Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting packed to leave the U.S.

My departure for Antarctica is approaching quickly! I leave for Antarctica on December 3. I'm finishing all of the work that needs to be done at ASU before I leave and getting my personal gear packed up.

Here's my partially-packed suit case. There are normal things in there that everyone packs when they travel: clothes, socks, and shoes. You can see that there aren't a whole lot of clothes. Really, there's just one stack of pants and shirts. We aren't able to bring down a lot of stuff, even though we're there for a long time. I only bring down a few pairs of pants and a couple of shirts, but several sets of under-layer clothes (like long johns and undershirts). Most of the clothes in the stack are fleece, silk, or polypro for warmth. I don't have to pack pajamas, because I always sleep in my long johns. I also pack lots and lots of warm socks. I can tolerate wearing dirty pants and shirts when I'm in the field, but dry socks are like gold! You can see thick socks crammed in all of the corners of the suitcase. (My grandmother has given me most of those socks over many Christmases.) And of course I pack hats, mittens, and hand warmers (just a few, for those really, really cold moments). I also always pack sandals. Those are handy for when you come inside after being out in the field and you want to take off your giant boots and let your feet air out. In the lid of the suitcase there are also some books to read and my notebooks from previous years on the ice. In the small pocket I have things like my camera, batteries and the charger, and my iPod. There's a Christmas present in the suitcase, too. I will be at one of the field camps for Christmas, and every year we play the "gift game". There's something good inside the gift I'm putting in...

The red backpack will be my carry-on during the flight. It has all of my toiletries as well as some warm-weather clothes for my time in New Zealand. I carry all of that stuff on the plane so that, if my luggage gets lost, I can still take a shower and put on clean clothes after the long flight across the Pacific! It also has my passport and other travel documents so that I can get into New Zealand.

There are still a few things that need to be packed. I have to include my eyeglasses, sunglasses, underwear, and other things I'm still using at home. I'll finish packing tonight and tomorrow morning, then I'm off to the airport! Let me know if you notice anything important missing from the suitcase, so that I can make sure to pack it before I go.