Packing for a Winter Trip to the Arctic – Complete Packing List and Tips

It can be daunting packing for a winter trip to the Arctic, especially when it’s your first time! I’ve visited Arctic destinations like Finland and Iceland during the winter months, as well as extremely cold places like the Canadian Rockies and Colorado. During those trips I have learned what clothing does and doesn’t work and which items are the most essential. In this post I am sharing my recommended packing list for a winter trip to the Arctic, including tips and advice for being adequately prepared for the extreme weather!

This blog post is in collaboration with Backcountry.com, who are my go-to for purchasing outdoor/travel clothing and gear. They offer free 2-day shipping on orders over $50, easy returns, 24/7 advice from their amazing Gearheads, and they support incredible causes like The Nature Conservancy. Backcountry have also kindly offered my readers 15% off first-time online orders using code RENEE15!

Packing for a Winter Trip to the Arctic

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Snowshoeing at sunrise in -30° Celsius – Lapland, Finland

The first step to packing is researching your destination, including what the weather will be like, what activities you will be doing, and any cultural considerations to keep in mind. I have written this packing list for travelers visiting places like Finnish/Swedish Lapland, northern Norway, Iceland, northern Alaska, etc. In saying that, I have worn these same outfits in places like the Canadian Rockies and Colorado where it can get down to -25° Celsius and below.

The next step is to take inventory of what items you already own, what you can borrow from friends/family, items you may be able to rent at your destination, and any gear you will need to purchase for the trip. This blog post will give you a good idea of what you will need to pack, though please be sure to do more destination specific research as well.

Keep in mind that packing for a winter trip to the Arctic will likely be more bulky and expensive compared to taking a tropical vacation! You will probably find yourself taking more luggage or, like me, you may opt to carry/wear larger items onto the plane (like your parka and boots).

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Outerwear

Having adequate outerwear is vital when traveling in Arctic conditions. You will want your top layers to be insulated, wind proof, and waterproof/water-resistant. My go-to winter parka in the Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket and I think it’s a great find for the quality, warmth, and cozy (faux) fur hood. Another great option is the insulated Burton Shadowlight Parka. Be sure to size your parka to allow for layering underneath! Many people rave about the Canada Goose Expedition Parka but I personally cannot recommend any products that use real fur and would urge you to keep that in mind when shopping for outerwear.

For outerwear bottoms, this will depend on where you are going and what activities you are doing. For most adventures I personally prefer to wear fleece-lined tights or soft-shell hiking pants paired with thermals underneath. The Backcountry Sundial Tights and the Arc’teryx Gamma LT Soft Shell Pants are my favorites for this and they are both stretchy enough for layering. When going snowmobiling, skiing, or in really extreme conditions I would opt for insulated and waterproof snow pants like The North Face Freedom Pant.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Mid Layers

Layers are the most important thing when packing for a winter trip to the Arctic – I cannot stress this enough! Heading out in -30° Celsius in only an insulated parka and snow pants will not be enough to keep you warm. You will most likely need to layer with down jackets and fleece, especially if you aren’t going to be too active. My recommended layering system for the upper body is: long-sleeve merino wool thermal top, fleece layer, down layer, and an insulated parka (see image showing these layers featured below).

During my recent trip to Lapland I enjoyed layering the Backcountry Wolverine Cirque Jacket over my thermals, then the Backcountry Silver Fork 750 Down Jacket over that, plus my Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket on top. It was quite snug but I was able to stay warm even in -35° Celsius with this 4 layer combo.

Also included below is another of my favorite down jackets, the Backcountry Murdock 850 Down Jacket (keep in mind this one is a little more bulky for layering), and a fleece pullover by Patagonia that is super cozy for layering.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee RoamingPacking for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Thermal Layers

I love wearing merino wool thermal underwear when traveling to super cold places. I find that it keeps me toasty warm whilst still providing breathability, maintains its quality, and it also can be worn multiple times without getting smelly (this goes for merino wool socks too!)

For a one week trip to the Arctic I usually pack between 2-4 pairs of baselayers (for bottom AND top) because I like to layer them depending on the conditions and activity. Some of my favorites are the Backcountry Matilda Baselayer Tops and Bottoms and also the Icebreaker BodyFit 260 Tech Leggings and tops.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Shoes

Waterproof and warm shoes are a must when packing for a winter trip to the Arctic! Keep in mind that you will want them to be on the slightly bigger side so that you can wear thick socks and still have room for your toes to flatten out and move around. This will help prevent getting painfully cold feet! For everyday activities (not intense hiking) I would recommend shoes like the Sorel Caribou Boot or The North Face Shellista II Mid Boot.

