How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter

For those warm-weather people out there that plan to head to cold climates in winter, here are some tips to help you get by. You might be thinking,’I’ll just take a warm coat and thick socks and I’ll be fine’. You’d be surprised about the little things that people from warmer climates just don’t think about when travelling in winter. This article will show you how to prepare for Finland in the winter. It’s also good for other subarctic winter wonderlands.

How to Prepare For Finland in the Winter – Gloves

Gloves are a must whenever you’re outside, of course! But what happens when you want to take photos? Your hands quickly become sore and numb when they’re exposed to sub-zero temperatures. You’re going to need two sets of gloves. I don’t mean to match with different outfits, I mean to wear at the same time!

K in Motion Travel Blog. How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter. Outer Gloves

How to Prepare For Finland in the Winter – Touch Gloves

Touch gloves are amazing. They allow you to use your phone as you would with bare hands. The problem is they don’t really offer much protection from the cold in places like Finland in the winter.

Our solution: wear touch gloves under your other gloves. That way, when you need to take a photo, you only need to take the top glove off. That means your hand still has some protection from the cold. This will definitely increase your comfort level!

K in Motion Travel Blog. How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter. Touch Gloves

While we’re on the subject of gloves, it’s an annoying fact that you will regularly need to take one or both gloves off. For several different reasons. But where do you put the gloves so they don’t get in your way? Or so you don’t accidentally drop them? You’d be surprised how often that last one occurs!

Our solution: join your gloves together with a piece of material to keep them in place when you need to take them off.

K in Motion Travel Blog. How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter. Gloves Attached to Each Other

That way, they’ll always be within easy reach and you’ll never lose them or drop them!

How to Prepare For Finland in the Winter – Let’s Heat Things Up!

So obviously you’re going to opt for layers and a warm coat but if you’re particularly susceptible to the cold, this may not be enough. If you think this will be the case, you might want to pick up a heated jacket before you go. They run on USB so you’ll also need to carry a power bank with you.

Unfortunately, there are some body parts that cannot be warmed by a jacket, specifically the hands and feet. Some people find that even with gloves, thick socks and cold weather shoes, their hands and feet still get cold. Like loss-of-feeling kind of cold. Hands can be warmed by putting them in your pockets, but what about your feet?

Our solution: put heat packs/toe warmers in your pockets and your shoes to keep your hands and feet nice and toasty.

How to Prepare For Finland in the Winter – Hot Water Bottle

Another suggestion for keeping yourself warm is using a hot water bottle. If you’re wearing a backpack, you can just stick it in there. It’ll keep your back warm and you could also put your hands between your back and bag if they start getting a little cold. If you’re not carrying a bag, pop the hot water bottle inside your coat before you zip it up. This will also keep your pockets warm.

K in Motion Travel Blog. How To Prepare For Finland in the Winter. Hot Water Bottle

How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter – Take a Flask For Your Drinks

Do you love a cuppa to keep you warm on a cold day? You might want to take a flask of your favourite warm beverage with you when you go outside. While a nice cuppa will definitely warm you up when you’re out in the cold, it could create another problem. If you drink too much liquid, you’ll need to pee a lot.

K in Motion Travel Blog. How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter. Flask For Drinks

You might actually be surprised to know that if you carry water with you, it could end up freezing in the bottle. While this is not likely to happen during the day, it’s quite likely to occur when chasing Auroras at 1am. If you prefer your water as a liquid, then you might want to take a flask for your water too.

How to Prepare For Finland in the Winter – Your Electronics Have Feelings Too, You Know!

Unless your phone is a special, made-for-cold-temperatures one from the Finnish brand Nokia, it’s going to hate the cold too. Yes, this includes iPhones. In fact, they’re the first ones to die in sub-zero temperatures.

If a thermometer starts flashing on your phone, you’ll need to warm it up quickly! The best way to do this is to stick it in your pocket with the heat pack. But it’s likely that if you’re seeing the warning, the battery is already on its way to dying. So how can you prevent this from happening?

Our solution: keep your phone warm with heat packs and only take it out of your pocket for short amounts of time in sub-zero temperatures.

How to Prepare For Finland in the Winter – Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses!

With what you’ve heard about Subarctic locations, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that you won’t see the sun much. Okay, that part might be true, but it doesn’t mean that things don’t get bright during the day. Snow is very white and even on overcast days can create quite a glare. If you are sensitive to light, then you’re going to need your sunglasses! For at least a few hours a day.

K in Motion Travel Blog. How To Prepare For Finland in the Winter. Sunglasses

Now wouldn’t it be handy if all this information on how to prepare for Finland in the winter was put together in a simple, quick-reference guide? Well, we thought of that too! Here’s a nice little graphic that we put together to show you how to prepare for Finland in the winter.

K in Motion Travel Blog. How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter Guide

Please feel free to save it for your next trip to a Subarctic region. We’ve even included a downloadable PDF version for you to keep on your phone for quick reference.

How to Prepare For Finland in the Winter

Other Things to Know About Finland

Just a couple more things to know about Finland and some other Subarctic regions. Everyone is expected to be honest and upstanding citizens in these areas. People will leave their bikes outside buildings unchained. They will leave their keys in the ignition of their cars when they are parked. They will leave the front doors to their houses unlocked. This means that you can travel the area with peace of mind.

Crime rates are low, probably partly due to the biting cold. People are generally friendly and helpful. Like the librarian who wrote a note for us to help us get the bus ticket we wanted.

