What to wear in Lapland and how to pack?

Dress properly for the arctic conditions and get the most out of your Northern Polar Xperience

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Your Lapland Adventure Awaits!
  2. Essential Clothing Principles for Lapland
  3. Footwear Essentials
  4. Base Layers: The Foundation of Lapland Dressing
  5. Mid Layers: Adapting to Lapland’s Climate
  6. Top Layer: Choosing Outerwear
  7. Accessories: The Finishing Touches
  8. Rental Clothes
  9. Final Tips and Reminders for Packing for Lapland

1. Introduction: Your Lapland Adventure Awaits!

Welcome to your arctic adventure in Finnish Lapland! Get ready for an unforgettable journey witnessing the northern lights, enjoying ice fishing safaris and all the other arctic activities in Inari, Finnish Lapland. Ensuring your comfort and safety in the arctic winter conditions starts with knowing what to pack for Lapland. This guide offers expert advice on dressing right for your Lapland adventure.

2. Essential Clothing Principles for Lapland

Understanding Lapland’s winter climate is key. Prepare for low temperatures, snow, and winds. The right clothing ensures warmth, dryness, and protection. And even though the temperatures can get even to -30 degrees celsius and lower, you might be surprised how warm you feel with right clothing! Our weather here is cold but dry and from my own experience, -30 degrees here feels way better than 0 degrees in Helsinki next to the sea with humid conditions.

It’s all about the clothing and layers!

3. Footwear Essentials

Footwear Essentials

3.1 Winter Boots

  • Type: Choose simple, insulated boots – easy to dry and maintain.
  • Height: High boots are essential for snow navigation.
  • Material: Water-resistant boots keep your feet dry.
  • Fit: Ensure room for thick socks and comfortable toe movement.

For example, the boots on the picture are a great choice. They might not look the best but they for sure are warm and comfy!

Footwear Essentials

3.2 Warm Socks

  • Material: Woolen or natural fibers for warmth and moisture-wicking.
  • Layering: A thin base layer sock under a thicker woolen one provides extra insulation.

Choose 100% natural materials for extra warmth!

4. Base Layers: The Foundation of Lapland Dressing

Base Layer

4 Base Layer

  • Material: Merino wool (recommended) or synthetic fabrics offer the best insulation and moisture management.
  • Fit: Comfortable, snug base layers are crucial.

There are some great merino wool base layers with for example bamboo fibers. Those are durable, comfortable and really warm!

Building layers is the key for warm clothing – you can add more of these layers if it’s really cold!

5. Mid Layers: Adapting to Lapland’s Climate

Mid Layers

5 Mid Layers

  • Purpose: They provide extra insulation.
  • Options: Woolen jumpers, fleece, down, or synthetic jackets and trousers.
  • Flexibility: Adjust these layers as per activity and weather.

Mid layer or layers are as important as base layer! Again, opt-in for some natural materials for best warmth.

And for extra-looks, get yourself a hand-knitted woolen jumper!

6. Top Layer: Choosing Outerwear

Top Layer

6.1 Jacket

  • Requirements: Hoods, adjustable cuffs, and ample insulation are must-haves.
  • Features: Waterproof, windproof, and breathable materials recommended

Once again, natural materials are the best but there are also some great synthetic insulators. Just make sure your jacket is preferably at least 600FP.

For example I like to use a 600FP Gore-Tex jacket with down filling. There hasn’t been yet a condition which would have been too harsh for it with right layering.

Top Layer

6.2 Pants

  • Type: Waterproof, insulated ski pants or snow trousers.
  • Layers: Ensure compatibility with base and mid-layers.

With pants you want to opt-in for waterproof ones if it’s just possible. You will be probably rolling or sitting in snow at some point and there’s nothing worse than getting your base or mid layers wet.

7. Accessories: The Finishing Touches


7.1 Gloves

  • Insulation: Insulated, preferably waterproof gloves for warmth and dexterity. Leather mittens for example are great.
  • Extras: Glove liners add extra warmth.

Layering is also the key when it comes to gloves. You can wear thinner gloves underneath and use simple larger mittens as the top layer – preferably made of natural materials and with removable insulation layer.

If you want to go a bit more practical (and expensive) way, you can also go with proper winter gloves with removable insulation layer. For example Hestra is a great brand for these, proper ones just cost way over 100€ euros.


7.2 Hats

  • Coverage: Hats should cover ears and be insulated.
  • Insulation: Go for woolen / merino / extra warm fur hats

A hat is a must in a cold weather, no matter how it will ruin your perfect hair day. You lose a lot of heat from your head and it needs to be protected from the freezing temperatures.

Go for a warm and thick hat. If you want to go hardcore, you can choose a proper fur hat (and buy it locally), but they come at a lot higher price.

Balaclavas are optional but not needed with proper winter hat.


7.3 Scarves / Buffs

  • Function: Scarves or buffs protect against cold winds
  • Insulation: Go (once again) for natural materials and thick texture if possible

It’s really important to cover your neck in order to not catch cold during your visit. It’s always wise to wear a scarf or a buff when you’re going out.

I’m opting myself for buffs / tubes made out of merino wool.

8. Rental Clothes

Rental Clothes

8 Rental Clothes

Rental clothes in Lapland usually mean the whole package:

  • Warm boots
  • Proper accessories
  • Warm overalls

Overalls are in general the warmest option for top layer. I didn’t include them on the list as something to get yourself as many people don’t find use for them after the trip to Lapland. Warm jackets and pants come usually handy at some point even in warmer climates so I would suggest you go for them.

The rental companies usually include overalls in the clothing packages as they are the warmest option and easiest choice for them. All of our activities, which require extra warm clothing, include also these as they keep you super warm for hours even at extreme temperatures.

9. Final Tips and Reminders for Packing for Lapland

Final tips

9 Final tips

  • Layering: Adjust layers based on your activity level and weather changes
  • Dryness: Keep clothes dry. Wet clothing loses its insulating properties
  • Spare Clothing: Always have a spare set of base layers and socks available

Remember, dressing appropriately in Lapland is not just about comfort; it’s about ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience in one of the world’s most beautiful winter landscapes.

By following this guide you should be able to enjoy your holiday warm and comfy! 🙂


10 Extra – Hand Warmers

I’ve received a lot of questions about hand and feet warmers. Usually I don’t like to recommend them as they make your hands and feet sweaty which means really bad cold once they run out of heating power. Nevertheless, if you’re going for the following activities, getting a pair or two might be wise:

You can get the warmers from almost every market in Lapland area and they cost generally 2-3 euros per pair. They heat usually for 4-6 hours so for activities shorter than that they might be a good choice 🙂

hand warmers for cold weather

❄️ To celebrate the beginning of a new winter, all bookings get -10€ off with promo code “WINTER” ❄️

You can also do the booking by sending me a WhatsApp message to +358 50 4946 993 or emailing if you have any questions or if you are in Saariselkä area. 🙂