What on earth do I need to pack for a trip to Lapland in winter? What is the best way to dress so that I can also with -20 degrees Celsius not freezing? And what things should I never forget? If you’re asking yourself these questions, don’t worry: you’ll find the answers in our packing list.
We ourselves put some time into research months before our Lapland trip, compared various manufacturers and their products with each other and finally came up with the perfect Lapland packing list created.
Don’t worry: you really don’t have to spend a fortune to be ideally prepared for Lapland. In this blog article we will tell you where a new purchase might be worthwhile, which brands we can particularly recommend and what you should pay attention to.
1. Lapland packing list: Useful information in advance How cold is it really in Lapland in winter? Quite cold – although the temperature can fluctuate quite a bit. How low the thermometer sinks essentially depends on which month you are traveling in and to which location (north / south).
Roughly speaking, in winter in Lapland you should expect temperatures of up to -20 until -25 Set degrees Celsius, whereby it is sometimes “only” for days – degrees.
The good news: If you’re dressed properly is, it really doesn’t feel that bad on the spot. At first we really thought we would be freezing all the time. But actually it was the case that in Helsinki (with temperatures around 0 degrees Celsius and wrapped less thickly) it was colder than in Lapland.
Can I rent equipment on site? For some activities (e.g. snowmobile tour or husky sled ride) it is possible to borrow a thermal suit free of charge on site. You simply put this on over your outdoor clothing. It makes you feel a bit like a Michelin man, but the suit protects against the cold really well.
If you book a guided tour and a special accessory is absolutely necessary (e.g. helmet for snowmobile -Tour), then borrowing is usually included in the price.
Of course, it is also possible to rent certain winter sports items locally in Lapland, such as skis, cross-country skis or snowshoes. The offer varies from region to region. It is best to find out more in advance of your trip, for example from the relevant tourism association.
What are the weight limits at Finnair? With the heavy and voluminous winter clothing and equipment, the question is of course what weight no insignificant. Therefore, you should definitely book a piece of checked baggage when booking your flights.
With Finnair – the airline you will most likely fly with – the weight limit for checked baggage in Economy Class is 23 kg. In addition, there is another 8 kg for hand luggage. We didn’t exhaust both to the last kilogram, but we did quite well. It would have been impossible for us to travel with only hand luggage.
2. Clothes for Lapland Winter jacket and/or coat (lined)Ski/ thermal underwear made of merino woolFleece sweaterWool Sweater Ski pantsPossibly. lined softshell trousersJeans for the evening SweatpantsUnderwear Possibly. Bikini/bathing trunks poss. BeltPajamas / Shirt for SleepCotton bag for Dirty laundry The right jacket for Lapland Let’s start with one of the most important items of clothing in your Lapland Packing list, namely the right jacket. It should be well lined (e.g. with down) and above all big enough so that you can put on enough layers underneath. It is also important that the jacket is waterproof and ideally also windproof.
If you “only” take a jacket to Lapland, then it should ideally fall over the hips, but not be too long. (Otherwise you will find it difficult to go snowshoeing, for example). For this reason, Kathi had two different jackets with her: a longer coat (as an all-rounder) and a ski jacket (for all sporty outdoor activities).
At this point we would also like to express our recommendation for two sustainable brands. Kathi’s coat is from Elvine, a Swedish brand, and Romeo’s jacket is from Patagonia.
For underneath: Merino wool & fleece The magic word against cold is onion principle. We wouldn’t have thought of it ourselves, but with enough layers we even thought – 23 degrees not cold.
The right material is very important! Experience has shown that merino wool and fleece are best. Cotton is not (!) suitable, especially not as the bottom layer directly on the body, since cotton does not release moisture.
We personally had a long-sleeved bottom layer Merino shirt on, one or two more long-sleeved thermal or merino shirts on top and a slightly larger fleece sweater on top. (When watching the Northern Lights at night, there were even two fleece sweaters.)
We can highly recommend the following brands: Icebreaker, Patagonia, Odlo. We know that good Merino wool ski underwear is quite an investment. It’s really worth it, believe us! And because you hardly sweat in it, you can easily wear the clothes for several days in a row.
