Polar Bear Tour Equipment List

Please follow this equipment list and do not bring extra gear. While this is a hotel-based trip, you will still be spending hours at a time in the elements.

Space is limited in the airplanes we use. By carefully following this list you can keep your personal gear under 50 pounds without any trouble.

All garments should be synthetic or wool because they are light, fast drying, and warmer when wet. Please leave your cotton clothes at home.

This is the Arctic, and it snows every month of the year! You should have a minimum of 5 layers for your top and 4 for the bottom. For example, on top: a short sleeve thermal shirt, one heavier long sleeve thermal shirt, one fleece jacket, one down vest or parka and a Gore-Tex shell over everything. Pile on your nice big ski jacket and you are ready for hours of watching Polar Bears in the wind. Your rain-shell need not fit over the parka. On the bottom: two pairs long johns, one pair fleece pants and Gortex rain pants on top. With a warm hat and a neck gaiter you’re cozy even when the north wind howls.

Please use this as a literal checklist. When all the boxes are checked, ✓ you are done. Anything not on the list doesn’t belong.

Having trouble keeping your personal gear within the 50-pound limit? Please contact us.

Winter Boots: Winter boots like Baffin are ideal. Rubber boots such as XtraTuf or Muckboots if insulated are also a good option.

Hiking Boots: We may do some hiking on the trip and comfortable boots are good on the trail-less tundra.

Boot insoles or footbeds: Superfeet is a good brand and these will make your boots warmer.

Rain pants and jacket: We recommend Goretex. Good quality rain gear is a must.

Day pack or fanny pack: Big enough for raingear, water bottle, camera and an extra layer.

Indoor shoes: Lightweight hiking boots can fill this need.

Socks: 3-4 pair heavy polypropylene or wool

Light weight long johns: 1 – 2 pair top and bottoms

Heavy weight long johns: 1 set of bottoms

Hiking/ camp pants: Synthetic, lightweight, fast drying. Really anything is fine.

Heavy pants: Wool or fleece for the cold.

Big puffy parka/ ski jacket: Down and synthetic are both fine. Hooded is best. Patagonia and Marmot both make good parkas. Go BIG. You won’t regret being warm.

Fleece jacket and/or thick wool shirt: You need 5 layers on your torso including long-johns.

Hat: A nice warm comfortable winter hat. Do not skimp here. Bigger the better. You will look great in a fur hat!


Neck gaiter: a little tube of synthetic material or wool to wear around your neck or to augment your hat. A scarf works too.

Brimmed hat: Whether a ball cap or a wrap-around brim, you’ll need something for arctic sunlight.

Gloves: 1 – 2 pairs of pile or wool gloves. Mittens are a good idea if your hands tend to get cold. Bring a couple options for a variety of conditions.

Quart water bottle: Or a small thermos

Personal toiletries and medications: including sunscreen lip balm, and hand cream. Inform the guide of your special medications and consider bringing a backup supply for the guide to carry.

Emergency kit: Band-Aids, aspirin, Moleskin, sewing kit. We carry a full medical kit, but having a few common items of your own is convenient.

Glasses or contacts, sunglasses


Camera with tripod: Lots of spare batteries and cards. In a waterproof, durable case.


Binoculars: Though these are technically optional, we strongly recommend that you bring binoculars. You miss a lot without quality binoculars.


Reading material, journal, and pen