How to Dress for the Weather

Winter Aurora Season

There’s a saying in Churchill that goes, “There’s no such thing as cold weather, just cold clothing.” While most people would beg to differ, we cannot understate the importance of wearing good gear. During Aurora Season in the winter months temperatures can drop below -50 C. We recommend dressing in layers starting with thermal underwear and a thick pair of wool socks followed by snow pants, a thick sweater or hoodie and a winter parka. For gloves, we strongly recommend wearing a pair of glove liners underneath your mitts to prevent operating your camera with bare hands. A neck warmer and toque are also essential to keeping safe and warm during the winter months.

Summer/Fall Season

It’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach the mid 20’s in the summer, the Northern sun can be quite strong especially when out on the water. We recommend bringing a hat or ballcap. We also recommend bringing a waterproof windbreaker in case the winds shift North and bring cool air to the area. A good pair of waterproof hiking boots will come in handy on the hikes out to the Ithaka shipwreck.

Polar Bear Season

In October/November temperatures can range from +10 C to -20 C, but the air will feel bone chillingly damp and cold. We also frequently experience strong winds and recommend dressing in layers similar to Aurora Season. 


It is important to keep in mind that despite having a grocery store and a pharmacy, we are still relatively isolated in Churchill and don’t carry a lot of specialty items. If you have any dietary or health concerns, please let us know prior to your arrival.


We strongly recommend bringing a reusable coffee mug and water bottle to help cut back on waste.


With Covid19 precautions in place we also recommend bringing your own set of binoculars to help spot wildlife. 


If you’re a serious photographer and are coming to photograph wildlife a good telephoto lens with an extender and a tripod are recommended. The cold can often drain batteries, be sure to bring extra and charge them overnight. Bringing extra memory cards and an external hard drive to back up your images is never a bad idea.

For Northern Lights photography we recommend bringing a wide angle lens with a low aperture. The lower the aperture the better it will perform in low light conditions. A tripod is also essential for any long exposure images. Make sure to also pack a headlamp to avoid fidgeting in the dark with your equipment.

In the field it is important to keep gear safe and organized.  We have found the best way to do that is with Gura Gear bags (https://guragear.com).  In particular, the Kiboko line of bags’ unique design lends itself well to changing lenses and keeping organized while in the field.  We have arranged a discount for Discover Churchill guests using the discount code “discoverchurchill” at checkout.