Donning Big Red

This morning we took a trip to the USAP CDC (clothing distribution center) to get fitted for our extreme weather gear!

A few weeks ago, we filled out paperwork specifying our clothing sizes. When we walked into the changing room area, we picked up two orange bags tagged with our names that were filled with the following:

  • red parka jacket (aka “Big Red”)
  • fleece trousers
  • fleece jacket
  • hat
  • fleece neck gaiter
  • 2 x glove liners
  • 2 x leather insulated gloves
  • insulated mittens
  • balaclava
  • ski goggles
  • carhartt insulated bib-overalls
  • insulated thermal rubber boots (aka “Bunny Boots”)

So how are we supposed to wear all of the extreme weather gear? Well here is a step by step guide! (Model: Dr Rowan McLachlan)

It is SO IMPORTANT for us to try everything on, make sure it fits, and is in good working conditions (i.e., no rips, holes or broken zips) now when we are here in New Zealand as we have the opportunity to switch it out for something better. However, when we get to Antarctica, and are “on ice”, the supplies of ECW (extreme condition weather) clothing is really limited, and it is very difficult to make swaps or get replacements.

For the rest of today, we are listening to a variety of different training and safety talks to prepare us for living and working in Antarctica. There is a lot of information to absorb – but all of it is really important to keep us safe and to conserve the precious and pristine ecosystems in Antarctica.

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