Cold Climate Sailing

What to Pack for Polar Sailing

Polar sailing
Svalbard Photo by Bryan Derballa

**Advice Section:**

1. **Clothing and Accessories:**

   – Pack warm, waterproof clothing, including windproof trousers and a high-chest sailing salopette. You may need to purchase specific clothing for some vessels, check on your booking details.

   – Bring waterproof boots with good grip for the deck and ashore, and consider a second pair in case one gets wet.

   – Don’t forget a warm hat with ear flaps, waterproof gloves or mittens, and a tubular snood for your neck.

   – Layer your clothing with a warm baselayer, mid-layer, and a wool or fleece jumper for the torso. For the legs, wear thermal underwear, mid-layer leggings or trousers, and a windproof and waterproof outer layer.

   – Pack several pairs of thick warm socks and some slimmer socks for double-layering.

   – Include a small waterproof rucksack for excursions ashore.

2. **Essentials and Personal Items:**

   – Bring sunglasses and spectacles, along with a cord or neck strap for your glasses.

   – Invest in a decent pair of binoculars for wildlife spotting opportunities.

Review of the Best Binoculars

   – Carry moisturiser with SPF and lip balm to protect your skin from cold air and strong sunlight.

   – Remember to pack any necessary medication, including seasickness tablets or pressure-point wristbands.

   – Bring a logbook or journal to document your adventures.

   – Pack your camera and other electronics in good waterproof cases, along with chargers and adapters.

3. **Electricity and Electronics:**

   – Check the voltage and socket type for the vessel you are sailing on, and bring suitable charger cables for your electronics.

   – Remember that during ocean crossings, regular electricity supply may affect certain electronic assistance devices, like sleep apnea equipment.

  – We have advice on Preparing Electronic Devices for long periods away from any form of internet connection.

4. **Food and Allergies:**

   – Inform the ship of any allergies you have and bring necessary medications or epi-pens.

This will have been done on your application form but things may have changed since you completed the application form.

   – The ship can often cater to vegetarian and vegan diets, but it’s best to check in advance.

5. **Packing Tips:**

   – You must use a foldable bag or rucksack instead of a rigid suitcase.

   – Avoid bringing expensive jewellery or valuables unless covered by specific insurance.

**Checklist Section:**

**General Packing List:**

– Valid travel documents and papers, including passport and required visas.

– Insurance card and copies of your policy, including medical insurance and travel insurance.

– Sleeping bag, sheets, pillowcase, and towel (if required).

– Motion sickness medication, if needed.

– Personal medications and prescriptions. More than sufficient for the length of your voyage.

– Warm and waterproof clothing, including windproof jacket and trousers.

– Waterproof shoes or rubber boots, along with trainers or comfortable shoes.

– Scarf and gloves for cold climates.

– T-shirts, shirts, warm fleece, underwear, socks, and nightwear.

– Toiletries, including toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, etc.

– Camera and equipment, binoculars, sunglasses, and spare glasses or contact lenses.

– Small backpack, reading books or Kindle, pen, and paper.

– Wall socket adapter (if needed).

– Luggage labels with your name and contact details.

– Leave valuable jewellery at home.

**Additional Items to Consider:**

– Sun hat for hot climates, woolly stay-on beanie for cold climates.

– Clothing appropriate for smart occasions, travel clothes, and beachwear.

– Personal electronics such as a mobile phone, tablet, and their chargers.

– Necessary documents like Seaman or RYA Logbook, credit/debit cards, and passport copies.

– Wallet, purse, and local cash.

– First aid kit with essential medicines, sunscreen, lip protection, and any required medical equipment.

– Journal or diary to record your experiences.

– Torch, pocket knife, and sewing kit (check airline regulations for hold luggage).

– Additional snacks for specific dietary needs.

– Traveler’s cheques, hotel vouchers, and local language phrase book or app.

– Small musical instruments or other entertainment items.

– Other hobby items, artist sketch pads, seamans rigger kit, (Check it goes in hold luggage.)

Remember to tailor this checklist according to your specific needs and the nature of your expedition. It’s always a good idea to double-check with the expedition organisers for any specific requirements or recommendations. 

Please inform the ship of any changes in your health and safety information in good time.

Have a safe and enjoyable Polar Sailing Expedition.

Packing List to Print

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