50 Degrees North's Recommended Nordic Winter Tour Packing List
As the Norwegian's say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”.
Packing well for snow conditions is going to make or break your holiday. Winter is great time for kids and adults to be outside and snow-based activities will keep everyone entertained for hours as long as they have appropriate clothing.
Most importantly, the base-layer next to skin should be either wool or synthetic blend, never cotton. With perspiration cotton turns quickly damp and then cold, no matter what other warmer clothing items are layered on top of it.
Take your time to read our guide on what to bring for your snow holiday to the Nordic Region and if you aren't sure, ask us for more details.
- Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers (snow clothing) large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
- Warm windproof cap/hat
- An extra Woollen hat and thin woollen neck warmer/balaclava
- Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
- Windproof gloves or mittens (snow gloves), which you can pull over the warm gloves. We have found through experience, that countries with warmer climates don't offer the same quality gloves that can be found in Scandinavia. You might like to purchase on arrival.
- Warm woollen scarf
- 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
- 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
- Woollen or fleece trousers
- 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks - different thicknesses
- Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
- Ski googles for snow mobile touring (newer versions offer better anti-fog)
- Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
- Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
- Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors - even something you can slip into when you take your outdoor boots off)
- Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
- Swimmers and flip flops for the saunas and hot tubs
- For children, a small light to attach to their outfit for when they are playing and walking around a night
- Hand warmers
- Nordic Grip anti-slip soles/crampons for walking on ice. These can be found in supermarkets and hardware shops in Scandinavia and you can purchase some easily on arrival if the ground is icey. Icey footpaths and roads vary depending on the rain and temperature. These shoes are hard to purchase accurately online with sizes over boots.
- Personal medication
- Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
- Travel documents (including insurance)
- Photo ID - you need to bring this for snowmobile driving
- Note book and pencil
- Camera, memory cards and charger. We recommend phones with a minimal 3-second long exposure for capturing the Northern Lights. The iPhone 15, for instance, has a 10-second exposure which allows you to get vivid colours. A live feature also allows you to go back into the photo after you have taken it and pick long exposure.
- Chargers for other gadgets
- Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.
- For autumn and spring travel, rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
- It is possible to bring food into Scandinavia such as tea bags, biscuits, coffee, milo, muesli bars, cereal and so forth for consuming on arrival or in self-catering accommodation.
Please note: If your itinerary includes a section on a Norwegian Coastal Ship, they have a public laundromat you can use.
- Make sure they have tried on their woollen undergarments before they arrive. Children find some materials very itchy and uncomfortable. It is critical that they have at least one full thermal outfit that they are happy to wear. You can wash these out each night as accommodation is generally very toasty and good for drying. There is often a drying cupboard.
- The same goes with a good woollen hat - go with the finest wool you can find.
- Keep an eye out for children getting extremely cold, then numb hands and feet (potential frostbite) during the adventure safaris. Encourage them to wear lots of socks and to tuck themselves in. Remind them to wiggle their fingers and toes when cold.
- Snow googles are good for winter activities to slip under the helmets
- Woollen Balaclavas
Just remember that extra (non-cotton) layers that can be added or taken away when needed. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves, and extra pair of mittens will come in handy after building a snowman or two. A balaclava type of hat that covers both the neck and ears is also great under a warm and windproof beanie.
When on tour with 50 Degrees North , many of the hotels and activity providers also do offer warm outer clothing for hire, but if traveling with small kids, please do check beforehand that correct sizes are available. You will still need to bring one set of snow gear as you will need to transfer to your starting point (NOTE TO SELF: have your gear ready for when you get off the PLANE!).