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Image: Mittens - Louis Trudel, Hubert Wilkins, 1938-1939
Source: Museum Victoria
The conditions of Antarctica mean that protective clothing is of particular importance. These conditions are of two main types: wet-cold and dry-cold.
Wet-cold conditions prevail on sub-Antarctic islands, and around parts of the Antarctic coastline. In these conditions, staying dry is vital so outer layers, and especially footwear must be reasonably waterproof.
On the Antarctic continent itself, conditions are generally dry-cold, with lower humidity and much lower temperatures. In these conditions adequate ventilation is crucial. Otherwise too much sweat builds up and freezes, creating a layer of ice on or inside the clothing.
Early Antarctic explorers adopted clothing that had used in Arctic exploration, or mountaineering expeditions. Much of this clothing was not well suited to the dry-cold conditions of Antarctica and proved to be too bulky and not sufficiently ventilated.
Established after World War II, the Australian Antarctic division initially sourced nearly all of its clothing from military surplus, from Australia, Britain and the USA. As experience with Antarctic conditions grew, clothing items began to be specifically designed by the Division, although footwear and handwear were particularly difficult items and continued to be purchased from military supplies for some time.
Today Australian Antarctic Division clothing is obtained from both off-the-shelf sources, as well as being manufactured to Antarctic Division specifications. Although new synthetic fibres have greatly changed the look and feel of much Antarctic clothing, many basic items have proved themselves of enduring value.
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 1 - 10) 30 items
These traditional ski boots boots made by Tricouni Brevete were used in ski resorts generall y in the 1960s. They were used by Phillip G. Law from 1960 onwards in Antarctica - only wit ...Images: 1
Pair of fur mittens made by Louis Trudel Ltd. They were originally owned by Australian aviator Sir Hubert Wilkins, and subsequently by Australian Antarctic Division Director Dr Phillip ...Images: 3
U.S. Army issue trigger finger mittens/gloves, circa 1954. Some of these mittens/gloves were purchased for use by individual ANARE personnel, however they were not in general use by ANA ...Images: 1
Japanese issue mittens, presented to Australian Antarctic Division Director Dr Phillip Law by the Japanese Antarctic Expedition. They are part of Museum Victoria's collection of artefa ...Images: 1
Snow shoe made by Brewer Sports Industries of Australia, Melbourne circa 1947. This is the type of snow shoe used by the Australian Antarctic Expedition in 1947. It is part of Museum Vi ...Images: 3
Cotton string singlet used by Australian geologist Ian Macleod on expedition to Antarctica in 1958. McLeod was one of ANARE's most experienced geologists, for expeditions to the Antarct ...Images: 1
Alternative Name/s: Pair of Pants Ventile trousers designed by ANARE for use in the Antarctic and manufactured by the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory. They are part of a field ...Images: 1
Alternative Name/s: Anorak, jacket Ventile parka designed by ANARE for use in the Antarctic and manufactured by the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory. It is part of a field suit ...Images: 1
Experimental issue black leather cap designed by Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) and worn in Antarctica. Part of Museum Victoria's collection of artefacts fr ...Images: 3
Blue vinyl cap issued by ANARE for use in Antarctica sometime after 1966. This is part of Museum Victoria's collection of artefacts from the post-war era of scientific exploration of A ...Images: 1