Clothing

An expeditioner wearing a red immersion suit floats in the ocean
Expeditioner wearing an immersion suit (Photo: Rowan Butler)
Students will consider what clothes they would need in Antarctic and sub-antarctic conditions - what they are made out of and what types of items? They are encouraged to investigate different types of clothing in specialist camping shops and then contribute their own ideas and designs.
  • Ask students to discuss the fabrics that they normally wear; e.g. cotton, wool, fleece. Have them read the labels on their clothing and write down the materials listed.
    • Which are the warmest and which keep you cool?
    • What do you use to keep you dry?
    • Do some fabrics allow more air movement than others?
    • What role do hats play in regulating body temperature?
    • What happens when you take your hat off?
    • What happens when you put your hat on?
  • Ask students to survey the gear in an outdoor or camping shop, or ask a representative from one of these shops to talk to your class about items of clothing and equipment and their characteristics, such as warmth, insulation, weight, and waterproofing. Examine and discuss samples that demonstrate these characteristics.
  • Discuss the clothing worn by Antarctic expeditioners. Consider the sorts of properties that you need in clothing that will be worn in the Antarctic. Compare Antarctic clothing with clothing required in the sub-antarctic (where it rains much of the time), and in your own daily life.

A3 posters: Antarctic clothing [PDF], sub-antarctic clothing [PDF] and Clothing extras [PDF].

  • Ask students to examine photos of expeditioners outside in the Antarctic.
    • What items of clothing can they identify?
    • What are they made from, and why are they used?
  • Ask the students to design an innovative piece of clothing for the Antarctic.
  • The activities available in the Weather and Windiest… units would complement these activities.
This page was last modified on January 23, 2014.