What to Pack for Your Churchill Polar Bear Adventure
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 gear to bring.
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.
GENERAL PACKING RECOMMENDATIONS
Bring sturdy, soft-sided luggage, which is easier to stow 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 Transportation 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 that 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 resealable plastic bag.
Leave expensive jewelry at home! A good rule of thumb: if you would be heartbroken to lose the item, don’t bring it along. Find a cheap version to wear 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.
Before you start packing, check the current forecast on The Weather Channel or online (www.weather.com) so you can be prepared for any unseasonable weather at our destination.
Winter parka and boots (if you do not wish to use the down jacket and boots provided by NHA)
Binoculars(Binoculars are a must for wildlife viewing 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. Couples should consider bringing two pairs of binoculars, so both people can view wildlife simultaneously.)
Silk, wool 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
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, which you strap onto your boots, 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 guests' 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 at the Tundra Lodge.
> Moisturing lotion for dry skin
> 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.)
Hairdryers are provided at all accommodations, including the Tundra Lodge
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 at the Tundra Lodge, please remember to pack your belongings for this stay in a small, soft-sided bag. It should be separate from your partner’s luggage, as you will each have your own room at the Tundra Lodge. It is also easier to store in the limited space available at 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 and plan to purchase any additional travel/evacuation insurance as needed
Personal medical/dental insurance cards
Credit card (optional)
> Record your card number and contact 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 your adventure
Envelopes (helpful for presenting discretionary gratuities to guides)
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