The right ski pants For most people Outdoor activities waterproof, lined trousers are absolutely necessary. This is where ski or snowboard pants come in handy. It is important that you still have space underneath for one or two layers (ideally ski underwear made of merino wool).
Snow stoppers are standard for ski pants. While these are tailored for ski boots (and therefore always a tad oversized), they still offer some protection when walking in deeper snow. The right pros also have gaiters with them.
We also had water-repellent, lined hiking pants with us, but most of the time it was just too cold for that. If you travel to Lapland a little later in winter (e.g. March), it can definitely be worth it.
3. Shoes & Socks for Lapland Winter bootsPossibly. 2. Pair of winter shoes and/or sneakers Possibly. Slippers and/or slippers Wool Socks The perfect shoes Let’s come to one of the most important points in your packing list for Lapland : the right footwear. Very important are waterproof, lined shoes with a suitable sole so that you don’t slip on snow and ice.
The absolute classic shoe brand for Lapland is Sorel. On site we really met countless people with Sorel shoes. Sorel offers a wide variety of models that are suitable for a trip to Lapland. Kathi chose the Sorel Explorer Joan model. (Be sure to order one size larger!)
Shoes from Lowa are also highly recommended. Romeo’s winter shoes come from there, and he wears the Lowa Ottawa GTX model. He was extremely happy with that in Lapland.
A second pair of shoes? For reasons of weight, the choice of shoes must of course be well considered. We each had a second pair of wintry “all-rounder shoes” with us, which we wore for dinner in the evening or when we were sightseeing in Helsinki. We personally found it very pleasant to change a bit here (especially when the shoes were still a little wet from the snow) – but it doesn’t have to be.
Depending on the accommodation, a light pair of shoes can also make sense – e.g. slippers if you spend all your time in a cabin or sneakers if you stay in a hotel.
Slippers make sense if you don’t use a private sauna (e.g. in your hut/in your room) but use public saunas.
The right socks You can also here we – unsurprisingly – above all recommend wool socks. We often only wore one pair of socks because we always had warm feet thanks to our insole warmers. (More about this insider tip follows in the next chapter of this packing list). However, many wear two pairs of socks on top of each other.
4. Comfort & Accessories Backpack (as hand luggage)Possibly. small bag (for evening)Thermal flask (+ possibly tea bags)Insole and hand warmersGloves (one thin gloves made of merino wool; one thick, waterproof mittens)CapBuff (neck warmer)SunglassesPossibly. Contact lenses & replacement glasses possibly. Ski goggles (for outdoor activities such as skiing)Possibly. Sauna towel possibly. Upholstery (Pillow) Backpack For outdoor activities (e.g. snowshoeing) is a waterproof backpack handy. It’s best if you also use it in your hand luggage. Kathi has relied on this model for years: Fjällräven High Coast Rolltop. Romeo is always on the go with this camera backpack: Lowepro FreeLine 350 AW.
Thermal jug Especially during longer stays outdoors, we were very grateful for our thermal flask, in which we always had hot tea with us. We have this model, which conveniently also comes with a mug: Primus thermal jug 0,75 l. We also packed some tea bags so we didn’t have to go shopping first.
Always warm feet & hands thanks to sole and hand warmers Our absolute lifesaver in Lapland were sole and hand warmers. You really won’t believe what a huge difference it makes if your feet and hands don’t get cold.
We contacted each other after a long time research for the heat pads from The Heat Company. How it works is quite simple: once unpacked, the heat pads start to heat up due to the reaction with oxygen. The heat lasts 8 to 12 hours (depending on the product). You can interrupt the heating process if you pack the pads airtight.
The thermal insoles are simply placed in the shoe, the hand warmers are placed in special gloves (also from The Heat Company). Then thick mittens and you always have warm hands.
The only disadvantage: This is a disposable product. So we had a set of sole and hand warmers with us for every day. Apart from that, the pads are simply brilliant and can be recommended without reservation.
Which gloves for Lapland? When choosing gloves, we can only warmly advise you to take two pairs with you and put them on top of each other. Thin finger gloves made of merino wool are suitable for underneath. We wore thick, lined mittens.
Another tip for taking photos: With thick mittens, of course, it doesn’t look so good. Romeo has put on the gloves from The Heat Company here. You can zip open the mittens there so that you can move your fingers freely. In any case, it is important that you still wear thin gloves underneath – otherwise, in the worst case, there is a risk of frostbite.
