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 still be in your head the day that you start packing your luggage for the trip.
So, here we are with some advice on how 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).
We don’t recommend spending a lot of money buying expensive winter clothes and technical stuff in your home country, especially if you are not going to use them later to do winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding. There are some basic clothes which will make your experience warmer when you visit Lapland, though.
The warmest way to dress is by using a system of layers. Each layer has its own function so, for different layers, we will have different kind of clothes and fabrics.
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 materials such as merino wool or synthetic fibers. Merino wool is natural and warm, but it dries slower. The synthetic fibers will keep you dry, even if you are being active, since they move the moisture out to the next layer.
This is the layer that 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 of the more active stuff.
This is the final layer, the one which is in contact with the elements. It's a good idea to go for fabrics that are windproof. The most expensive materials are Windstopper and Goretex, but you will definitely find cheaper fibers which do the trick. If you are a 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 a pair just for the trip. Keep in mind that we who live here use regular trousers in our daily rutines. So just take the warmest pants you have, and use the equipment that we provide for you to have fun, spend time 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 by the activity companies. More information about this equipment to follow.
For the hands, as a base layer you can use silk gloves, and on the top of them it's better to use winter mittens than gloves. Mittens are warmer than gloves.
For the feet, you can again use a double layer. Do not use cotton socks, but rather use silk (base layer) and wool socks as the second layer.
The shoes/boots should be at least one size too big. If your feet are 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 is air… so it's better to have the feet a bit loose inside the shoes.
And again, do not spend a lot of money on 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!