Helsinki and Lapland - clothing advice would be very gratefully received(30 Posts)
I’m off to Helsinki and Kakslauttanen at the beginning of December and would really appreciate some advice on what clothing I’m going to need.
I live in London so pretty much never experience extreme weather - if it gets really London ‘cold’ I just put a slightly bigger scarf on. I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to work in Lapland.
If anyone has a list of basics/must haves I’d be very grateful to see it.
Will you get anything given as part of your trip? Those all in one suit things? They are pretty essential.
Layers, layers, layers. All the Finns I know where mittens rather than gloves but if you do wear gloves wear glove liners as well.
Badass thermal socks Heat Holders are good. The beginning of December it could be -1 or -30. Don’t wear water based moisturiser.
The Finnish meteorological website is the best site to check the forecast.
layering thermals are your friend. Long sleeved vest thermals and full length legging thermals. Plus a good hat to cover your ears, warm gloves (not leather) and socks. I went to Norway in January and then New York in February fully togged in the above from Uniqlo. All cosy and warm but not boiling. A waterproof and wind proof jacket on top ,preferably one which covers your backside in case you sit down, plus waterproof boots with good soles for walking on ice/snow and you are away.
I would advise going into a decent outdoors or ski shop and having a chat with the experienced staff. When we went to Lapland in early January we did just that. We had hired thermal all-in-one (boiler type) ski suits. Under that: merino wool base layers, fleecy midlayer & warmer outer jumper. For gloves: sheer silk liners, thermal/waterproof ski gloves with fleece liners. Proper warm ski socks with looped, thick soles. Hat: Windstopper deerstalker style with ear flaps. Windstopper fleece neck snood thing. The Windstopper thing is crucial - I accidentally wore my fashion fleece hat on a day when windchill took the -20c temp down closer to -40c and it was not a good experience. The cold is surprisingly OK even at -20c in Lapland because the humidity is so low - you just need enough layers. It should be lovely & sparkly in December.
Oh yes, we wore our standard walking boots woth v warm ski socks when we weren’t skiing. Maybe pack some slip over ice studs for your walking boots if you are staying in a resort which will have icy pavements.
Wow - thanks for the advice. I’m going to start getting some lists made.
We can hire outer clothes and rubber boots from the Lapland hotel, so I might get away with not buying too much.
*Badbadhuskie - did you hire the suits in the UK?
No, we travelled with Inghams & the suit hire was part of our ski package. There is a ski shop near us that hires out clothing & equipment, though.
Ah, thanks, got you.
DH is working in Helsinki that week, so I’m flying out on his last work day, then we’ll have a day in Helsinki before we go to Lapland together (booking the flights was a tad stressful). So, I have to take everything with me, apart from the heavy duty outer the hotel supplies. Should be easy <worried face>
Sorry, did not realise you were skiing, my clothing advice was for wandering around, sitting and admiring the view!
Ps if you do a dog sled thing cover your mouth with a scarf, those dogs. can poo on the go!
No, not skiing - the wandering around and sitting down advice was spot on. Skiing is, almost literally, the last thing in the world I could do
I did think about that and may have spoiled DHs viewing pleasure when I mentioned the frozen (semi-frozen? Still hot?) dogshit that wasn’t shown in the dog sled video he was trying to make me watch. I think a sleigh ride sounds better - always travel above bum level.
I live on a northern Scottish island, on a similar latitude to parts of Scandinavia probably! And I have one word for you: uniqlo!
Layers, thermals, insulated socks, proper boots and gloves / mittens whatever you want. Hat and neck covering also. I say this as someone who got a bit brave on my trip to iceland last year on day 3 and was in bed with the worst flu / cold i have ever had in my life for 10 days. I was chilled to the bone. So, enjoy but wrap up or you will get sick and it will ruin your holiday.
Oh meant to say: thermal waterproof jacket obviously but ideally a long one that covers your bum.
Thanks loads, you’ve all been really helpful. I’m going to start making a list and see if I can make this work. Thanks for the specific shop info, that’s going to give me a place to get started. <hands reindeer nibbles to everyone>
For Helsinki in the beginning of December, dress for rain!
For Lapland you'll want thermal underwear (woollen is best as it wicks away moisture and you're bound to get sweaty from time to time but to be honest I usually go for cotton because I find it more comfy), then comfy trousers (I find joggers best) and long sleeve shirt, jumper, and then the outer clothes that you're hiring. Woolly socks over your normal socks in the boots and thin gloves under thicker waterproof ones (or mittens). Thin balaclava (the kind with the open face, not the bank robber kind!) with a woolly hat on top and a neck warmer/scarf.
Have spent many a winter in Lapland - early December it might be pretty cold but it also might be quite mild (by which I mean -5 to -10) so be prepared to need to strip off layers/add layers.
Thank you so much. I think I’m starting to get a grip on what I’m going to need. DH and I have planned a shopping trip next week (although he’s out now so I might have a rummage around eBay - would that be a really silly thing to do?)
Ebay is good, no point paying new clothes prices for something you'll likely just wear for the one trip.
"Layers, thermals, insulated socks, proper boots and gloves / mittens whatever you want. Hat and neck covering also."
A snood is really useful because you need to cover the bottom half of your face if you are doing any kind of fast moving activity like husky sled driving or snowmobiling. Waterproof gloves are absolutely essential, worn with a thin layer underneath.
We also wore two base layers and fleeces under our snowsuits, thermal socks over thin socks, thermal leggings plus trousers over them and thermal hats.
I'm not sure how many hours of daylight you will get, but if there is any chance of any sunshine take sunglasses. We went at February half term and sunshine and snow meant that sunglasses were essential.
I bought all our thermal layers from Decathlon.
Thanks again - sorry for not replying sooner, have had a few days of ill - hope it’s all out of the way now.
Natsku Thank you, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea or not, I’ll get searching.
Lonicera got you - don’t think I’ll be doing anything more energetic than sleigh rides, so I’ll need to stay warm as I’ll just be sitting there. I’m sure I’ve got a fleece snood in the cupboard from winter running.
One more quick question. We’ll have one full day in Helsinki, what mustn’t we miss?
I have a question for Natsku. Do all layers need to be wicking, or would cotton joggers over a merino wool baselayer work?
Definitely take a big box of disposable hand and footwarmers. They stay warm quite a few hours and keep you really toasty.
Otherwise layers etc as above and make sure everything is warm before you put it on.
No advice specific to Finland but where I live -20c in winter is normal.
Don’t let yourself sweat it will freeze later.
Don’t leave cans of soda in the car, they will explode.
Thanks PrincessLuna and Kursk
Thanks to this thread I think I’m ready. I just gave my silk thermals a go (it’s 5 degrees and I felt bloody freezing when I went out this morning) - they work - all good news.
Now all I have to do is get there. DH just landed in Helsinki and said it’s freezing, rainy and dark. He’s got a couple of days work, then I’m off on Friday - I must take this time to do some work (play with new socks and gloves).
kiki Helsinki Christmas Market is supposed to be really good. Or look out for an independence day related event as it's the centenary this year.
badhusky just the base later needs to be wicking, cotton joggers over merino wool later would be excellent and very comfy
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