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Packing for your Arctic safari can be simple and stress-free with a little help from the Churchill Wild team. Here, you will learn how to stay warm and comfortable, save space, reduce clutter and ensure you have everything you need–and only what you need–on your summer adventure with Churchill Wild.

Arctic summers can bring rain, heat, wind and bugs. They also bring a lot of beauty, wildlife, and “wow” moments, which make up for the fluctuating conditions.

The key when preparing for a summer Arctic safari is to pack a variety of clothes for layering, along with a few other essentials.

First, you’ll want to ensure you have the right type of luggage: it’s essential to come packed in a soft-sided duffel bag. You’re allowed one checked bag weighing no more than 50 lbs (22 kg) and up to two carry-on items, provided their combined weight does not exceed 9 kg (20 lb).

Space on flights to Churchill and from Churchill to your chosen wildlife eco-lodge is always at a premium. Using a soft-sided duffel bag as your checked item ensures that space can be maximized.

Your duffel bag can have a bottom frame with wheels, but the sides and top MUST be collapsible. We love this one and this one from L.L.Bean. For summer trips, this size of bag is sufficient, though you can bring one that has up to a 90 L capacity, so long as the total dimensions (L + W + H) do not exceed 55” or 138 cm.

Happy dresser uppers at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Colourful too! Nancy Herter photo.

Happy dresser uppers at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Colourful too! Nancy Herter photo.

Now that you’ve got the proper bag let’s fill it up! For all guests visiting between July and September, this is what you’ll need:


Layers are your best friend. Bring enough t-shirts (long and short-sleeved), pants, light sweaters and/or fleeces for your stay.


There are a few other items that are essential to keep you comfortable. These are:

  • A warm spring or fall jacket
  • A sun hat with a brim
  • Indoor shoes or slippers

Recommended Items

These additional items will make your adventure that much more enjoyable:

  • Binoculars
  • A small day pack to bring on excursions
  • A dry bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • A bug jacket or head net (This is especially important in July and August)

DO NOT BRING YOUR OWN BUG REPELLENT. The regional airline we partner with does not allow passengers to transport this item. We will have bug spray available at the lodge for you to use if needed.

Nature's warmth at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Allison Francoeur photo.

Nature’s warmth at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Allison Francoeur photo.

Wondering about waterproof outerwear for rainy days or marine tours? We’ve got you covered! We have rain gear available at Seal River Heritage Lodge and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge and can loan you a jacket and pants for your stay. When you go out in the Zodiacs to view beluga whales, we will set you up with waterproof jackets that double as personal floatation devices.

For those of you joining us for a September polar bear safari, here are a few more items you will want to bring in addition to those outlined above:

  • A pair of thin mitts or gloves
  • A warm sweater or heavy fleece
  • A light parka
  • Wool hiking socks
  • A knit of fleece hat
  • Long/thermal underwear

The weather can be very unpredictable in September and can change in an instant. Summer turns to fall on the Hudson Bay coast earlier than in the more southern areas, so the more prepared you are for a variety of conditions, the more enjoyable your trip will be. You wouldn’t want to miss out on an excursion because the weather turns chilly, and you don’t have the proper gear to keep you comfortable.

Prepared for wind and water at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Glenn Bloodworth photo.

Prepared for wind and water at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Glenn Bloodworth photo.

If you get a bit chilly while exploring the coast, you’ll quickly warm up during cocktail hour back at the lodge as you snack on hot appetizers in front of our wood-burning fireplace. If that doesn’t quite trick, a full-course meal of our tundra-inspired cuisine enjoyed with new friends should warm your body and soul.

Now go get packing – our wildlife is waiting to meet you!

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Please note: Our staff will be away from the office for a team building retreat May 23 - May 25, 2024.