How to Pack for your Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge Expedition

November 25, 2014

Arctic Fox cubs - Photo by Nansen Weber Photography

Image credit: Nansen Weber Photography

The countdown is on... you're booked and time is ticking away to your Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge departure! Before you know it, you'll be exploring the high arctic city of Yellowknife, then being whisked away on a charter flight to captivating Somerset Island, Nunavut.

Vast, completely wild spaces await your touchdown at 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, 50 miles from the nearest settlement. And on your approach, butterflies in your stomach, you'll wonder... Do I have everything I need?

The good news is that all of the gear you need to go ATVing, river rafting, sea kayaking, fat biking and more is provided at Arctic Watch. So what do you need to bring with you on your high arctic adventure? And what can you leave at home?

What to Pack for an Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge Adventure

Arctic Watch Gull Canyon


It'll be summertime in the Arctic and the sun will never set while you’re at Arctic Watch, but it’s still the Arctic – average temperature ranges from 8 to 12 Celsius, but can dip as low as 0 Celsius. You may experience all four seasons in one day.

First and foremost, you’ll definitely need a Quark parka, which is included with every Quark expedition, and yours to keep.


Explore the Arctic Watch Experience: Download the Guide


The Low-Down on Layering

Layering is essential – start with a base of merino wool, then add a jacket made of fleece or light down, as well as a windproof and waterproof shell.

  • Base-Layer - Choose from synthetic fibers or merino wool/wool blends that are breathable (not cotton).  
  • Mid-Layer -  Combined with your base layer this will keep you warn throughout the day. If you start to get hot you can always remove a layer.  
  • Outer-Layer - Quark’s 3-in-1 parka.

Arctic Accessories

  • Gloves - light fleece with a liner, and a water-proof pair for back-up.
  • Waterproof (not just water resistant) pants.
  • Warm pyjamas.
  • Sweater and fleece top.
  • Silk or polypropylene underwear.
  • Ear plugs and/or eye mask (if you are a light sleeper).
  • Sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Scarf, buff, or neck warmer.
  • Hat or toque, and/or earmuffs.
  • Prescription or over-the-counter medicine.  

 What should you pack to take on your Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge expedition?

Image credit: Rachel Hilton

Footwear & Muck Boots

  • Layered wool and synthetic socks to help keep your feet dry and warm.  
  • Muck boots, specialized footwear for the Arctic outdoors – they’re walking boots with hiking soles – will be supplied to you by Quark during your stay.
  • Inside the lodge, you’ll be provided with a pair of crocs. It can be quite entertaining to see everyone wearing a different colored crocs to dinner!

What should you pack for your Arctic Watch expedition?

Image credit: Fokus

Other gear and apparel to keep you warm, dry and comfortable can be found on Quark’s online gear shop

Important Items to Pack for the Arctic

 A camera and photography gear are a must if you want to be able to capture stunning wildlife and landscape photos and videos – and you will. Remember to bring:

  • Extra memory cards.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Battery charger.
  • Waterproof day bag for camera & equipment.
  • Zoom lens to take close-up images of wildlife and belugas.

Quark Expeditions pax at Arctic Watch

Image credit: Fokus

Pack carefully – there's a weight limit of 44 pounds per person on the charter flight to the lodge from Yellowknife.

Want to learn more about planning your own adventure at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge?


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