IPGA considers the following items to be mandatory when planning a polar expedition. Use this resource during your planning and prior to departure. Contact IPGA if you have any questions or concerns about your expedition or its planning.
Is every person in your team capable of undertaking the physical, mental and emotional aspects of your proposed expedition?
If you are being guided on your expedition, does your guide have relevant experience ie. planning and guiding skills, knowledge of the area and ice/weather conditions?
Has the route been attempted before?
If so, have you consulted with people who have relevant and current experience and data?
If not, do you have current information on conditions in your proposed area?
Is the route feasible within the available window of travel?
Does your equation of distance : time window : food : stove fuel, add up?
Are you carrying appropriate and polar-proven equipment for the route and conditions?
Have you consulted with others on the appropriateness of your equipment?
Are you carrying equipment to deal with hazards specific to your route ie. thin ice, crevasses, polar bears, extreme cold?
Is someone in your team skilled in the use of this equipment and has the equipment been tested prior to departure?
Are you carrying adequate spare and repair items?
Do you know the energy required (in calories or kilojoules) per person for your proposed conditions, duration, workload, gender?
Have you considered the daily stove fuel burn rate per person/tent?
Are you carrying reliable communications in the event of an emergency ie. satellite telephone with active SIM, registered tracking and/or emergency beacon?
Do you have a reliable power source for the duration of the expedition ie spare batteries, solar or wind power?
Do you have a list of emergency numbers readily available if required?
Do you have redundancy in your communications ie. backup phone?
Do you have a reliable GPS and backup to communicate your position?
Do you have an emergency plan ie. under what circumstances will you call for help, who will you call first, support team liaison, insurer contacts?
Do you have an adequate medical kit and are you familiar with all contents?
Are you or someone in your team wilderness first-aid trained?
Have you considered the detrimental environmental impacts of your expedition?
If going to Antarctica, have you completed an Advanced Notification and Environmental Impact Assessment and been issued a permit?
How will you manage your rubbish and human waste?
Have you considered the impact of your expedition on towns, bases or other communities that you will pass through?
Are you required to contact people in these towns, bases or communities?