Photographer Andrew Smith and I went to the Arctic in mid-March, while it was still winter. It was routinely -25 Celsius, more often than not with blowing snow and strong gusting winds.
You can try to prepare yourself as best as possible, and we felt we had. We had thick down jackets, snow pants, wind pants, many, many layers. We wore two pairs of gloves, including these thick heavy-duty wind-proof mittens that were life-savers.
Boots were massive, and I have to be honest even with all the snow and ice my feet never got cold.
Throw in a nice balaclava, thick ski cap, and goggles and that is the total package.
So most of the time, whenever we left the house, hotel, or airplane hangar (I will explain that one later) we had to bundle up.
You would be surprised how draining it is waking up, after a really long day the day before – knowing you have to get fully ensconced in all that clothing and drag yourself out into sub-freezing snow, wind, and ice and work all day.
Once you are out the door and moving, and checking out the amazing environment, things changed. I won’t say you forgot how cold it was, but there is that wonderful recognition you are seeing something very few get to see.
To me, it was amazing how the locals were hardened to the cold. I seriously don’t know how they do it.
Here’s a quick video to show you what we needed to take on the elements.