What I Packed for a Week in the Arctic!

Iqaluit Sunset over buildings

 

It’s November! And I’m on my way to Iqaluit, Nunavut for the week, after a quick overnight in Ottawa. And in my usual style, I packed everything last minute. So, sorry that the photos aren’t the greatest – I was working on a non-existent timeline 🙂

 

So let’s cut to the chase.

 

What am I bringing?

The Challenge

 

This was a bit of a challenge for me. There’s nothing I hate more than carrying around a ton of stuff (it’s really the worst!). I always feel so bad for the folks I see wandering around airports with multiple huge bags full of stuff they’re probably not going to use on their vacation. It makes me cringe. I hate being overburdened with stuff.

 

The last few solo trips I’ve taken, I’ve brought this small backpack, that’s actually the day pack attachment to my main travel backpack, this awesome Osprey Farpoint 55.

 

About the Osprey Farpoint 55

The Main Pack

 

I’m going to rant about this bag for a minute, so feel free to skip ahead if you’re bored! This bag really is terrific. (No, they’re not paying me to say that – but I wish they would!). I can’t say enough good things about this bag. First off, it’s really two bags in one. The main bag is 40 litres and is great for packing all the stuff you’ll never need on your flight(s) like most of your clothes and toiletries, extra shoes and that sort of thing. I find it to be pretty spacious overall. It also has a zipper all the way around it, so that it opens to the side like a suitcase. This is so key, because you don’t have to pull everything out of the bag just to get one small thing.

 

Osprey backpack and daypack

 

The pack also has a bunch of built in support, with a chest and hip strap that makes its pretty comfortable to wear. The chest strap also has a built in safety whistle which is pretty cool.

 

But the number one thing I love about this bag is that all the straps can be zipped up into the bag, so that they wont catch on anything. This is perfect for when you check it in on your flight, because it saves having to wrap it up in a bunch of plastic (which is mandatory on a lot of airlines, if your bag has loose straps), or check it separately in the oversized bag section (which I’ve also had happen and is seriously annoying).

 

 

The Day Pack

 

The second part of the bag is a 15L day pack that zips on and off of the main pack. Its a perfect carry on, and has a built in laptop sleeve and everything. This is the bag that I mentioned above, that I’ve taken by itself on my last few trips. Alas, not this time sadly.

 

The unfortunate part about going to Iqaluit in November, is that one needs to bring warm winter clothes. And unlike clothes for spring or summer, they take up a lot of room! So, I’m back to using the main pack this time around.

 

 

Alright, so what’s in it?

 

In the Main Pack:

Clothes:

 

  • 2 pairs of jeans (including my new favourite ones from the thrift store that have a sweet galaxy pattern on them)
  • 4 shirts to layer (2 long sleeves, 1 tank top, 1 t-shirt)
  • 1 pair of sweatpants, the comfiest pyjamas ever
  • 7 pairs of underwear, 7 pairs of socks (I could do laundry while I’m there but I had extra space so…)
  • 1 bra (count yourself lucky dudes that you don’t have to worry this stuff…)
  • 1 swim suit, 1 sports bra (I like to workout and there’s a rec centre)
  • 1 light zipper sweater (to layer)
  • 1 synthetic wool sweater (to layer)

Winter Clothes/Boots:

 

  • 1 pair of Bogs winter boots (I just bought them but I love them already! Bogs has so many vegan styles it was hard to choose! I ended up going with these)
  • 1 winter skirt (this thing is the bomb. It’s an insulated winter skirt that goes over whatever you’re wearing like snow pants, but is way more lightweight and easier to put on. And it’s vegan! they have other styles that aren’t, but the original skirt is)
  • 1 toque (or winter hat/beanie? for you non-Canadian folks)
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • 1 scarf

 

 

Toiletries:

 

  • Small hairbrush
  • Some supplements
  • Floss
  • Brush Naked bamboo toothbrush
  • Small reusable container filled with toothpaste (I use Green Beaver Frosty Mint natural toothpaste)
  • Oneka shampoo, conditioner and body gel mini bottles (I never by mini items because I find it extremely wasteful, but these were given to me)
  • Nail clippers
  • Piper Wai natural deodorant (this stuff is great – it actually works! And it’s vegan!)
  • Sappho foundation (it’s vegan!)
  • Sappho finishing powder (it’s vegan!)
  • Zuii Cosmetics Blush  (it’s vegan!)
  • Sante eyeliner pencil (it’s vegan! Seeing a theme here?)
  • 3 Makeup brushes (vegan bristles)
  • Karma perfume by Lush (my favourite, and its vegan of course!)
  • Wink by Kindara (its a basal thermometer that connects via bluetooth to the Kindara app. I use the fertility awareness method as a natural, non-hormonal form of birth control)

 

Other Stuff:

 

  • A small purse (for when I’m not in transit, and don’t want to carry around a day pack)
  • A reusable water bottle
  • A reusable coffee mug

 

Note: I’ve left out a lot of my usual travel must-haves that I’d normally bring if I was taking a long flight, or staying in hostels. Since I’m not doing either of those things this time (the flight time from Ottawa to Iqaluit is only about 3 hours), you’ll have to wait for my post on what I’m bringing to Dublin, to hear about those. I know, the suspense is killing you 😉

 

In the Day Pack

 

  • My laptop (I work remotely and am not on vacation for this trip)
  • Laptop cables
  • Mouse and mouse pad
  • Wallet
  • Passport
  • Flight itineraries
  • Phone
  • Phone charge cables
  • Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • headphones
  • Phone charger

What I’m Wearing the Day of:

 

  • Leggings! (My favourite)
  • The usual: bra, underwear, socks, obviously
  • A comfy tshirt
  • A pair of running shoes
  • My winter coat

 

And there you have it; what I packed for a week in Iqaluit.

 

If you’re interested in more posts like this, I’ll be doing another one when I head to Dublin, Ireland at the end of the month. I’m planning on packing only what I can fit in that 15L daypack, so stay tuned for that!

 

 

 

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I’d love to hear from you. What are your packing tips? Let me know in the comments below. 

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