and Personal Effects
Your choice of clothing and personal effects can make or break
your Arctic holiday.
With the proper clothing and equipment, you'll find few obstacles
to enjoying yourself. The clothing and equipment you need when
visiting the North depends on when you are coming and what you
are planning to do.
In most of Nunavut, summer weather is equivalent to cool spring
or fall conditions. The climate can vary dramatically from one
region to another. Coastal sections of the Kivalliq and Baffin
regions occasionally experience days that are warm enough for
short sleeves.. The air is usually chilly and nights can be
very cold. Kugluktuk in the Kitikmeot region can have hot spells
of up to 30° C..
Expect conditions near the water to be cold all summer. Warmer
weather is possible in the interior. T-shirts may be comfortable
on many days and come in handy as undershirts in cooler weather.
Check on the weather for the region you are planning to visit.
A good breathable set of rain gear, top and bottom is essential
for summer travel to the communities.
Arctic dress is casual. Elderly Inuit ladies wear skirts with
trousers underneath. Nearly everyone wears pants, sweat suits
or tights, usually with T-shirts, casual shirts and sweaters.
Foot gear should be low-heeled and sturdy. Footwear with ankle
support is excellent for walking on the tundra. Heavy leather
hiking boots are necessary if you plan to walk extensively on
the land. Rubber boots with heavy felt or duffel liners and/or
heavy wool socks are crucial for those planning fishing or sightseeing
trips on freighter canoes. Be sure to bring warm wool or pile
sweaters for cool summer days and nights.
If you plan to visit a community in winter you will need to
bring a warm coat or parka. Choose winter gear with a good hood
and a face-protecting ruff. Low-heeled warm boots, a scarf,
a close fitting knitted hat, and windproof mitts are other essentials.
Long underwear, turtlenecks, sweaters and warm trousers are
all necessary if you plan to go outside. Windproof outer pants
or pile-lined wind pants are indispensable. Goggles are also
great for winter snowmobile trips.
You should bring good sunglasses with UV (ultraviolet) filters.
The sun is up at least 20 hours a day in the summer. Reflection
off the snow can be intense in the spring. Anyone without sunglasses
who is out on the land in the spring risks snow-blindness. A
cap with a brim is essential in spring and summer. Remember,
baseball caps are a sure bet for visitors who like to trade!
Spring sunburns from forehead to neck are very common in the
Arctic. An 'arctic tan' is a very brown face and hands and pale
skin everywhere else.You should plan to bring a good sunblock.
It is also a good idea to bring moisturizing lotion and lip
salve since the climate is dry. The Co-op store in each community
will usually carry the items you may have forgotten.
Most hotels and lodges have outlets for razors and hair dryers
that operate on the standard 120-volt North American system.
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