GENERAL PACKING RECOMMENDATIONS
Travel light! Our experience tells us the lighter you pack, the happier you will be. Following are some packing guidelines and a checklist to help you determine the right amount of gear to bring with you.
Simplify your packing—shop at Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for some of the key items recommended for your adventure. Look for this icon in the list below, then go to: www.nathab.com/gear-store
to start shopping.
- Bring sturdy, soft-sided luggage, which is easier to stow throughout the adventure and to carry in our vehicles during transfers.
- Carry any necessities, including travel documents, money, medications, and other vital supplies, in your carry-on bag and not
in your checked luggage.
- Pack a change of clothing and any essentials (including toiletries) in a carry-on bag in the unlikely event your luggage is delayed or lost by the airlines.
- Pack only casual, weather-appropriate clothing.
- Check with the Travel Security Administration (www.tsa.gov) to determine which items are suitable for carry-on baggage, and which items should be packed in your checked luggage.
- If you plan to lock your luggage, use a TSA-approved security device.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation requires any lithium batteries packed in checked or carry-on luggage remain in the electronic device (camera, cell phone, laptop, etc.), in their original packaging, or in a separate re-sealable plastic bag.
- Leave expensive jewelry at home! A good rule of thumb: if you would be heartbroken to lose the item, then don’t bring it along. Find a cheap version to replace it during your travels.
- You and your travel partner (if applicable) may wish to temporarily combine belongings in your luggage during flights. If one set of luggage is lost or delayed by the airlines, you will each have half your gear until the lost luggage catches up with you.
- Keep cash in more than one place. Should something happen, not all will be lost.
- Check the current weather on the Weather Channel or on the Internet (www.weather.com) so you can be prepared for any unseasonable weather at our destination.
COLD WEATHER TIPS
Loose, comfortable layers are far better than single, bulky garments, as each layer you add traps warm air close to your body. We recommend wearing a base layer (silk, polypropylene, etc.) closest to the skin, a second layer (warm sweater or fleece), and an outer layer that is water and wind repellent (NHA will provide down parkas and boots for you to use). This will keep you toasty if outside temperatures are cold, and you can always shed layers if you grow too warm.
- Wool and silk are superior to cotton because they trap warm air and stay dry. Many synthetic fabrics—polar fleece in particular—are also good for keeping you warm and dry.
- It is important to note that rain is a possibility both in Winnipeg and Churchill, especially in October. Please keep this in mind when deciding what to pack.
PARKA & BOOTS
Fall in Churchill can be very cold, and we want you to be prepared for the possibility of frigid temperatures. We will provide a down winter parka and a pair of boots (to be worn with socks only, not over your shoes) to all travelers for use while in Churchill, which you will pick up and return in Winnipeg. You may be able to pick your gear up the afternoon of your arrival. The gear room is typically open from 2 pm to 6 pm, and your shuttle driver will be able to confirm gear distribution schedule upon your arrival. However, if you require an especially large or small size of either, please call our office to find out if we can accommodate you with our supply. There is no extra charge for the use of our boots and parkas.
Typically boots and parkas are not necessary for the Extra Day program in Winnipeg, however, if the weather warrants it, and you would like to use Nat Hab's boots and parka on that day, please let a staff member know.
Should you wish to bring your own gear, the parka should be warm and roomy enough to accommodate several layers underneath. Your boots should be warm, water-repellent or waterproof (remember, you may be walking in cold, snowy, or rainy conditions), and have slip-resistant tread.
We highly recommend removing your boot liners (if possible) in the evenings to let them dry overnight, even if they do not feel wet. Your feet often sweat during the day, and if the liners are not dried properly, they may make your feet cold when you put your boots on again.
GLOVES, HAT & SCARF/NECK GAITER
Body heat is most likely to be lost from the hands and feet. For maximum warmth, we recommend packing two pairs of gloves to protect your hands: thin glove liners and warm outer gloves/mittens (mittens are often warmer than gloves). Glove liners are great as you can take your heavy gloves/mittens off to take pictures, but still protect your hands from the cold. It may not be necessary, but you may want to pack a second set of gloves or mittens in case the first pair gets wet.
Also pack warm protection for your head, face, and neck. Be sure your hat covers your ears and that you can protect your face sufficiently if there is a cold wind blowing.
Layering works well for the legs, too. Long underwear underneath an outer pair of pants should be sufficient. If you are on the Ultimate Churchill adventure, or if you wish to participate in the sled dog activity, you should bring at least one pair of water-resistant pants so you stay dry if you come in contact with snow.
