Pack with purpose, stay warm, and let your wanderlust shine in the stunning landscapes of the North. Your guide to mastering winter wanderlust starts here.
As winter blankets the stunning landscapes of Iceland and Scandinavia, the adventurous spirit beckons. For those seeking a unique blend of thrill and tranquility, a winter journey to these Nordic wonders promises an unforgettable experience. To ensure you're prepared for the chilly escapades, we've curated a comprehensive packing list for our discerning readers, who appreciate the finer things in life.
YOUR CLOTHES TO BRING IN A NUTSHELL:
To explore the nordic winter, you need to master the art of wearing in three layers, each one with a specific function, with the whole clothing system working together to provide comfort and protection in a wide range of weather conditions. Wearing layered clothing is key in the nordic winter to tackle the unpredictability of the weather and the wilderness, so let's quickly go over each layer in order:
Base Layer: comfy and warm socks, thermal underwear
This layer directly touches your skin and includes underwear, long-sleeved tops or t-shirts, and socks. Its primary function is to manage moisture and wick sweat away from your body to keep you dry. This helps regulate your body temperature and prevent cooling down too quickly in colder conditions. Synthetic fabrics or wool are good choices, but avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture and can make you feel cold and wet.
Mid Layer: fleeces, wool and warmth
The primary function of the mid-layer is to provide insulation and retain body heat to keep you warm. It traps air close to your body, warmed by body heat, to provide a barrier against the cold. A good mid-layer could be a fleece jacket, a soft-shell jacket, or a wool sweater. In winter, heavier socks to wear over your base layer socks can also be a good idea.
Shell Layer: Waterproof and Windproof
The outer layer, or the shell layer, is your protection against the elements like wind, rain, or snow. This layer includes hard shell jackets and waterproof pants. This layer should be either water-resistant or waterproof and often windproof as well. The best outer layers are also breathable, allowing moisture from sweat to escape so you don't feel wet and clammy. And don't forget a warm hat, thick, insulated gloves or mittens, and a scarf or neck gaiter to protect against the wind.
WINTER BOOTS: AN ESSENTIAL INVESTMENT
Waterproof and good grip are essential qualities and Gore-Tex is a good choice of material. Make sure to break them in before you arrive at your destination – the last thing that you want is discomfort while you’re out there enjoying yourself. Removable ice grips are also worth an investment to save you from slipping on those icy city streets that you will be likely to come across in any nordic city.
OTHER ITEMS to bring
Before wishing you safe travels, here are some accessories we love bringing to our winter adventures that are not obvious, but will come very handy during your winter adventure:
Swimwear: Yes, you read that right—swimwear! Scandinavians love winter saunas and thermal pools. Don't miss out; pack your bathing suit. Flip-flops save your boots from getting wet.
Camera: Upgrade to a DSLR or GoPro for stunning Scandinavian scenery. Get practical accessories like a tripod and selfie-stick.
Portable Charger: Cold weather drains phone batteries. Keep a portable charger to revive your phone anytime.
Headtorch: very handy for Northern Lights hunts. A handy pocket torch ensures light on dark nights.
Rucksack and Rain Cover: Prioritize practicality. A rucksack is handy for day trips, and a rain cover protects valuables in snow showers.
Moisturizer & lip balm: Sub-zero temperatures demand heavy-duty moisturizer. Apply before heading out for optimal protection.
Sunscreen: UV light increases at altitude. Protect your skin, especially in the mountains, with SPF 50+.
Polarized Sunglasses: Shield your eyes from reflected UV light on snow. Avoid wearing them when observing the Northern Lights.