This is a crucial question when you decide to spend your next winter holidays in Lapland. It pops up in your mind the first time you decide to visit Lapland. You keep thinking about it when you decide to book the activities, and it will be still in your head the day that you start packing your luggage for the trip.
So, here we come with some advice to enjoy our fresh and chilly winter weather, where the temperatures can drop bellow -40°C (-40°F). Ok, that is (very) cold but also unusual. The temperatures that we will normally face are more likely between -15°C and -25°C (5°F and -13°F).
What to include in the luggage
I don’t recommend to spend a lot of money buying expensive winter and technical stuff in your home country, specially if you are not going to use them later to do winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding. But there are some basic clothes which will make your experience warmer (I mean less cold) in your visit to Lapland.
The warmest way to dress is by using a system of layers. Each layer has its own functions so, for different layers, we will have different kind of clothes and fabrics.
Base layer keeps you dry
This is the layer which is in contact with your skin, and it has to be designed to keep you dry no matter what you are doing: just standing or moving. Normally its tight-fitting, and you can choose different material such as merino wool or synthetic fibers. Merino wool is natural and warm, but it dries slower. The synthetic fibers will keep you normally dry, even if you are doing active activities, since they move the moisture out to the next layer.
You’ll find them in different thickness. The thicker is normally the warmer
Mid Layer: nice and warm
This is the one which will be in contact with your base layer. As the first layer, it should keep you dry and move the moisture away from your body, but it has to insulate too. The best fabrics for the mid layer would be wool (again) and fleece. And again, wool is less recommended if you are planning to do some more active stuff.
For this layer, better two than just one. Normally I have one tightly to the body and another one a bit more loose.
Outer layer: protection agains the elements
This is the final layer, the one which is in contact with the elements. Here it would be good idea to get some fabrics which are windproof. Most expensive are Windstopper and Goretex, but you will definitely find cheaper fibers which do the trick. If you are skier, you will be fine with your ski jacket.
Down jackets and jackets filled with synthetic fibers are good too. And actually, any winter jacket that you might have should be fine for moving around the town if you have a good base and mid layer.
For trousers, ski pants work well, but you won’t need to buy one just for the trip. Think that we, living here, use regular trousers in our daily rutines. So just take the warmest pants you have, and use the equipment provided for the activity companies to have fun, be outdoors and roll on the snow
For the activities you won’t need this outer layer, as you will be using the mentioned equipment provided from the activity companies. We’ll write soon about this equipment.
For the hands, you can use as a base layer silk gloves, and on the top of them better to use winter mittens than gloves. Mittens are warmer than the gloves.
For the feet, you can again use a double layer. Do not use cotton socks, and rather use silk (base layer) and wool socks as second layer.
The shoes/boots should be at least one size too big. If your feet feel really tight inside the shoes, you will feel cold soon. The blood needs to circulate well, and also keep in mind that one of the best insulation comes from the air… so better to have the feet a bit loose insdide the shoes.
And again, do not spend a lot of money for the shoes: the activity companies have good boots to borrow for the activities.
Last but not least, do not forget to cover your head. You will be losing heat through your head if you don’t keep it warm. Use always a hat when you are outdoors.
That’s all. Have a good and warm trip to Lapland!