For hiking and more active adventures then I would recommend a more technical boot like the KEEN Revel III. Active adventures in the snow may also require gaiters like the Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain High Gaiter.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Socks

As mentioned above, merino wool is the best material for keeping your feet toasty warm whilst remaining breathable and odor-free. In Arctic conditions I find the Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks to be the most effective, along with toe warmers and appropriate boots. Darn Tough also make a similar pair, the Mountaineering OTC Extra Cushion Socks, if you prefer even more padding on the soles.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee RoamingPacking for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Gloves

Having cold fingers really sucks and definitely prevents you from having fun! I find the most effective gloves are usually mittens, as they keep your fingers together and that in turn maintains/creates the most warmth. Being a photographer I find that I am constantly having to take my mitts off, so I usually opt to also wear liner gloves and use hand warmers. My favorite combo is the Hestra Patrol Gauntlet Mittens and The North Face Etip Liner Gloves (plus hand warmers).

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Head and Face Protection

It’s very important to keep your face and neck protected in extreme weather. For trips to the Arctic I would recommend packing a beanie and some sort of neck cover or scarf. Wearing a balaclava is a more suitable option for activities like skiing, snowmobiling etc. where you need to be hands free and can’t keep adjusting a scarf.

I usually take 2 neck covers with me, one snood style and one Buff, the reason being is that I find they get wet/icy very quickly and I like to be able to switch them out between activities.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Eye Protection

What you pack for eye protection will depend on where you are traveling to and what activities you are undertaking. I personally find it difficult to go hiking in the snow on a bright day without sunglasses, but I know some people don’t seem to mind – so use your judgement here!

It goes without saying that activities like skiing and snowboarding will require goggles to protect your eyes, but these should also be considered for activities like dog sledding and other fast-moving adventures in the extreme cold. Some tour companies may also provide these for certain activities.

I recently purchased the Smith Squad Goggles and have really been loving them. As far as sunglasses go, Proof Eyewear, Smith Optics and RAEN Optics are some of my favorite brands.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Dog sledding in Lapland, Finland; wearing the Smith Squad Goggles.

 

 

Backpack

Like nearly all destinations, a small backpack will come in handy for a trip to the Arctic. They are especially useful for packing “just-in-case” items like spare toe warmers, sunglasses, extra layers, snacks, lip balm, camera etc. I have featured a few options below, including a dedicated camera bag for those traveling with photography gear.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming  Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Warm Casual Outfits

What you pack for casual outfits will obviously depend on your destination and what sort of things you’ll be doing. I usually like to bring along some sweaters, leggings and stretchy jeans/jeggings for dinners and moments of down-time. It’s also nice to have a pair of shoes to wear that aren’t huge snow boots! I’ve featured some casual outfit ideas below:

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Optional Extras

Some extra items you may want to consider packing for a winter trip to the Arctic:

  • Swimsuit for any hot tub or sauna experiences
  • Power bank and/or battery phone case to keep your phone charged in the cold
  • Lip balm, face moisturizer, hand cream, and eye drops – it gets very dry in those kind of temperatures!
  • Inside activities for those long nights, think card games, Kindle/books, etc.
  • Small hot water bottle for keeping warm at night (I have a mini travel one that I bring on winter trips)
  • Snacks, especially ones that aren’t prone to freezing!
  • Camera equipment and ample spare batteries (they run-out quickly in the cold)
  • Wool blanket to keep your legs warm during activities like dog sledding adventures or reindeer safaris

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming


I hope you found this packing list to be helpful! Leave me a comment below if you have any questions. Don’t forget to use code RENEE15 for 15% off your first Backcountry.com order when gearing up for your trip to the Arctic. Safe travels!

 

 

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Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

 

More Winter Trip Inspiration

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Lapland, Finland in Winter

Wild Iceland – 15 Day Winter Photography Road Trip

Planning a Trip to Banff in Winter – Read This Before You Go!

7 Magical Winter Outdoor Adventures for the Holidays

Get Outside: The Ultimate Winter Hiking and Camping Guide

 

Disclaimer: Thank you to Backcountry for collaborating on this blog post. As always, all opinions are truthful and my own. The offer of 15% off does not apply on top of any other offer or discount, and it’s one use per customer. This post does contain some affiliate links, which means if you buy something my blog will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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It can be daunting packing for a winter trip to the Arctic, especially when it’s your first time! I’ve visited Arctic destinations like Finland and Iceland during the winter months, as well as extremely cold places like the Canadian Rockies and Colorado. During those trips I have learned what clothing does and doesn’t work and which items are the most essential. In this post I am sharing my recommended packing list for a winter trip to the Arctic, including tips and advice for being adequately prepared for the extreme weather!

