Before the Svalbard expedition
Thank you for purchasing your trip! Here are some tips and general pieces of information we hope you find useful before our next communication.
Equipment and clothes
Depending on when visiting Svalbard from spring to autumn, the temperature can vary a lot. In late spring until early autumn we have to expect from -2 to 5 °C. Due to the wind chill factor, and when traveling to the northern and eastern parts of the archipelago, you may experience temperatures a few degrees below zero. There is normally very little rain (snow) in Svalbard, which is considered a semi-desert. When going ashore by Zodiacs, make sure to wear waterproof jacket/trousers and knee-high rubber boots. Below you will find some instructions on how to dress in polar climates, as well as an equipment checklist.
The key is to dress in three or more layers, which allows perspiration, insulates you from the cold and protects you against the wind. The layering method also allows you to easily adjust your clothing when the weather and temperatures change.
The inner layer
Clothing next to your skin must get rid of perspiration from your body to keep you dry and warm. This layer should be close to your body and should be quite tight. Good materials for this first layer are wool or synthetic materials. Cotton should never be worn close to the body, or preferably not at all.
The middle layer (or layers)
This layer provides insulation and retains body heat without restricting movement. Suitable materials for this layer are polar fleece or wool. This way you control your body temperature, and on a cold day we recommend two or more middle layers. It is better to wear several thin layers than one thick layer. On cold days you may need extra insulation.
The outer layer
The main function of this layer is to provide protection against the wind and water, but also to let out excess body heat. Therefore it is good to have a breathable material here.
80% of your body heat is lost through your head, and you should always wear a hat. The same principle applies here – preferable materials are synthetic or wool, preferably windproof.
Hands and feet
These parts of your body are extra sensitive. It is important to keep hands and feet dry and warm! The same layering method applies here. Use inner gloves made of synthetic material, silk or wool and cover with a wind/waterproof mitten. Mittens are much warmer than gloves! Please remember to bring an extra pair of mittens. You should wear inner socks of synthetic material and cover with layers of wool or synthetic socks. A pair of solid knee-high rubber boots are advisable when going ashore from the Zodiacs. It is also wise to bring wool insoles. Hand warmers and foot warmers are also encouraged for colder days to have in case you need them.