What to Wear in Lapland – The Ultimate Winter Packing List

Lapland Winter Packing List

When planning a trip to Lapland in winter, one of the most important things to consider is what you’re going to pack. In this article, I’ll be sharing our entire winter packing list for Lapland to ensure you come fully prepared.

Lapland is one of the most magical and desirable winter destinations in the world. With its enchanting wintry landscapes, whimsical villages, and all-year-round Christmas spirit, it’s enough to make anybody feel like a kid again.

Honestly, I usually try to escape the colder weather, so the possibility of experiencing temperatures as low as – 30 C in Lapland scared me a little. However, Lapland has been a dream destination since I was a child, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit when it arose last year.

I was surprised to find that I was rarely ever cold during the time I spent in Lapland. Even during intense winter activities such as snowmobiling and husky sledding.  

Knowing what to wear in Lapland for winter certainly helped; however, there’s also very little wind, so it doesn’t feel as cold as you might imagine. Having said that, having the appropriate winter gear is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

So with that in mind, let’s get to it; here’s our ultimate winter packing list for Lapland.

Lapland in Winter

Planning a trip to Lapland in Winter? Check out our complete guide to spending winter in Lapland, complete with all the best winter activities, the best Lapland resorts, and how to prepare for this once in a lifetime trip.

What to Wear in Lapland – The Ultimate Winter Packing List

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you purchase through these links, we will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. And we can continue bringing you free travel tips and advice. If you found the content helpful and are kind enough to use our affiliates – you are awesome, and we thank you! 

When is Winter in Lapland

Here’s a fun fact about Lapland for you – It has 8 seasons. Yes, 8! While Laplands main seasons are spring, summer, autumn, and winter, just like the rest of us, they have what you could call sub-seasons as well.

That’s because the change of weather conditions in Lapland happens quickly and dramatically. As the livelihoods of locals depend heavily on the changing of the seasons, it made sense to break the year down into eighths rather than quarters.

If you’re interested, the eight seasons are as follows:

  • True AutumnSeptember – October
  • Autumn-Winter:  November – December
  • True WinterDecember – March
  • Spring-Winter: March – April
  • True SpringApril – May
  • Spring-Summer: May – June
  • True-SummerJune – July
  • Summer-AutumnAugust – September

As you can see, Winter in Lapland can last anywhere up to 6 months of the year. However, the best time to visit is between December and March, when the winter festivities are full swing.

What to Wear in Lapland

Before we jump into our comprehensive Lapland packing list, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

Winter Activities: If you head out on any winter activities such as a husky sledding tour, a reindeer safari or snowmobiling, most tour operators will provide some form of winter clothing (usually a waterproof overall, boots, and gloves). But you’ll still need to have on some warm clothing beneath all that. 

Warmth over Fashion: We understand the need to look good in your Lapland photos. It’s a once in a lifetime trip after all. However, never sacrifice warmth for fashion. Trust me; it will ruin your trip if you’re cold all the time. And as we found out, winter fashion can be equally as flattering and trendy.    

Check the Damn Material: We never knew this until Natalie’s Grandma told us, but some materials just don’t cut it in winter. Leave your cotton and acrylic at home, and pack items that are wool, wool-blend, or silk.  

Be Prepared for a Temperature Shift: While outdoors may be freezing, as soon as you go inside you’ll be submitted to extreme heat. The locals love to have fires blazing, so be sure to have some cooler attire on underneath your winter layers so you can strip off. 

Winter Packing List for Lapland

So let’s jump into what you’re really here for, a comprehensive winter packing list for Lapland. I’ll be honest, due to our lack of experience in winter getaways, we were surprised by just how much there was to consider.

The closest we’d got to such extreme conditions was the time we trekked to Annapurna base camp, so thankfully we had that packing list to use as a guide.  

Overall, we did well with our packing. Most importantly, we were always warm. 95% of the winter activities are outside, and they are no fun at all if you are cold.

On the other hand, we could have made smarter decisions when it came to our footwear. Natalie, in particular, took a few tumbles in her Doc Martins, so that’s a perfect example of what NOT to pack.

But that’s why we are here. We make all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! 

Travel Insurance

First things first… Travel insurance! While Lapland is generally a very safe place to visit, with any adventurous activities comes a little risk.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. If the unlikely event that something goes wrong, you’ll want the best cover money can buy.

For this reason, we always recommend World Nomads for travel insurance. They are affordable, offer a variety of packages and add ons, and allow you to make amendments to your policy while travelling.

If you need further convincing, read our article on why you need travel insurance. Or get an on-the-spot quote from World Nomads using the button below.

Winter Packing List for Lapland – How to Survive Lapland in Winter

Winter Clothing for Lapland

Lightweight & Waterproof Winter Coat  

Arguably the most essential item on your winter packing list for Lapland, you’re going to need a winter coat every time you walk outside. (That is unless you decide to take part in a traditional Finnish ‘cold therapy’ sauna, but that’s another story).

While you will want your coat to be warm and waterproof, you also don’t want it to be too heavy. My yellow puffer jacket is from Jack & Jones, while Natalie’s navy puffer coat is from sustainable clothing brand The Pangaia

Waterproof Boots/Snow Boots with Grip

There is nothing worse than having wet and cold feet, so investing in a good pair of winter boots or shoes is well worthwhile. Do make sure they are designed for icy conditions though, as it’s incredibly painful (and potentially dangerous) falling over on the ice – just ask Natalie!  A pair like these will do just fine.