This blog post is in collaboration with Backcountry.com, who are my go-to for purchasing outdoor/travel clothing and gear. They offer free 2-day shipping on orders over $50, easy returns, 24/7 advice from their amazing Gearheads, and they support incredible causes like The Nature Conservancy. Backcountry have also kindly offered my readers 15% off first-time online orders using code RENEE15!

Packing for a Winter Trip to the Arctic

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Snowshoeing at sunrise in -30° Celsius – Lapland, Finland

The first step to packing is researching your destination, including what the weather will be like, what activities you will be doing, and any cultural considerations to keep in mind. I have written this packing list for travelers visiting places like Finnish/Swedish Lapland, northern Norway, Iceland, northern Alaska, etc. In saying that, I have worn these same outfits in places like the Canadian Rockies and Colorado where it can get down to -25° Celsius and below.

The next step is to take inventory of what items you already own, what you can borrow from friends/family, items you may be able to rent at your destination, and any gear you will need to purchase for the trip. This blog post will give you a good idea of what you will need to pack, though please be sure to do more destination specific research as well.

Keep in mind that packing for a winter trip to the Arctic will likely be more bulky and expensive compared to taking a tropical vacation! You will probably find yourself taking more luggage or, like me, you may opt to carry/wear larger items onto the plane (like your parka and boots).

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Outerwear

Having adequate outerwear is vital when traveling in Arctic conditions. You will want your top layers to be insulated, wind proof, and waterproof/water-resistant. My go-to winter parka in the Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket and I think it’s a great find for the quality, warmth, and cozy (faux) fur hood. Another great option is the insulated Burton Shadowlight Parka. Be sure to size your parka to allow for layering underneath! Many people rave about the Canada Goose Expedition Parka but I personally cannot recommend any products that use real fur and would urge you to keep that in mind when shopping for outerwear.

For outerwear bottoms, this will depend on where you are going and what activities you are doing. For most adventures I personally prefer to wear fleece-lined tights or soft-shell hiking pants paired with thermals underneath. The Backcountry Sundial Tights and the Arc’teryx Gamma LT Soft Shell Pants are my favorites for this and they are both stretchy enough for layering. When going snowmobiling, skiing, or in really extreme conditions I would opt for insulated and waterproof snow pants like The North Face Freedom Pant.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Mid Layers

Layers are the most important thing when packing for a winter trip to the Arctic – I cannot stress this enough! Heading out in -30° Celsius in only an insulated parka and snow pants will not be enough to keep you warm. You will most likely need to layer with down jackets and fleece, especially if you aren’t going to be too active. My recommended layering system for the upper body is: long-sleeve merino wool thermal top, fleece layer, down layer, and an insulated parka (see image showing these layers featured below).

During my recent trip to Lapland I enjoyed layering the Backcountry Wolverine Cirque Jacket over my thermals, then the Backcountry Silver Fork 750 Down Jacket over that, plus my Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket on top. It was quite snug but I was able to stay warm even in -35° Celsius with this 4 layer combo.

Also included below is another of my favorite down jackets, the Backcountry Murdock 850 Down Jacket (keep in mind this one is a little more bulky for layering), and a fleece pullover by Patagonia that is super cozy for layering.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee RoamingPacking for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Thermal Layers

I love wearing merino wool thermal underwear when traveling to super cold places. I find that it keeps me toasty warm whilst still providing breathability, maintains its quality, and it also can be worn multiple times without getting smelly (this goes for merino wool socks too!)

For a one week trip to the Arctic I usually pack between 2-4 pairs of baselayers (for bottom AND top) because I like to layer them depending on the conditions and activity. Some of my favorites are the Backcountry Matilda Baselayer Tops and Bottoms and also the Icebreaker BodyFit 260 Tech Leggings and tops.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Shoes

Waterproof and warm shoes are a must when packing for a winter trip to the Arctic! Keep in mind that you will want them to be on the slightly bigger side so that you can wear thick socks and still have room for your toes to flatten out and move around. This will help prevent getting painfully cold feet! For everyday activities (not intense hiking) I would recommend shoes like the Sorel Caribou Boot or The North Face Shellista II Mid Boot.

For hiking and more active adventures then I would recommend a more technical boot like the KEEN Revel III. Active adventures in the snow may also require gaiters like the Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain High Gaiter.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Socks

As mentioned above, merino wool is the best material for keeping your feet toasty warm whilst remaining breathable and odor-free. In Arctic conditions I find the Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks to be the most effective, along with toe warmers and appropriate boots. Darn Tough also make a similar pair, the Mountaineering OTC Extra Cushion Socks, if you prefer even more padding on the soles.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee RoamingPacking for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Gloves

Having cold fingers really sucks and definitely prevents you from having fun! I find the most effective gloves are usually mittens, as they keep your fingers together and that in turn maintains/creates the most warmth. Being a photographer I find that I am constantly having to take my mitts off, so I usually opt to also wear liner gloves and use hand warmers. My favorite combo is the Hestra Patrol Gauntlet Mittens and The North Face Etip Liner Gloves (plus hand warmers).

