What to Bring
A long lens (400mm and up), a wide angle and everything in between is what I recommend for this Polar Bear Tour. Every encounter is different and various focal lengths will ensure you’re ready for any given situation.
Here’s what’s in my camera bag for reference:
- 600mm F4
- 1.4 extender
- 2 camera bodies
Clothing and Accessories Recommendation
Most of the time during our polar bear workshop will be spent photographing in wide open fields in a variety of winter conditions.
Temperatures in the months of January and February can vary from -5Cels to -25Cels not including the wind factor. The key to keeping warm is in layering and your choice of clothing.
- Toque/beanie (windproof if your jacket has no hood)
- Balaclava (with an opening in the mouth area to prevent camera viewfinder fogging)
- Neck warmer
- Sunglasses or Ski goggles (snow acts as a reflector and can easily irritate your eyes)
- Lip balm
- One or two long- sleeve base layers (synthetic or wool is best)
- A warm hoodie (RAB makes an excellent one: Power Stretch Pro Hoody )
- A warm winter parka or jacket (preferably with a hood)
To keep my hands warm in cold weather, I wear a good pair of ski gloves that allows me to operate my camera. And on very cold days, I insert a chemical hand warmer (supplied during the workshop) in each glove for extra warmth. Some will layer their gloves (thinner one to operate the camera and a warmer one to cover the other pair while not shooting) and some will wear mitts with a built-in glove that can be accessed by “flipping” the mitt. My recommendation is to find a system that works for YOU.
A popular photography glove system amongst photographers is the Heat3 Smart Glove.
I use a 3-layer system to keep my legs warm. Thick fitted long underwear that transfers moisture away from the skin, quick dry pants and insulated ski pants (with inner thigh venting for heat regulation).
Thick pair of wool socks and a good pair of winter boots keeps my feet warm while out on the frozen fields. When shopping for boots, don’t be sold solely by “cold ratings” such as “rated for -100Cels”, the cold will eventually penetrate the best boot out there if you’re standing still. The trick is to keep your feet moving on very cold days. Look for a boot that goes mid way from your ankle to your knee, has a thick rubber sole, and a removable inner boot system (dries quickly should they get wet).