What to pack for a winter Lapland adventure
Have you ever wondered what it takes to dress like an Arctic explorer while dog sledding in Sweden, snowmobiling in Finland or hunting for the Northern Lights in Norway? The truth is that it is very easy to dress properly with a little bit of forward planning.
What to wear
Outdoor activities in Lapland are a great way to explore the Arctic but knowing what to wear can be a bit daunting if you have never travelled to a cold environment before. The main focus for anyone wondering what to pack for a trip to Lapland should be layers! Using lots of thin layers allows you to enjoy activities like dog sledding in Finland, snowmobiling in Sweden and Northern Lights in Norway like a local.
Next to the skin we recommend that you bring a couple of thermal base layers made of wool. This is the same for both your lower and upper body – well you done want to be getting cold when our hunting for the Northern Lights in Lapland! It is worth getting good quality base layers and ones made from Marino Wool are usually the most efficient. Avoid cotton at all costs.
This is where you add insulation to once again avoid the chill of the arctic air when you are on your Arctic activities in Lapland. A thick wool jumper is a good option or mid layer down jackets can also be a good option. On the bottom half for really cold days it can be worth adding a second layer of jogging bottoms however make sure they are not cotton.
Over the top you will need a heavy outer layer like snow pants and a good quality waterproof insulated jacket. If you’ve been skiing before – the you should be well set up. Like any wilderness adventure, Arctic Activities in Lapland can mean spending periods of time outdoors in low temperatures and some wind, however with the right equipment you will be able to comfortably be able to hunt for the northern lights in Kiruna, drive your own dogsled in Lulea and take to the hills on your own snowmobile in Abisko – all in complete comfort!
In addition to all of your base, mid and top layers, you will also want to bring several sets of wool socks. As some of the Arctic activities you will be undertaking can be physically active, and on some days, you may well be doing a daytime Arctic activity and then a Northern Lights Lapland trip in the evening, we recommend that you bring some extra pairs.
You will also need some good quality winter boots. Waterproof and insulated are the best, however if you do not have access to winter boots then a good quality walking boot is a good substitute. Ideally, they should have a good grip, be waterproof and ideally some insulation. To help give more grip, ice grips are also a good option if it is likely to be slippery underfoot.
Now that you have your body take care of, its time to think of the vital accessories. Finally, you will want to bring a high-quality pair of winter gloves and thin inner gloves are also recommended. If you get really cold hands, then good quality fingerless mittens with inner gloves are a great choice to keep you warm and give you the flexibility to tackle any Arctic activity on offer.
A windproof hat is another good option to keep you warm throughout the night’s Aurora hunt in Lapland, however any good quality winter hat will also do the job.
Many of the activity suppliers across the region, whether dog sledding in Abisko or Northern Lights guides in Tromso, will also provide additional thermal overalls boots and gloves for activities. They are all highly recommended and if given the opportunity, we recommended using them wherever possible.
Photography and lighting
Firstly, a good quality Digital SLR camera with an optical and digital zoom. You ideally want one with a good ISO range and the ability (and knowledge) to set it up manually. Add to this a good quality tripod. This is essential for Aurora photography adventures. Spare batteries are a good option as they drain quickly in the cold temperatures, as is a few zip-lock bags to stop lenses from steaming up you transition from outdoors to indoors locations.
Finally, and an essential for all Aurora hunters in Lapland, is a head torch with a red setting. You don’t want to have to hold a light to set up the camera and the red setting will help your eyes adapt to, and stay adapted to, the night sky.
Now that you have your clothes packed and are ready to take on the Arctic wilderness activities across Lapland, what else do you need to take?
As well as the regular travel documents you should ensure your travel insurance covers you for all of the Arctic activities in Lapland. Also consider that you may wish to add activities when you are there, so make sure you are covered.
Other things to pack
Other than that, it’s the usual travel essentials, your sense of adventure and a desire to experience some of the amazing Lapland activities on offer. Whether ice fishing in Sweden, dog sledding in Finland or whale watching in Norway – Visit Lapland can help you find the right activities for you.