Chris says that going on a trip is the worst time to buy a new camera. Don't do it. Use the camera you are most comfortable with so you're not wasting time learning your camera while trying to capturing that "Kodak moment." You want to relax, not be stressed out. Also, avoid a new tripod. Shoot what you know and love. The more relaxed you are, the better your photos will be. Avoid stuff that gets between you and the photo. A ton of protective accessories can be frustrating, but a good filter can't hurt. Make sure you smile a lot when trying to take pictures of people.
Chris is back from his Arctic adventure in Svalbard, the highest place you can get in the Arctic. You can see his photos at tfttf.com/sp.
One tip he learned is to not worry about the weather. It will change, but that change brings opportunity as it brings new conditions and new photos. So relax about the weather and just use it.