I just got back from doing a pre-flight departure meeting last night.
Today, I’m flying out to Antarctica.
I’m half excited and half terrified.
I’m 100% packed and really don’t know what to expect, but according to our packing lists, I’m theoretically prepared (although I’m not sure how prepared you can be until you show up).
I travel pretty minimally and pride myself on the fact that I don’t have a bunch of “stuff”, but for something like this, I don’t think you can wing it.
We did receive a packing list, so here’s what I’m bringing to the game.
If you’re thinking about running this race in the future or just going to Antarctica in general, maybe this will help. Or if you’re interested in what it takes to survive and run 100 kilometers in one of the harshest places on earth, take a look.
Here’s what I’m packing:
Table of Contents
Patagonia Capilene 260 (crew) x 2
Merino wool designed to keep me warm. I got 2 of them in case I need a change halfway through.
Patagonia Capilene 260 (lower) x 2
Ditto, but for my lower body.
Patagonia Nano Fleece
This might be my new favorite layer of all time. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s super comfortable, packs down small and is crazy warm. I want my whole wardrobe to be made out of this material.
Patagonia R1 Full Zip Jacket
Just in case I need a bit more warmth. This might be overkill, but I figure there’s no such thing as overkill when you’re running 100 kilometers in Antarctica.
Arcteryx Beta AR Wind Shell
A hooded windproof & waterproof shell that’s super breathable with a ton of ventilation options.
RAB Pant Shell
These are pretty loose and comfortable, so I should be able to cut through wind without weighing myself down. I’m a little worried it might be just a bit cold with just this plus the thermals, but I’m told this will be just fine (plus I like running with my legs a bit cold anyways).
Wool Socks (2)
Gotta take care of the feet and keep them warm. My toes always freeze first.
Innov8 Terraclaw Trail Shoes
My go-to trail shoes.
RAB Alliance Mitts w/ fingers
I’m told I’ll spend most of my time using these, as they have liners I can pull off and just use the mitts to keep my fingers warm.
Basic walk-around gloves.
Just in case the first ones get soaked.
I’m a bag fiend. I don’t own a ton of stuff on purpose, but I have a lot of bags that I like. A lot.
This one is my most recent favorite. The Patagonia Black Hole 42L
I love this bag. It fits everything and it’s just awesome. It’s called the “black hole,” and somehow it carries 42L even though it barely takes up any space. It’s my new go-to bag when I need to getaway. It’s just awesome.
Since I ended up buying so much gear just for Antarctica, while I don’t normally ever check a bag, I carried this one on with me and checked my “normal clothes” bag, figuring that I would rather sacrifice losing my normal clothes if they screwed something up than my polar gear.
And, while doing so, I might be sapping this out. It’s my new favorite and fits a ton of stuff.
Absolutely pumped about it.
So I don’t go sun-blind.
In case the goggles get too hot.
Beard (naturally grown)
To protect my face.
To protect my beard.
I have a bunch of these from the last few years. I use them a lot in races to keep the sweat out of my eyes and to wipe down my face. These are the polar fleece ones that will help keep my neck from freezing.
Just in case I don’t like the buff.
Gotta trap the heat.
I’m gonna be out there a long time. I’m gonna need some fuel.
On top of all my Antarctica race gear, I’m also renting a bunch of gear from the logistics company for when I’m walking around camp and not running the ultra.
Hooded down jacket that goes on top of all my other layers (when I’m not running). Should look like one big colored marshmallow.
I’m basically going for the full Michelin man look here…
-100ºF Rated Boots w/ Liners
Like I said, gotta keep the toes warm!
And that’s it. I keep wanting to run to the gear store to pick up some last minute items, but we’re dropping off our bags later today to check them and then have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
The good news is that I’ll likely be able to use most of this gear for the Rovaniemi race coming up as well, given that it’s basically happening at the home of Santa Claus (literally, Wikipedia that ish). But I’ll share more about that when the time comes…
Until then, I’m going to go dark for the next few days. There’s no wifi in Antarctica, so I’ll be sure to share a whole bunch of updates as soon as I get back.