The Antarctic represents perhaps some of the harshest terrain on planet earth and yet scientists, explorers and wealthy tourists still visit the region in their droves every year because it has just so much to offer from a scientific and an aesthetic perspective. People have been exploring the Antarctic for hundreds of years, of course, but where it was once an expedition with a cataclysmic mortality rate, modern technology has made the journey significantly safer and more manageable.
So, what is this technology? And if your interest has been piqued, how much of it would you really need to use to safely traverse the world’s most fascinating white desert?
GPS – Whilst in the rest of the world it might be enough to simply have your mobile phone on your person whilst you’re logged into Google Maps, the harsh environment of the Antarctic means something a little more durable and extensive is necessary if you really want to know where you are at all times. Take not only one dedicated GPS but a spare one too, as well as lots of spare batteries, a decimated compass and an altimeter watch so you’re aware of your current altitude.
Camera – Again, your camera phone probably isn’t going to cut it when you’re staring down the face of freezing temperatures and perpetual blizzards. To document your journey, make sure you opt for a camera that has been specifically designed to withstand punishing weather.
Components – When it comes to RS Components for your various gizmos, you need to stick with parts that are able to operate in harsh environments. With the Antarctic temperatures below freezing by their very nature, ensure your components are all built to withstand the cold. Linear voltage regulators are particularly excellent in harsh environments.
Emergency equipment – This will include everything from walkie-talkies to communicate with your colleagues or friends (nobody does the Antarctic alone) to ‘smart’ first aid kits that can help to diagnose your ailments, because there is all manner of ailments that can and will occur in the Antarctic.
Also, remember to wear plenty of sunscreen! It might not feel like it, but the ozone layer is at its thinnest n this region and you’ll get plenty of glare from the ice and snow. Otherwise, your Antarctic kit list is all common sense really – warm clothing, dressing in layers and making sure all footwear is waterproof. And don\t forget your sunglasses either! Take this into account and make sure your equipment is 100% operational before you depart and you’ll probably end up enjoying the adventure of a lifetime!