Packing List for Lapland in Winter – What to take

UPDATED FOR 2017 – Visiting Lapland with children is an amazing experience but it is cold. Very cold. And it’s a good place to be prepared for visiting. So I’ve put together a packing list for Lapland of items you might want to think about taking with you. This list is as well-priced as possible, I’ve looked out items that will do the job without breaking the bank.

First if you are travelling on an organised tour they will provide some of your kit. It’s worth checking with them beforehand but most tours provide the snowsuit which is made for Arctic conditions and will also give you gloves and boots. So this is my suggested packing list if you do have these provided –

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Packing List for Lapland: Children

  • Long sleeved thermals – these are essential and it’s worth getting it right. What you really want are Merino wool set like these great Icebreaker children’s long sleeved tops and matching Icebreaker trousers. If you get the base layer right you are much more likely to stay warm in sub zero temperatures. Merino wool is amazing and will even keep you warm if it gets wet, the sets I’ve recommended here are 100% merino wool which makes them really warm and they’re a great price.
  • A fleece set of trousers and top – these are ideal for ensuring that when you take off your big snow suit indoors you will have something warm and comfortable to wear. These Fruit of the Loom fleece tops and Body2Body fleece trousers are a great price and perfect for keeping warm.
  • pair of regular socks (x the number of days you are staying)
  • pair of woollen socks to wear over regular socks (you probably only need half the number of regular socks) – I like these Karrimor walking socks which come in a pack of three and are nice and thick.
  • thin, regular gloves – these will go under your thick snow gloves that you will be given and are just to give you an extra layer, so these cheap magic gloves are ideal.
  • Balaclava – Do not forget this. If you are intending to go husky dog sledding in Lapland or any of the other outdoor activities they really are essential, a scarf will not do it. Children’s balaclavas will keep the back of the neck warm and also mean when you are taking part in activities it will stay on, ensuring that they are warm.
  • Hat – of course a good hat is essential and should be paired with the balaclava. Our children wore the Didriksons Biggles hats which were super warm but also had the added benefit of a popper underneath to keep them in place. Because you and they will have two pairs of gloves on it means items of clothes falling off will be harder to put back on so a hat that stays in place is idea.

Lapland 127

Packing List for Lapland: Adults

  • Long sleeved thermals – don’t scrimp on these. Merino wool isn’t cheap but it’s the best there is and these sets will last you, for men we suggest these long sleeved vest and long trousers and women will also need the long sleeved vest and long trousers.
  • Mid Layer clothes – you will need something to wear between your thermal, base layer and your snowsuit. There will be times you can take your snowsuit off so you will want a set of clothes that are comfortable and warm. For women we suggest these well priced fleece tops and we are big fans of Craghoppers so love these warm trousers which could be used in UK winters afterwards. For men we like the look of these fleece tops and again the Craghopper warm trousers.
  • Thick gloves – to go under snow gloves a pair of gloves for men and women so you can have 2 pairs of gloves.
  • Snood – This is the only time in my life I’ve worn a snood but I was SO pleased I had. Husky dog sledding without it would have been a freezing experience and just having it to pull up over my nose was so welcome. I would definitely recommend either a snood or balaclava
  • Regular socks – for each day you are there.
  • Woollen socks – It’s good to be able to wear two pairs of socks when you’re out. I love the look of these thermal women’s socks and men’s socks.
  • Hats – keep your head warm with a good hat for men and women.

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Packing List for Lapland: Extras

  • hand warmers – we love the reusable hand warmers which you simply use boiling water to reset.
  • hot water bottle – I took this on our night-time reindeer ride! You can’t beat a good hot water bottle can you?
  • high energy snacks – I can’t emphasise how cold it can be in Lapland and a supply of high energy snacks and even just regular biscuits and treats to keep in will be very welcome. Of course there are shops to pick up supplies but it’s really nice to have a few supplies for when you arrive and to keep you going.
  • 2 cameras and if possible with a spare battery as the cold drains battery life much faster. We actually bought a new camera for our trip as we read about cameras seizing in the cold and so after doing our research we chose a Ricoh WG-20 which is really well priced and worked perfectly in Lapland for us.
  • blanket – it’s usually possible to find blankets on activities but we found it useful to have a spare warm blanket for sledging or just indoors when the children had got particularly cold and needed wrapping up.

