Unless you are an utter masochist, there’s absolutely nothing enjoyable about heading to the Arctic and Antarctic regions without dressing for the occasion. Those jolly Norwegians have a great saying ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” and I have to say I couldn’t agree more.
The real key is layering. Rather than take one very large thick layer, I take several thinner layers that can be put on or off as the conditions dictate. So whether I am filming in the katabatic winds, sitting on the ski-doo or walking around camp the in sunshine I can remain pretty comfortable.
The essentials I take are a “down filled parka” this is extremely warm and can easily be thrown on over my inner insulating layers for immediate warmth. Underneath the outer layer I have two other insulating layers (merino wool), a fleece, insulated leggings, big thermal boots, gloves (I have several pairs depending if I am filming or just walking about) balaclava, neck gaiter, beanie hat and my trusty old Russian Zhivago fur hat with ear flaps (which I purchased in Moscow many years ago.)
Even with all the correct gear on, the coldness still can find a gap and at ¯40° it’s pretty unforgiving – on occasions when I wasn’t so well prepared, it was not only my hands that turned blue!