Packing for the Artic

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Visiting Norway


was the first step on our travel bucket list. And if you’re brave enough, I strongly recommend you to explore this country in winter, to admire the harsh natural elements, the majestic cliffs, the cold icy fjords and waterfalls, and to hike on its impressive mountains. On the same note you must add Finland and its deserted landscapes, mysterious fells, mirroring lakes and iced baths. In order to do that, you need to be prepared. And in order to be prepared, you need to pack accordingly to what you will experience so that your journey will only be enjoyable. Therefore, here are some tips for you to know what to bring during an adventure passed the Arctic Circle in winter.

(that’s apparently a pose I adore)

You should focus on

Layers.

Let’s start with the base: Clothes. They need to keep you warm and isolate you from the cold, the wind, and the humidity. I packed with me several pairs of thermal underwear that I always wore under any of my clothes. Long sleeve T-Shirts and leggings made out of wool or fleece were also a must as they kept the warmth of my body in.

Talking about that: your body’s extremities are the easiest “doors” through which your warmth will escape. Therefore, having the right warm and isolating socks and scarf is a must. After that, I put on a warm wool or cashmere sweater, preferably with a turtle neck.

Once you’re warm, you need to stay this way and to keep the wind, rain or snow away. I packed with me two typed of waterproof and windproof pants (some thicker than the others) in order to wear them on top of my thermal underwear or even on top of my regular pants (jeans or tracksuits). This way I could roll around in the snow, slide on an icy slope or fall in a pound (it all happened) and still remain dry!

Regarding the upper body, I recommend a light down jacket to wear under any coat to protect you from the wind. There are super easy to fold back into a small pocket if you’re done using it. I did not have that but I’m equipped with a parka from North Face, completely water and wind proof and very warm and practical.

Accessories


Footwear wise, it’s important for you to remain warm but to also have the right shoes for the right activity. I took two pairs with me: First of all some comfortable and waterproof sneakers to wear any day I didn’t need to stand in the snow or hike in a cold weather. The other pair was winter hiking boots. There are very light, warm (almost too much sometime so I always removed them when I was in the car), completely wind and water proof, easy to tide so the snow would not come in and easy to hike with.

I only took with me one pair of gloves. Very good so far, isolating my hands very well but not for hours witch I regretted during some hikes. Though they were practical enough for me to use my camera without difficulty or cook.

Beanie wise I took four. First of all a type of shapka, waterproof with fake fur and fleece inside covering my ears and being the perfect wind isolator. Then the 100% wool beanie, and more pretty and thin one and a ear cover made of fleece that I used when the temperatures or the wind weren’t too much.


If you planning to hike in Norway or any other arctic weathered country

ice will be your worst enemy, so I strongly recommend you to buy chains for your shoes. You can find them in any sport shop. They are a bit pricy but they will save your life from falling off a cliff because you slipped, and they make your hike so much more enjoyable. I had the bad idea to climb the Pulpit Rock without them and I can assure you that I feared for my life at each step.

As extras, I would advice you to take in consideration that the cold will hurt your devices batteries. Therefore, it is smart to have external batteries with you, especially some that can hold freezing temperatures. We also carried flashlights and headlights all the time as night is coming sooner than you’re expecting it, especially if the sky is not clear, as well as walkie-talkies, just in case.

Useful Links

Below are some of the items I’ve been wearing during this trip, if you need more information don’t hesitate to comment and I’ll make sure to help you!