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McMurdo Station Antarctica Winterover Grocery Shopping

Both of us were granted one week for R and R before the start of the winter here at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. We spent one whole week in Christchurch, New Zealand.

After being on The Ice for six months, it was awesome to have good food again. We regularly ate McDonald’s, sushi and other ethnic foods. And let me tell you, McDonald’s food in New Zealand is 100 times better than McDonald’s in the USA. All the meat and veggies are sourced locally. The burgers are amazing! I’m going to miss them.

So how does one prepare to spend eight more months in Antarctica? You go grocery shopping! Here is how you prepare:

  1. Leave every thing at McMurdo except for what you are wearing and toiletries for one week. You must wear your ECW to fly so that does not count.
  2. Take both of your orange issue bags and thick boxes that will fit inside them when zipped. The boxes are to prevent your groceries from being crushed on the flight back to McMurdo.
  3. Take the largest pack you can carry on the plane. The idea here is that it will be easy to transport all of your groceries from the store and to the CDC. This may not apply if you can get a ride or rent a car. We took the bus around so it made sense to haul things in a pack instead of lugging around full grocery bags.

When you arrive at the airport  in Christchurch, this is the time to pick up your booze at the duty-free shop. From here you will walk to the CDC across the street and you will drop off all of your issued gear. This will lighten your load to enjoy R and R.

Throughout the week we would walk to the grocery store and pick up a few items here and there, collecting what would be our winter stash. Wanna see it?

Groceries for Antarctica

Groceries for Antarctica


Some items listed we picked up later. Here is the complete list of what we brought:
  • Chips
  • Noodles
  • Soups
  • Booze/Wine
  • Spreads
  • Sausages
  • Crackers
  • Cheese
  • Sugar cereals
  • Beef jerky
  • Cookies
  • Milk
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Plums

We arrived at the CDC a few hours early to pack our goodies. We took what we purchased and placed it into the boxes we brought with us. We left these inside the orange bags. Think of this as your checked luggage.

We placed the fruits, milk, and a few other things we wanted to keep close to us in our carry on.

When we deployed back to The Ice our baggage limit was 150 pounds each. We did not even come close to this. There really is no reason to not have what you want when you get back to McMurdo.


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