Cap Here we recommend a hat that is as warm as possible, which ideally has an additional fleece lining on the inside. (For example, ours is from Barts.) If your hat is a fairly chunky knit, we might add another thin hat or headband underneath.
The right buff cloth Absolutely We recommend a functional tube scarf – often simply called “Buff” thanks to the brand of the same name. Various outdoor brands now offer such tubular towels. Ideally, opt for a not very thin, warming buff made of merino wool or fleece.
Kathi was very satisfied with this model: Columbia CSC tubular scarf. It is a bit more voluminous than comparable tube scarves, but incredibly warm. Romeo even had two thin tube scarves with him (one made of fleece from Jack Wolfskin, one made of merino wool from Patagonia), which was also very practical.
By the way: In our opinion, a voluminous wool scarf is for outdoors -Activities in Lapland only suitable to a limited extent. The reason: When it’s very cold, ice crystals settle everywhere. Kathi had one with her, but only wore it during the day (e.g. for the walk to dinner).
Contact lenses If you wear glasses, we would advise you to take additional contact lenses with you. Especially when it’s really cold, you are unfortunately really challenged as a person who wears glasses. The glasses not only fog up, they also freeze over. (Tested it myself – you can hardly keep up with cleaning your glasses.)
5. Care Item Packing List Weather CreamFace CreamLip BalmSuncreamToothbrush & ToothpasteBust/Cresthair tiesDeodorantShampoo & Shower Gel First aid kit & personal medicationHand SanitizerHandkerchiefsmouthguardPossibly. Make-Up & Mascara Possibly. Hair dryerposs. Tampons Weather / cold protection cream Something you only notice on the spot that you need it is a weather cream, often also called cold protection cream. It nourishes the skin and makes it more resistant to the cold. That means: The icy temperatures then no longer feel quite so icy on the skin.
Very important: The cream must be oil-based and should not contain water. Unfortunately, this detail does not seem to have quite arrived at the manufacturers of most weather creams.
Therefore, after a long research, we decided on this natural cosmetic cream: WELEDA Organic Baby Calendula Wind and Weather Balm. Conclusion: Perfect price-performance ratio. We were really extremely satisfied.
6. Technology & Photo Equipment Camera incl. lenses + charger enough replacement batteries and memory cards Cleaning cloths for the lensesTripodPossibly. DroneSmartphone + ChargerHeadphonePossibly. Laptop/Tablet/Kindle + ChargerHeadlampsPowerbank Photo equipment for Lapland We had (as always) our Nikon D750 included, including two lenses (24-35mm 2.8 and 25mm 1.8). For reasons of weight, we have dispensed with additional lenses. But it also has to be said that we hardly changed anyway because of the cold.
It is very important to have enough spare batteries. You really can’t believe how quickly the batteries drain when it’s really freezing cold. When photographing the northern lights at night, we needed three camera batteries within a relatively short time. We ourselves had a total of four batteries with us, three will do if necessary.
A tripod is needed above all for photographing the northern lights. You just can’t get good photos at night without a long exposure. Although we often leave our tripod at home, we would definitely recommend taking it with us for Lapland.
Here you can find our complete equipment: Travel Photography Gear
Headtorches Headtorches are not absolutely necessary, but sometimes prove to be very practical on site in Lapland. For example, we used our headlamps on a snowshoe hike at night. They are also quite helpful in finding a good place to see the Northern Lights. Here you will find our model, with which we are very satisfied in terms of value for money: LE headlamp LED.
Powerbank When it’s particularly cold , smartphones tend to discharge much (!) faster. Therefore, a power bank can be really handy. Ours is this one: Anker Powerbank.
7. Documents PassportCopy of passport (saved digitally)Credit card ATM card (= EC card) CashDriver’s licenseVaccination cardeCardReservation confirmation rental car/accommodation Transparency: Advertising & Affiliate Links 35201 Our trip to Finnish Lapland came about together Working with the two regions Visit Salla & Posio Lapland. Of course we are free to report. This cooperation has no influence on our honest opinion.
This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!34988
Have you ever been to Lapland? and want to add something to this packing list? Or do you still have questions about the right equipment for Lapland? We look forward to your comment!35201