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02 March 2017

What to pack for Lapland ?


Lapland
geographical name  Lap·land  \ˈlap-ˌland, -lənd\


God knows I do not have a penchant for extreme cold weather but earlier this month, after spending 2 days in Stockholm (related post here), I headed to Kiruna, a small town in the Swedish lapland that offers a variety of activities alongside the ability to catch sigh of the famous northern lights.

If you are planning to travel to Lapland or anywhere else with a harsh winter temperature, this post is just for you ! I planned and packed my suitcases as carefully as possible but still managed to do some mistakes that I want you to avoid.

First, keep in mind that the temperatures can drop to -30°C (-22°F) and the cold in Lapland, at the opposite of the one is Sweden is dry which facilitates your ability to keep yourself warm if you dress appropriately.


1) Layers

In Lapland you will absolutely need to wear different layers in order to stay warm. The most important thing to know about layers is to -absolutely- not wear cotton clothes as it traps moisture, transpiration and therefore cools down your body temperature when wet.

  • Primarily, as a first layer you will need thermal clothes, both on top and bottom in either synthetic or wool.
  • Secondly, a woollen sweater on top of it is definitely recommended to confine air and allow an even dispersion of body heat.
  • Thirdly, a great winter coat is obvisouly the last piece you'll need to keep yourself warm. I decided to wear both my Bel Air 'Impérial' puffer jackets. I've own these coats for about 5 years and they never deceived me. It's a great feminine, well fitted coat with a hand embroidered patch on the arm that can keep anyone warm all winter.
  • In regards to the bottom, I personally chose to wear 2 layers of thermal leggings with ski pants on top. My ski pants are from Decathlon and they have been my saviours in Lapland. I chose them waterproof with an elastic that seals around the ankles to prevent the snow from getting in my boots.



2) Shoes


  • There is no needs to say that your pretty embellished ankle boots, metallic heals and fancy loafers can stay at home or in your suitcase during your journey in Lapland. You will undoubtedly need hiking shoes and/or snow boots. The floor is very snowy and quit slippery at moments so you have to keep yourself safe and warm with these Quechua Arpernaz boots from Decathlon for example. Another tip ? Choose your boots 1 size larger in order to layer socks inside.



3) Accessories

Lapland is THE place where you won't be judged if you add extra protection to your outfit like ear muffs, hand warmers etc...

  • Please do not make the very common mistake (that I have made and regretted very badly) that is choosing gloves over mittens. Mittens, at the opposite of gloves, allow a contact between your fingers which is actually what keeps them warm, especially in the extremely cold weather.
  • Sometimes, the simple contact between your fingers isn't really helping so you can add extra heat by putting in your mittens hand warmers. Each hand warmers can produce heat up to 10 hours and are odourless, safe, nontoxic, nonflammable and even environmentally friendly. You can even find food warmers but I'll give another tip (for free, once again !) use your hand warmers as foot warmers too. Hand warmers usually produce more heat and works better. I guarantee you that your toes will stay warm.
  • A beanie is necessary as well in Lapland and do not hesitate to wear earmuffs too if you are specially sensitive to cold.
  • Don't over layer your foots with several socks as it can lead you to sweat and therefore reduce your body heat. Wear thick swollen socks over norma ones and you'll be warm enough.
  • Sunlight doesn't last for long in winter but for those of you who have sensitive eye, you might want to consider packing sunglasses in order to avoid snow blinding.
  • Last but not least, don't forget your... swimsuit ! It's not that you'll take the sun on a beach or walk around in your bathing suit but maybe you'll enjoy a nice sauna/hamam session at the end of your days.


4) Beauty

Some skincare and beauty products will be necessary to keep yourself moisturised and prevent skin reaction from the cold.

  • A lip balm to avoid having destroyed lips because of the frigid conditions
  • A rich day cream to protect and hydrate your skin
  • A night serum to relief your skin and add extra care 
  • Non-water based lotions at it could accelerate the frostbite
  • An very important, keep in mind that you shouldn't go the sauna or shower in the 2 hours after spending time outdoors as it will literally remove necessary oils your skin needs





Puffer Jacket : Bel Air // Ski Pants : Decathlon // Hiking boots : Decathlon



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