In summer, the tundra buzzes with energy and life, but in winter, conditions on the same northern landscape are daunting, and it appears quite desolate and bleak. Despite the harsh climate and long, frigid darkness of winter, a variety of animals from polar bears and Arctic fox to ptarmigan and snowy owls have adapted their behavior and instincts to subsist in the region year-round. About 40 mammal species live in and around Churchill (half are marine mammals), and approximately 100 bird species breed here.
Click the links below to learn more about each species.
Travel light! Our experience tells us the lighter you pack, the happier you will be. Following are some packing recommendations to help you determine the right gear to bring on your polar bear adventure.
Loose, comfortable layers are far better than single, bulky garments, as each
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.
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 boots (to be worn with socks only, not over your shoes) for your use while in Churchill, which you will receive and return in Winnipeg. You may be able to pick up your gear the afternoon you arrive. The gear room is typically open from 2 pm to 6 pm, and your shuttle driver will be able to confirm the gear distribution schedule upon your arrival. However, if you require an exceptionally large or small size of either, please call our office to find out if we can accommodate you with our regular supply. Use of boots and parkas is provided at no additional charge.
Typically boots and parkas are not necessary for the Extra Day in Winnipeg extension; 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, your 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 feel cold when you put your boots on again.