Antarctic Kit List

List of Suggested Equipment for Mount Vinson or Similar Antarctic Mountains

The following kit list is meant purely as an aide memoire for folk heading off to climb Mount Vinson or similar mountains in the Antarctic Ellsworth’s. It is designed for folk joining guided expedition teams (for example those provided by ALE) who will be providing items like tents, stoves, fuel, rations etc. Some items are clearly optional and ski gear is listed for folk wanting to ski tour or sample Antarctic off-piste!

Mountaineering on the Antarctic Peninsula, Adelaide Island

Clothing – Outer Layers

Expedition quality down jacket with large-sized fixed hood

Synthetic or down pants with full side-zips

Windproof softshell jacket with hood

Clothing – Mid-Layers

Stretch softshell pants


Insulating jacket

Clothing – Inner Layers

Set light or midweight base layer top and bottoms

Set expedition weight or Powerstretch layer top and bottoms

Polyester or polypropylene underwear


Mukluks for use around camp, e.g. Sorel Glacier, Baffin Impact

Pair of expedition double boots with built-in gaiter, e.g. La Sportiva Olympus Mons, Millet Everest, Scarpa 8000m

Ski-mountaineering boots

Thick wool or wool/wool blend socks

Thinner wool or synthetic liner socks.

Pair of down or synthetic tent booties

Head and Hands

Wool or fleece ski hat.

Neck gaiter, headover or scarf. We thoroughly recommend the Polar Buff.

Powerstretch balaclava.

Neoprene face mask or Outdoor Research Gorilla Mask. This must cover all skin!

Insulated leather work gloves e.g. Marmot Work Gloves

Thin polyester or polypropylene gloves

Powerstretch fleece gloves

Warm breathable “system” gloves with removable pile liner, e.g. Black Diamond Guide

Very warm, breathable down or synthetic over-mitts

100% UV protective sunglasses, one with cord and side flaps. No metal frames.

Good quality, tinted, 100% UV protective, ski goggles. Goggles with a neoprene face mask sewn in underneath work very well.


Sleeping bag (rated to -40°F, 40°C). Suggest: Feathered Friends Snowgoose, PHD Diamir 1200

Full length Thermarest

Full length closed cell foam sleeping mat


Mountaineering ice axe

Ice hammer


Climbing harness

Personal crevasse rescue kit including snapgate and locking karabiners, belay device, pulleys, ropeman, prusiks, slings, runners etc.

Right and left hand ascenders, pre-rigged.

Powder Skiing In Antarctica

Ski Equipment

Skis with touring bindings (Dynafit light and strong)

Adjustable ski poles


Avalanche probe


Ski Crampons (Harscheissen or Couteau)

Navigation Equipment

1 x GPS + Lots of spare AA Lithium batteries

1 x spare GPS (optional but strongly recommended).

1 x dedicated compass balanced for Southern Hemisphere or a multi-zone compass (e.g. Silva Voyager)

1 x altimeter watch (e.g.) Suunto plus spare batteries

Emergency Equipment

Lightweight group shelter/KISU/Bivvy sack

Small personal first aid kit with foot and handcare items (e.g. zinc oxide tape, moleskin, foot powder, bandaids, handcream, earplugs).

Small repair kit e.g. multi-tool, duck tape, webbing strap, wire, rivets, spare crampon strap, sewing equipment.

Additional Equipment

Expedition size internal frame pack, C. 70L capacity

Day pack, handluggage and for day routes from base camp

2 X 1 litre Nalgene brand wide mouth water bottle with insulated cover (can be used as hot water bottle!)

500-750ml Flask

1 litre Nalgene water bottle with wide opening to use as a pee bottle.

Large, insulated mug with lid; lightweight non-breakable large-size bowl, Lexan spoon

Sunscreen with the highest factor (minimum SPF 30)

Lip screen with the highest factor (minimum SPF 30)

Spare contact lenses or prescription glasses as required.

Personal medication. Enough for your trip, PLUS an additional 4 weeks supply.

Personal toiletries. Including hand washing gel, Pee Funnel (she-wee) for women

Optional Equipment

Spare GPS

Baseball cap for sunny weather lower down on mountain


Camera with large memory card & spare camera batteries.

MP3 player and headphones


Ear plugs for windy nights in the tent!

Set eyeshades for sleeping in 24 hour daylight