Thick & Warm Jumpers

In my experience, it’s better to overdress and have to take layers off, rather than underdress and have no other choice than to put up with being cold.

With this in mind, pack some thick warm jumpers to wear underneath your coat. I survived in hoodies like this one while Natalie had her Grandmas wool jumpers.  How she managed to rock them so flawlessly, I will never know.

Dog Sledding in Finland – The Best Husky Safari in Lapland-2

T-Shirts

You’ll want a t-shirt underneath your jumper for when you transition from outdoors to indoors. Trust me, the heat is real, and you’ll want to strip off immediately.

Ski Trousers/Joggers

If you want to ensure your trousers will be waterproof, it’s worth investing in some ski trousers like these which are also sure to keep you warm. Personally, we survived with just joggers and jeans with thermals underneath, and our tour operator provided waterproof overalls for the activities.  

Thermal Underwear

Leggings, vests, socks – purchase them all. We both could swear that thermals were the reason we never felt the cold during our time in Lapland. They are a gem!

Swim Wear

You’ll want your swimwear for when you go to the Finnish saunas. That is unless you want to do it the authentic way and go completely naked.

Accessories to Bring to Lapland

Scarf

In my opinion, scarves are one of the most essential winter accessories to bring to Lapland. They help protect your neck from the wind and therefore help you to feel the cold much less. Again, wool is an excellent material when purchasing a scarf for Lapland.

Beanie Hat  

To keep your head and ears warm. Keep in mind the materials to avoid, such as acrylic and cotton.

Gloves

You’ll want to get gloves that are waterproof, windproof, and warm for outdoor activities. Some tour operators may provide them, but it’s worth having some of your own all the same.

Hand Warmers

Hand warmers are the underrated winter accessory of the century. Slip them inside your gloves, shoes, pants or wherever else you might need that added bit of warmth. They work like a charm.

Ski Mask

When taking part in activities such as husky sledding and snowmobiling, a ski mask will help protect your face from windburn.

Sunglasses

For when it’s sunny.  Duh!

Dog Sledding in Finland – The Best Husky Safari in Lapland-7

Cosmetics to Pack for Lapland in Winter

Moisturiser

The harsh winter weather can be harmful to the skin, so you’ll need a heavy-duty moisturiser to keep your skin feeling soft & smooth. We do not believe in buying expensive beauty products and swear by our trusted Nivea cream for all weathers and situations. It’s best to avoid water-based moisturisers in cold temperatures.

Body Cream

As above, go with a body cream that isn’t water-based.

Lip Balm

The lips suffer just as much as the skin. Take a good moisturising lip balm such as this one by Carmex

Sun Cream

In the later winter months, the UV rays can be strong, and you can still get burnt even when there’s snow on the ground.

Northern Lights

Electricals to Bring to Lapland

Camera

You will make memories to last a lifetime in Lapland. But it’s wonderful to capture those moments on camera as well. If there’s any time worth investing in a decent camera, it’s now.

We use the Sony A7 II (See a full list of our photography gear here), but even the latest iPhones such as the 12 pro, take professional photos and video these days.

Tripod  

We always joke that our tripod is the third wheel in our relationship as we couldn’t live without it. It’s perfect for capturing photos of all the family without having to rely on somebody else. 

Go Pro & Accessories

Unlike your phone or camera, Go Pros are durable, which makes them ideal for capturing photos and film during your winter activities. We have the Go Pro 8 and use it with a chest mount or helmet strap.

Gimble Stabiliser  

If you don’t have a go pro, it’s worth having a gimble stabiliser for your phone or camera. This will allow you to capture smooth video footage, even when moving at fast speeds. We use the Osmo 3 gimble for mobile.

Power Bank

What with the cold temperatures and heavy usage, your gadgets will be under a lot of pressure. You may find the battery doesn’t last as long as usual, so you’ll need a power bank that allows you to charge while you’re out and about. We use this power bank by Anker, which enables us to charge multiple devices at a time. 

Head Torch

Depending on when you visit, some days during the winter in Lapland only see 3-4 hours of daylight. Therefore, it makes sense to have a waterproof head torch so you can go about your day once the sun has set.

Reindeer Safari lapland-2

Thank You for Reading

Well, that concludes our winter packing list for Lapland. I hope you have a better idea now of what to bring to Lapland to ensure that you’re warm and comfortable throughout your trip. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out.  

You can contact us in the comment section below or through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we share further travel tips & advice.

If you’re heading to Finland, I have the following articles that you may find helpful.

Stay adventurous and Happy travels.

Charlotte & Natalie x

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you purchase through these links, we will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. And we can continue bringing you free travel tips and advice. If you found the content helpful and are kind enough to use our affiliates – you are awesome, and we thank you! 

MORE ON EUROPE

1 Day in Helsinki – The Best 1 Day Helsinki Itinerary

2 Days in Prague – The Best 2 Day Prague Itinerary

2 Days in Berlin – The Best 2 Day Berlin Itinerary

4 Days in Budapest – The Best 4 Day Budapest Itinerary

PIN IT FOR LATER

The Ultimate Winter Packing List for Lapland

Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Our Taste For Life

Sharing is caring ♥

Was this helpful? We would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions or any questions in the comments below!