If you are travelling independently and not part of an organised tour then you will need all of the above and also  –

Packing List for Lapland: Children on an independent trip

Packing List for Lapland: adults on an independent trip

  • Snow gloves – For your outer gloves you will want a good ski glove such as these great priced unisex gloves.
  • Snowsuit – It’s important to get outer clothes which are good enough for arcrtic conditions. In Lapland nearly everyone wears the all in one suits and I would definitely recommend them for keeping really warm and toasty. This is a great price for a women’s ski suit and also a man’s all in one ski suit.
  • Boots –  You will be taking your own boots and you’ll want something that can really keep your feet warm and be ready to deal with icy conditions. We love the look of these Mountain Warehouse boots at a great price. I really like these snow boots for men.

I hope this all helps! Lapland is a wonderful, magical place to visit but you do need to make sure you kit yourself out properly for it in order to enjoy it. I’d love to hear how you get on.

If you’d like to read more I have a post all about our trip to Lapland with Santa’s Lapland here, husky dog sledding in Lapland (one of the best things I’ve ever done!) or what my children said about their trip to Lapland.

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  • I SO want to go to Lapland! There’s nothing more magical than snow at Christmas. Hot water bottle is a fab idea. We have these ‘warm worms’ that the kids just love to cuddle in bed, and they’re long enough to warm their toes as well as their noses 🙂

  • This is a great list for us as we’re in Australia (where it’s 30 + degrees right now) and have no idea how cold it’s going to get in Lapland (or what to wear really!). We’re visiting Saariselka in 2.5 weeks with our 2 children (11 and 8) & I’m frantically snapping up thermals & fleeces etc online. I wonder whether you could help with a couple of questions though:

    1. What do you wear on your feet? I understand we get given boots as part of our Arctic outfits, but what’s best to wear to get on/off the plane? I’m not sure I want to splash out on some snow/moon boots which we’ll only ever wear once! Plus they’ll take up a lot of room in our luggage. Are running/trainer-type shoes with thick socks ok or will our feet get wet/frozen solid?

    2. Do trapper-style hats come as part of the Arctic outfit, or does it have a hood? I’m thinking the adults will wear beanies & snoods & the children will wear balaclavas and woolly trapper-style hats.

    I’m so glad I found your article – it’s made us even more excited to get there & see snow for the first time ever!!

    • Hello! Thank you so much for your lovely comments and I’m so excited for you – to see snow for the first time! And the snow in Saariselka is beautiful, so powdery!

      Don’t worry about buying snow boots etc, it really is a very short time you will be without them and it is literally a couple of metres walk from the airport onto the bus so you definitely won’t freeze. If you have your thermals on and then a good jumper and trousers and coat, thick socks and some running shoes you’ll be fine.

      No, trapper hats don’t come as part of the outfit. When we went there was a basket of hats you could pick one from but I would say it’s a good idea to take a proper hat of your own that you’re comfortable with…it is VERY cold and you want your head to be properly protected. If you’re planning to do husky dog sledding (do it if you can, this was one of the best things I’ve ever done, so exhilerating!) it is really very cold so I would suggest snoods for adults and balaclavas for kids and then trapper hats on top of that as they stay in place and are very warm so if you can get some I would.

      Please feel free to add any more questions, I’m more than happy to help if I can.

      Have an amazing, magical trip!!

      • Thank you so much for the info – I’ve just ordered some warm hats, balaclavas & snoods as we’re definitely going husky-sledding. I’ve read the report of your trip & it sounds completely magical – we’re really excited now, I just hope we can keep the secret from our children until the night before!

        • Wow, your children are going to be so surprised the night before!! I hope you can keep it secret until then and PLEASE come back and let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear!! Have a brilliant time!

  • Hi there, you wouldn’t believe how useful your notes are to us Aussies. We’ve never been in snow let alone sub-zero temperatures. We’re booked and ready to go but your notes have given us a few more ideas. We have absolutely no concept of this kind of environment whatsoever! We are now, thanks also to you, confident we are properly equipped. Thanks for taking the time!

    • Thank you so much and it’s really so lovely to know that it’s useful – I really hoped it would be so it’s great to hear that it is. And for what it’s worth I don’t think many people will have a concet of this kind of environment. It is seriously cold and with the added element of almost constant darkness it feels very odd! I am sure you will have an amazing time though, please come back and let me know how you got on! I hope it’s really magical for you all.

  • I love a good list and this one doesn’t disappoint! We are off to Lapland on Friday with 3 kids and I stupidly only googled Lapland checklist tonight!!! This list is fantastic and, whilst I have most items, I will be making a mad dash to the shops tomorrow to buy a hot water bottle and spare blankets. Top tips, thanks.

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