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Head and Face Protection

It’s very important to keep your face and neck protected in extreme weather. For trips to the Arctic I would recommend packing a beanie and some sort of neck cover or scarf. Wearing a balaclava is a more suitable option for activities like skiing, snowmobiling etc. where you need to be hands free and can’t keep adjusting a scarf.

I usually take 2 neck covers with me, one snood style and one Buff, the reason being is that I find they get wet/icy very quickly and I like to be able to switch them out between activities.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Eye Protection

What you pack for eye protection will depend on where you are traveling to and what activities you are undertaking. I personally find it difficult to go hiking in the snow on a bright day without sunglasses, but I know some people don’t seem to mind – so use your judgement here!

It goes without saying that activities like skiing and snowboarding will require goggles to protect your eyes, but these should also be considered for activities like dog sledding and other fast-moving adventures in the extreme cold. Some tour companies may also provide these for certain activities.

I recently purchased the Smith Squad Goggles and have really been loving them. As far as sunglasses go, Proof Eyewear, Smith Optics and RAEN Optics are some of my favorite brands.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Dog sledding in Lapland, Finland; wearing the Smith Squad Goggles.

 

 

Backpack

Like nearly all destinations, a small backpack will come in handy for a trip to the Arctic. They are especially useful for packing “just-in-case” items like spare toe warmers, sunglasses, extra layers, snacks, lip balm, camera etc. I have featured a few options below, including a dedicated camera bag for those traveling with photography gear.

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming  Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Warm Casual Outfits

What you pack for casual outfits will obviously depend on your destination and what sort of things you’ll be doing. I usually like to bring along some sweaters, leggings and stretchy jeans/jeggings for dinners and moments of down-time. It’s also nice to have a pair of shoes to wear that aren’t huge snow boots! I’ve featured some casual outfit ideas below:

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Optional Extras

Some extra items you may want to consider packing for a winter trip to the Arctic:

  • Swimsuit for any hot tub or sauna experiences
  • Power bank and/or battery phone case to keep your phone charged in the cold
  • Lip balm, face moisturizer, hand cream, and eye drops – it gets very dry in those kind of temperatures!
  • Inside activities for those long nights, think card games, Kindle/books, etc.
  • Small hot water bottle for keeping warm at night (I have a mini travel one that I bring on winter trips)
  • Snacks, especially ones that aren’t prone to freezing!
  • Camera equipment and ample spare batteries (they run-out quickly in the cold)
  • Wool blanket to keep your legs warm during activities like dog sledding adventures or reindeer safaris

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming


I hope you found this packing list to be helpful! Leave me a comment below if you have any questions. Don’t forget to use code RENEE15 for 15% off your first Backcountry.com order when gearing up for your trip to the Arctic. Safe travels!

 

 

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Packing for a winter trip to the Arctic isn’t as challenging as you think! Find out everything you should pack for an cold adventure in the Arctic, including for destinations like Lapland, Norway, Iceland and more – Renee Roaming

 

More Winter Trip Inspiration

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Lapland, Finland in Winter

Wild Iceland – 15 Day Winter Photography Road Trip

Planning a Trip to Banff in Winter – Read This Before You Go!

7 Magical Winter Outdoor Adventures for the Holidays

Get Outside: The Ultimate Winter Hiking and Camping Guide

 

Disclaimer: Thank you to Backcountry for collaborating on this blog post. As always, all opinions are truthful and my own. The offer of 15% off does not apply on top of any other offer or discount, and it’s one use per customer. This post does contain some affiliate links, which means if you buy something my blog will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Renee Hahnel

Hi! My name is Renee and I'm an Australian photographer, blogger & travel addict. I now call the U.S.A home but you can usually find me wandering the globe with a camera in hand ✈ Let's get lost!

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4 Comments

  1. Jackie CARMAN on March 4, 2019 at 4:42 am

    Lots of useful tips in your blog Renee and as usual gorgeous pics.

  2. Amanda on March 5, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    This is a very useful post, thanks! 🙂

  3. Zhanna on March 9, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Having adequate outfit is definitely for me. I had a share amount of terrible stories when packing not the most appropriate shoes. 🙂

  4. Tatiana LaCarra on March 24, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Beautiful pictures and so many good tips! It wasn’t in the plan for this year but i now have to go! 🤣

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Renee Hahnel

Hi! My name is Renee and I'm an Australian photographer, blogger & travel addict. I now call the U.S.A home but you can usually find me wandering the globe with a camera in hand ✈ Let's get lost!

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