The rule of layers holds true for your feet as well. For maximum warmth, wear thin sock liners made of wicking fabrics, such as silk or polypropylene, underneath warm socks. Bring several pairs so they have time to dry completely between uses. Also bring several pairs of thick socks made of wool or warm synthetic material (not cotton) to wear with the boots we will loan you to create the best fit possible.
Garments that “breathe” will help to keep you warm and dry. Wool and fleece are great materials that trap heat against the body.
Silk or polypropylene long underwear can be great for adding warmth without bulk. Long underwear is available in a variety of weights, which allows you to choose the version that best suits your personal thermostat. Turtlenecks are also great for layering because they provide added warmth for your neck.
- Winter parka and boots (If you do not wish to use the down jacket and boots provided by NHA)
- Warm gloves or mittens
- Glove liners
- Warm hat (Make sure it covers your ears)
- Scarf or neck gaiter
- Warm pants (Ski pants are good if you have them)
- Warm socks and sock liners (Several pairs)
- Water-resistant daypack (To carry equipment/gear during outings)
- Binoculars (Binoculars are a must on the tundra. For optimal viewing, we suggest those with specs between 10x42 and 8x42. You may even try 8x35, but only if they contain high quality glass. Practice using your binoculars before your adventure to make sure they are not too powerful or you do not have trouble holding them steady. Couples should consider bringing two pairs of binoculars, so both people can view wildlife simultaneously.)
- Silk or polypropylene long underwear for layering (tops & bottoms)
- Turtleneck shirts for layering
- Warm sweaters or fleece tops
- Comfortable warm pants
- For wearing in the evenings
- Swimsuit (If you wish to use the pool at the Fort Garry Hotel)
- Photography equipment and chargers (see “Photography Information & Gear List” page for a detailed list of suggested gear)
- Hand/foot warmers—highly recommended! (These can help keep you toasty if you tend to have cold feet and hands. Per TSA regulations, you will need to pack these in your checked luggage on commercial flights.)
- Sunglasses (with UV protection)
- Prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Goggles—optional (If you already own a pair of goggles, it might be useful to bring them along. However, we would not recommend buying a pair just for this adventure, as it is not a necessity. An example of when they might come in handy would be if you are participating in the sled dog excursion and conditions are windy and snowy.)
- Yaktrax—optional (Please check the weather in Churchill just prior to your departure. If it has already snowed, or if snow is in the forecast, Yaktrax can be extremely helpful to prevent slipping in snowy or icy conditions: www.yaktrax.com. Other popular brands of traction devices include DueNorth, Kahtoola, and Stabilicer. Make sure they are big enough to fit around bulky snow boots.)
- There are a limited number of Yaktrax available for guest use in Churchill.
- Earplugs (These can be very helpful when sleeping in a new environment)
> Shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion are provided at Fort Garry Hotel, Seaport Hotel, Polar Inn and Churchill Hotel. Shampoo, conditioner, and soap are provided on the Tundra Lodge.
> Dry skin lotion
> Sunscreen & lip balm (SPF15+)
> Bring protection for your hands, face, and lips, as the reflection off of snow and ice can be intense.
> Small medical kit
>Tissue mini packs
- Battery-operated alarm clock or wristwatch
- Reusable waterproof bags (Great for wet or dirty clothing and to protect camera equipment.)
- Sewing kit
- Hairdryers are provided at all accommodations, including the Tundra Lodge
ADDITIONAL ITEMS (for those staying at the Tundra Lodge)
- Small flashlight or headlamp (with spare batteries)
- Helpful for locating personal items in the bedrooms.
- Hard-soled slippers
- Helpful when walking outside on the decks between cars.
- Toiletry bag
> Helpful for carrying personal items, as the bathrooms are located outside of your sleeping compartment.
- If you are staying on the Tundra Lodge, please remember to pack in a small, soft-sided bag. This should be separate from your partner’s luggage, as you will each have your own room on the Tundra Lodge. It is also easier to store in the limited space available on the lodge. Additional luggage can be stored at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg.
- Valid passport or passport card (with photocopies or scanned to your email account)
- Copy of complete flight itinerary
- Copy of applicable travel and/or medical evacuation insurance
> Include your policy number and insurance contact information.
> Because medical care overseas can be expensive, you should review the coverage of your own personal health insurance policy before you go.
- Personal medical/dental insurance cards
- Credit card (optional)
> Record your card number and the phone number to report loss or theft and keep in a separate place.
- Your Nat Hab Pre-Departure Briefing booklet and your itinerary
> Good to have as a reference when clearing customs (your itinerary provides information on your destinations, accommodations, length of stay, etc.), in order to check operational procedures, to take notes, or to record wildlife seen during the adventure.
- Envelopes (Helpful for presenting any discretionary gratuities to guides.)