Bitter, piercing cold is your principal enemy in the Arctic. Over the centuries the clothing of polar explorers and researchers has changed repeatedly as heavy and hefty fur coats and fur boots that were meant to protect the wearer from wind and cold gradually gave way to light and durable materials that are as fit for the job as the natural materials.
Let’s rummage through a polar explorer’s wardrobe to get him geared up for a frosty journey.
A balaclava is indispensable when it comes to protecting the face, ears, head and forehead from cold and winds!
No stepping out without a hat! Spot on!
Yes, let’s take a flashlight just to be on the safe side.
Correct! A polar explorer needs a flare gun. That way a signal can be fired into the air to alert fellow explorers in case of getting lost.
Sometimes one pair of gloves is just not enough, and your fingers, as the saying goes, feel warmer if they’re together. Remember to take mittens to avoid frostbite.
High and light boots are a must for a modern-day polar explorer. Moving your feet about now comes faster and easier.
Spot on! In the Arctic, sun glasses are more than a fashion statement, they are essential to protect your eyes from wind, snow and sun.
Your polar explorer is very grateful for having the good sense to take thermals. Did you know, by the way, that even though it’s lightweight, thermal underwear equals two or more layers of traditional clothing?
Polar fleece clothing
Polar fleece clothes are a life-saver for modern polar explorers. Fleece is called synthetic wool because naps are one with the base. If you wear it above thermals, you are sure to stay warm.
Your modern-day polar explorer won’t go out without a jacket! Like a down-filled coverall, the jacket is made from cutting-edge membrane or breathable fabric to ensure excellent protection from moisture, wind and cold.
A down-filled coverall is the third layer of polar clothing. It is made from cutting-edge membrane materials. In addition to down, the filler may include synthetics that rival natural insulators and provide reliable thermal protection and ventilation.
Gloves are an essential item in any polar explorer’s inventory, because nobody would want his or her fingers struck by frostbite.
Snowshoes are perhaps the world’s oldest device to move about on snow. A larger area, as you know, means less pressure on snow, which prevents the wearer from getting bogged down in deep powder. However, today’s polar explorers use a modernized version of snowshoes that attach to warm boots.
Kisy (boots) naturally evoke the Arctic. It is a traditional footwear of the indigenous northern peoples such as the Nenets, the Khanty and the Mansi. Polar explorers, however, prefer less beautiful but more practical boots.
Dearskin boots are great before and after the winter, but a polar explorer will have little use for them.
Chuni are an excellent choice for those who like to keep their feet warm and are into ethnic themes. A polar explorer may wear chuni inside, but wearing them on a long field trip is a bad idea.
Kukhlyanka, an all-cover fur jacket made from deer pelts, will fit you like a glove if you need to blend in with local deer-breeders, but you would do well to find a more practical outfit for your polar explorer.
An excellent choice − if you’re sending your polar explorer on a ruck march, not a research expedition. Make a different choice.
If you’re choosing clothes for someone from the Revenant or the Game of Thrones, then spot on. If it’s still a polar explorer you want to dress up, better choose more practical warm clothing.
Well, a harpoon won’t get you far from a bear...
The mask will come in handy if you choose to brave the refreshing cold of the Arctic seas. We wouldn’t recommend the activity, though.
A rain coat will protect you from rain and wind but not if you have to walk far or spend hours working in the open-air. Shall we choose warmer and more reliable clothes for our polar explorer?
That’s hit and miss! A skirt, why? Your trekker is sure to freeze down there below waist.
Great for strolls on the beach, but it’s no use in the Arctic.
Here’s one grateful explorer! He will be warm and comfortable, and not even a strong wind will dampen his mood. We can expect him to make new discoveries!