If you are thinking of travelling to Finland in winter, one of the issues that will most concern you will be the type of clothing you should carry in your suitcase.
The cold is intense for a large part of the year, so it is necessary to take it into account when preparing the suitcase and be well prepared to withstand the low temperatures.
Temperatures begin to drop in November and remain until mid-April or early May. During this time, it is easy to find temperatures below zero with a lot of cold and wind, so it is important to bundle up properly.
In other articles we have already told you about the weather and climate of Finland, so you can read more about it there.
Next, we will give you some tips on how to dress in winter in Finland and recommendations on what clothes you should include in your luggage.
What to wear to Finland and Lapland in winter
The temperature should not scare you when planning your trip to Lapland or any other part of Finland. In fact, the temperatures below zero are not usually the problem, but the wind that accompanies them on some occasions.
There are a large number of activities fully prepared to take place in low temperatures, so with good winter clothing, you can enjoy Finland without any problem.
Clothes for Finland during winter
There are several pieces of clothing that should not be missing from your luggage if you are coming to Finland in winter. The anorak, waterproof pants and good boots are some of the clothes you will need.
It is important to bear in mind that the Finns are used to spending winters with these temperatures, so you should not worry if you forget something. When you get there you will find high-quality clothes for the cold.
The clothes you buy should be of the highest quality possible, even if the price is slightly higher. However, everything will depend on your budget and your circumstances. If you do not plan to make other trips to cold countries and you only need it to go to Finland, you can probably opt for somewhat cheaper garments that give a good result.
Layers of clothing to combat extreme cold
The key to withstanding the extreme cold of the Nordic countries is to dress in layers. Each of these layers plays a different role and all of them will help you maintain body heat.
The main advantage of dressing in layers is that you can gradually remove or add layers depending on the temperature. If you go inside an establishment, you will not need to be so warm, so you will only have to remove layers until you feel comfortable. On the other hand, if the temperatures drop, you will only have to add an extra layer.
First layer: tight thermal underwear
The first layer is, without a doubt, one of the most important, since it is the one that we will have close to the body at all times.
This should be synthetic, as it keeps heat better and drains moisture. Other materials, such as cotton, are not effective against moisture because they absorb moisture and therefore do not fulfil the purpose of the first layer.
It is best to include several t-shirts and thermal tights in your luggage to have spare parts during the trip.
Second layer: wool or thermal clothing
For the top, it is best to opt for a fleece or wool sweater, or a thin thermal jacket.
As with the first layer, it is advisable to avoid cotton if you want to cope with humidity. Wool or thermal clothing are your best options to stay dry and cope with extreme cold.
For the legs, you should avoid wearing jeans, as they are cold garments that absorb moisture.
We recommend wearing waterproof pants made of resistant fabric, since, unless the temperatures are very low, you will not need to use more layers on the legs.
Third layer: waterproof clothing
Generally, three coats are enough to withstand temperatures down to -20 degrees, so this should be your last coat.
If the temperatures are very low or the second layer pants are not waterproof, we recommend using snow pants, as they will provide you with warmth and are also waterproof, so you will not get wet.
For the top, a waterproof anorak is the best option. You should choose a comfortable, light and not bulky one that allows you to move without difficulty. These maintain body heat and protect you against the wind.
The most recommended thing is that the anorak has a hood. Even if we wear a hat, the hood will be in charge of protecting us from the rain, snow and wind.
Other layers of clothing for extreme cold
Three coats should be sufficient, but if you face temperatures below -30 ° you may need to add an extra layer.
Any extra layer that you add will have to go under the waterproof clothing of the third layer, so we recommend adding some fleece or wool sweaters to maintain body heat against low temperatures.
Protection for the head, hands and feet
The head and limbs are the parts of the body that get cold first when the body temperature drops, as our body tries to keep the torso and vital organs warm.
For this reason, it is essential to properly protect the head, hands and feet to prevent them from getting cold when the temperature is very low. In fact, if you start to get cold, protecting your limbs will help you quickly regain warmth.
Gloves and mittens to protect hands
Gloves and mittens are essential to protect your hands from extreme cold. First of all, you should use thin thermal or wool gloves to keep warm. And on top of them, as a second layer, use waterproof mittens for the snow.
Mittens are a highly recommended complement since they allow contact between your fingers while maintaining heat better. Gloves, on the other hand, separate the fingers and leave them more exposed to the cold.
In some organized activities, such as snowmobiling or reindeer sledging safari, customers are often loaned special gloves or mittens to combat the cold.
Hat to cover the head
The hat is an essential element to protect yourself from the cold. The most recommended thing is that it be made of wool since they keep the heat much better. If you prefer, there are other high-quality alternatives that fulfil the same function, such as synthetic, thermal hats and hats with ear flaps.
In cases where the wind and cold are very intense, you can use a waterproof hat over the wool one to prevent it from getting wet and losing its effectiveness. However, under normal conditions, a wool hat and anorak hood should suffice.
Wool socks and boots to protect the feet
Socks should be thermal or wool to properly keep warm. You should avoid cotton socks, as the humidity will make them wet and your feet will freeze.
You can use thermal socks as the first layer and wool socks on top, as the second. If you only want to wear a layer, wool socks are the best option to keep warm.
As for footwear, it is essential that it be of quality when travelling to Finland. The most advisable thing is to opt for waterproof snow boots that allow you to walk comfortably in the snow, to be able to do all kinds of activities.
As with gloves, in some organized activities they can lend you special boots so that you do not get cold during the activity.
One thing to keep in mind is that the boots chosen should be a pair of larger sizes so that you can put on multiple pairs of socks without being too tight. Also, by being a little loose, it will create a bubble of hot air that will help keep you warm.
Scarf or panty to cover the neck
If you are going to do activities outside, we recommend using a collar or panties or a balaclava, since they are more comfortable than a scarf.
In any case, you must protect your neck well to prevent cold air from entering your chest.
Finally, remember that in Finland you can find a large number of stores, even some second-hand, where you can buy cold gear at a good price. So, do not worry if you have forgotten to include something in your luggage or if you cannot find clothes in your country of origin or if they are too expensive.
In summary, do not be scared by the low temperatures if you are thinking of travelling to Finland. Dress in layers and remember that wool is your best ally to combat the extreme cold.