How to dress at South Pole

Everybody has his own clothing preference when going outside to fit his/her personal needs. Most of the equipment (ECW-gear = Extreme Cold weather-gear) is issued in New Zealand. Here are some images from our winter-over video.

Tom, the station electrician has to work a lot in the station utility corridors below the dome, they are year round at -45 C.
Chris, the Aurora science tech, is every day on the roof of skylab and walking out to clean air.
Myself, we have our experiments in the dark sector and GASP and VULCAN need a lot of maintenance outside.

We start from a basic layer. This is what I normally wear inside the dome, T-shirt, long trousers and sport shoes. As I said before, everybody has his own preferences. If I know I will be outside for a while I put an additional liner on.

An extra pair of boot liners.

The "carhartt" is an insulated working trouser, it's very practical and warm.

There are two differnt types of issued boots the white "bunny" boots and the blue ones. I prefer the blue ones, they are heavy and stiff but keep your feet warm. Tom and Chris prefer their own footware.

A thick fleece jacket.

Face and hands are the parts, that get cold very fast, especially if I have to work on small stuff and I can't wear my big mittens. For this reason I have three thin layers of finger gloves.

Then the face mask. Under the Balaclava I wear a rubber nose and mouth piece, used in our SCBA-masks (fire gear) and I breath through a short tube. This keeps my nose and face warm and I prevent my glasses and goggles from fogging up or let's say better from freezing up.

For some work I need light. I use a red headlamp so I don't screw up the light sensitive experiments and keep my eyes dark adapted.
Chris is finished, but as you see it takes a lot of effort to get dressed properly.

The red down parka is very warm. The big mittens.

It's also essential to carry a radio whenever you go outside.

You also can imagine that whenever you enter a building you want to get rid of most of the warm stuff. So we dress and undress quite a few times during the day.




and Robert are ready to go outside.

Here are some more COLD pictures.

The thermometers in the Met office, left degrees Centigrade, right degrees Fahrenheit.

The cord of a power drill is frozen stiff. It already happened a couple of times, that cords like that break in the cold like a match.

The exhaled air freezes immediately and if it's quiet enough you even can hear that.

A cold outhouse ;).

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