Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is preparing to head to Antarctica with World Expeditions.
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is preparing to head to Antarctica with World Expeditions.

Always do this at Singapore airport

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki - aka "Dr Karl" - has become a household name thanks to his ability to explain complex scientific theories and concepts in layman's terms.

And just as he's able to make science look easy, when it comes to packing, the high IQ endowed national treasure applies his same non-nonsense principles.

Whether it be on an expedition to Mongolia, Tibet, or Antarctica - where he's leading a voyage this month - the author, presenter, podcaster and commentator has a suitcase checklist to cover every possible scenario,

 

MY PACKING STYLE IS …

Variable depending on the purpose of the trip. If I'm travelling for leisure, I'm comparatively disorganised and more last minute. For work trips however, I'm hyper organised. I believe there are two types of luggage: hand luggage and lost luggage. I'm a platinum flyer, so I'm allowed two carry-on bags and they're deliberately chosen to be maximum legal size and that's all I take.

One contains all my electronic stuff to make the gig happen - every possible adaptor for audio, video and power, so much so that security used to ask what everything was, so now I tell them I'm a DJ! - and the second bag has my two computers in it. I have both computers on the stage, so, if one fails, I have a spare ready to go instantly. My clothes also go into the computer bag.

 

THE 'JUST IN CASE' ITEM I ALWAYS PACK IS …

Seasickness medication. I don't get seasick usually, but I know most people do and you never know, so some sort of medication is essential. Ginger works to a degree, but there's a drug called Ondansetron which is excellent. You can't buy it in Australia without a script but you can it over-the-counter in Singapore Airport, so I'd suggest anyone heading on a cruise to stock up when they're next there.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is escorting an an 11-day Antarctic cruise with World Expeditions from November 24.
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is escorting an an 11-day Antarctic cruise with World Expeditions from November 24.

MY LUGGAGE IS …

Good quality and from Samsonite. One has wheels and a hard case and always contains two computers and my clothes, the other is a pilot or nav bag style and it contains all my leads and adaptors and my bagged toiletries. I adhere to Winston Churchill's advice that the best is generally good enough.

 

I PACK FOR A TRIP BY …

Thinking about where I'm going. In Australia, you don't need many clothes wherever you go. If it's cold, I just walk faster to warm up and, of course, I can buy something if I really need it. I've escorted trips to Svaldbard, Mongolia and Tibet, where there aren't shops on every corner, so I have to think a lot more about what I'm taking when I'm going there.

 

MY ESSENTIALS FOR AN ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION INCLUDE …

Clothes made of natural fibres that I can layer. Most people don't realise that you actually don't need waterproof gear in Antarctica, as it never actually rains. I think double gloves are essential, so you can take the outer layer off and then use your fingers to adjust your camera or whatever. Speaking of, a camera and back-up camera gear is super-important. I always take spare camera batteries as well.

World Expeditions ship MV Ortelius. Picture: Kyle Super
World Expeditions ship MV Ortelius. Picture: Kyle Super

 

MY OUTFIT WHEN I TRAVEL …

On work trips, I wear a corporate suit, bright shirt and proper dress shoes. My clothes are always made of 100 per cent natural fibres, including closed-in leather shoes, in case there's a fire - synthetic fibres melt into your skin. They also don't breath, so they make you sweat, which is really bad in Antarctica, because you can end up dying if you get wet and then cold.

 

I NEVER BOARD A FLIGHT WITHOUT …

A book or a science journal, noise reduction headphones and emergency T-shirt, undies and socks. For the past 10 years of so, I've always carried a gas mask on flights as well. It's roughly the size of a cigarette packet but only about 3mm thick. It has an in-built charcoal filter so it absorb fumes and smoke, giving me enough time to get out in an emergency.

 

MY WASH BAG STAPLES INCLUDE …

All the usual stuff: toothbrush, toothpaste, toothpicks, dental floss, bandaids, emergency soap and Sorbolene cream, which I use to wash and moisturise.

 

MY TOP EXPEDITION PACKING HACK …

Is to bag everything to make items waterproof, so there's never a drama if anything leaks. Also, always carry toilet paper in your pocket - you never know when or where you'll need it!

 

World Expeditions' MV Ortelius in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Picture: Kyle Super
World Expeditions' MV Ortelius in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Picture: Kyle Super

 

I MAKE A HOTEL ROOM FEEL LIKE HOME BY …

Using a travelling clothesline to hang up washing. When I'm away for any length of time, I wash clothes so I can re-wear them. Actually, I wear the clothes in the shower and wash them that way. I then hang them up in the room and that makes it feel like my space. I also like to unpack all my toiletries in the bathroom as soon as I arrive.

 

MY PACKING RESOLUTION IS …

To pack ahead of time for my leisure trips. It's so much less stressful packing for a business trip, because I know that I absolutely have to do it and I know what I need to do. When it's for my own getaway I'm much less disciplined!

 

Dr Karl will escort an 11-day Antarctic cruise in November 2019 for World Expeditions.



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