[Is Antarctica calling? If so, check out Erik Larsen’s account of how to get to the big ice sheet. And consider taking along our BLUE WATER LENSES, which are perfect for blocking reflective light. —Brian H. at Revo]

It used to be that traveling to Antarctica meant playing Russian roulette with your life. Tourism to the coldest, driest, and windiest place on Earth started in earnest in the 1950s, but even 15 years ago, getting there was a challenge. These days, trips to the continent can be tackled with (relative) ease. Just look at the numbers—last year, 37,405 visitors made the trip south, compared with 10,000 in 1999 and zero in 1914.  

Still, it’s the most remote and forbidding stretch of wilderness in the world, exponentially more difficult to reach than nearly every other landmass. You’ll need a permit and you’ll have to follow the Antarctic Conservation Act, which prohibits tampering with the ecosystem in any way. I’ve been to Antarctica four times, and if you want to step foot on the bottom of the world, I can safely say that you have only five options to get there.

#1: Become a Villager: The least expensive (and longest-term) way to reach Antarctica is to work for one of the Antarctic research stations. The United States National Science Foundation (NSF) operates three bases on the continent: Palmer, Amundsen-Scott South Pole, and McMurdo. But you don’t have to have to be a scientist to land a gig. They need operational support such as cooks, plumbers, snow shovelers, pilots, and forklift drivers. Lockheed Martin is the private contractor that operates the U.S. Antarctic research facilities. Check its website for available positions. … [CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY]

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Photo: “IF THIS PICTURE DOESN’T MAKE YOU WANT TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT….NOTHING WILL!“ by SF BRIT licensed under CC BY 2.0