66 North eVENT® 3 Layer waterproof shell jacket and pant. This combination provides plenty of warmth as well as an extreme level of protection against wind and rain. It should see me warm and dry no matter what the weather in Antarctica. This combination of clothing will be suitable for standing on a ship deck at sea in inclement weather, to shooting amongst icebergs from zodiac to walking the shorelines of the Antarctic peninsula photographing penguins and leopard seals.
Packing List Base Layer
- 66 North Basar Crew Neck Marino Wool Top x 4
- 66 North Basar Marino Wool Hat x 1
- T-shirts x 6
- Socks and Jocks x enough
Packing List Mid Layer
- 66 North Eldja Soft shell Jacket x 1
- 66 North Glymur Soft shell Pants x 1
- North Face Apex Bionic Jacket x 1
- North Face Apex Elixir Jacket x 1
- North Face Paramount Peak Convertible Pants (My general travel, hiking and temperate weather pants) x 3
Packing List Outer Layer
- Seal Skinz Waterproof Gloves x 1 Pair
- Polar-Tech Glove Liners x 1 Pair
- 66 North Glymur Outer Shell Jacket x 1
- 66 North Glymur Outer Shell Pants x 1
- North Face Gore-Tex Vindicator II GTX Shoes x 1 Pair
- Gore-Tex Boots
- Xtra-Hand Khumbu Photo Vest (customised)
- toiletries and misc.
66 North is definitely at the top end of the price bracket in outdoor clothing and the above clothing represents a considerable investment. Especially when purchased here in Australia where we pay in Euro dollars when purchased online from 66 North’s own website. However, when you are standing in freezing weather, wind, rain or snow the price becomes irrelevant and all that matters is wether you can keep photographing despite the elements.
On top of the above Quark Expeditions (who are the expedition operator) will be supplying me with their own custom made fleece lined waterproof jacket and waterproof boots. I expect to use only the boots and will keep their jacket as a back up in case my own gear gets wet.
All of the above may not sound like much in the way of clothing for a three week expedition; however, the ship on which I am travelling (the Ocean Nova) has full laundry facilities; which means I can pack light on clothes (and heavy on camera gear).