K in Motion Travel Blog. How to Prepare For Winter in Finland. Librarian's Note

Speaking of buses, everyone waves to the driver and says thank you as they alight from buses in Finland. If you want to fit in, you should do the same! :o)

This post was compiled in collaboration with Gimagery


Are you ready to start planning your Finland trip? If you found this ‘how to prepare for Finland in the winter’ article helpful, please click the picture you like to Pin It for later! :o)

68 Replies to “How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter”

  1. Yikes, water could freeze when carrying in a normal bottle?!? I’m originally from the Netherlands and now live in the UK so both no super warm countries but I’m not good with cold either! I’d love to go to Iceland and Lapland, but I’m nervous for the cold ha ha! I therefore like the idea of the heated jacket, no idea those existed! (Although I do suddenly remember having an electric blanket when I was young.) Thanks for sharing these great tips!

    1. Yes, it actually happened to my water one night. I thought it was hilarious! Once it thawed a bit, it was just like a refreshing glass of water from the fridge, hehe.

  2. This sounds really similar to all the things you need to go skiing! I always found it mad when we first started venturing into the snow here in Canada, that we’d need good sunglasses! They make SUCH a big difference though!

    The other thing I LOVE for winter, is the super thin Uniqlo base layers. They are cheap, but good quality and they keep me toasty and warm!

    1. Yes! Sunglasses wouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind for cold climates but are definitely needed. Mine go everywhere with me!

  3. Hehehe, we prepared very similarly for the Snow & Ice Festival in Harbin, China where we had temperatures of -20C. We brought some heating pads as I feared my wife would freeze stiff. Since she dressed in 5 layers (or so), she really did not need them. I would say that a warm hat and a face mask to keep the face warm were absolutely helpful.

  4. Northern Lights is something that I want to experience during my visit to Finland. It seems that I’ll have to go on a Shopping spree before the trip.

  5. Finland is a white wonderland, the stuff of dreams, of course, one needs to be fully prepared for the cold, your post is indeed a ready-reckoner for preparing for Finland in winter.

  6. I really don’t like being cold so I would definitely need everything I possibly could to keep warm as I don’t want to miss out on places like Finland just to avoid the cold. I love having a hot water bottle with me and sometimes even do that when it gets especially cold in the UK. Also love that they wave and say thank you to the bus drivers :-)

    1. The hour water bottle was my friend’s idea. He’s also from the UK and uses it all the time!

  7. There’s some very practical suggestions you have there ! I am very bad with cold weathers, and I love taking photos too ! So I struggled with taking off my gloves to activate my touch screen phone in the cold. Your suggestion of wearing a touch glove inside makes so much sense ! Also the tip on keeping phones with heat packs is something I always forget, and the cold eats up my battery like crazy ! Thanks for sharing ! =)

    1. My phone had over 50% charge an hour before the temperature alarm came up. It was crazy how much the cold affected it!

  8. You just blew my mind with the heated jacket! My idea of the right temperature is a hot yoga studio, so having a jacket that actively keeps me warm is like a dream come true. Also, interesting fun fact that there are specific phones made for super cold weather. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  9. So many helpful tips. I didn’t realise phones got cold too! I love your ideas for keeping hands and feet warm. Wearing double gloves is genius!

    1. I never knew about the phone issue with temperature either! I guess I don’t normally stay out in the cold for long enough.

  10. We are both so afraid of cold weather, especially after spending a night in a hostel without heating in the middle of the Uyuni salt flats where it was minus 15 degrees Celsius! So if or when we go to Finland in winter, we’ll make sure to bring enough warm clothes, lots of gloves and definitely a hot water bottle!

    1. That sounds absolutely horrid to me. There’s no way I could deal with that! If you got through that I think you guys will handle Finland just Fine! :)
      I always travel to warmer places. Finland was only the second cold place I’ve travelled to in winter in over 10 years of travelling!

  11. Good to be prepared when visiting such cold weather. I like the connecting the gloves idea and will do that.

  12. I don’t know if I will ever get to Finland but can definitely use this when I go to Northern Maine. I love they leave the keys in the cars and doors unlocked. There are still places like this, believe it or not.

  13. I like the gloves with the strap on them. That is so practical and I use to do the same thing to my son’s glove when he was younger so he wouldn’t lose them.

  14. I always love to go to Europe including Finland because of winter. I live in a tropical country and we only have summer season. I am surely use these advice you stated in the post when I will visit any countries that has current winter season. Thank you

    1. I live in a sub tropical region and even though we fo have winter, it’s very short and mild so I hate the cold!

  15. I’m planning a trip to Finland next year so I definitely need this. I’m always cold, and it might sound mad to go to a cold country, but I’ve always wanted to go to Finland. I’ll be strapping 3 water bottles around my waist and hoping for the best!

  16. These all look like great things to have when it’s freezing out. I’m in Texas so it rarely gets super cold. When we lived in Wyoming it sure did!

  17. I’m not a cold weather person but I want to go to Lapland and to see the Northern lights! My son has been there and loved it (his girlfriend is Finnish) Your tip about not losing gloves reminded me of when I was a kid and regularly lost one of my gloves! Good tip about keeping mobile phones warm. I wouldn’t have thought of that!

    1. I hate the cold so much. It was really hard to get me to go outside sometimes!
      My friend actually got the idea from his mum joining his gloves together when he was a kid. I never had to wear gloves growing up, so I’d never seen it done before.

  18. What I like about winter is that I got to wear fancy gloves and coat. And I think I should be prepared to precautionary items too. Thanks for listing these things.

    1. I’ve seen the midnight sun in Sweden. I’ve only ever visited Nordic countries in the summer before.

  19. I just love snowy areas they gives a different type of pleasure..and i have heard a lot about Finland and wish to visit too..will surely keep all of your tips and ideas in mind…Thanks for sharing..

    1. I really don’t like snow. it’s interesting for a couple of minutes, then it’s just annoying!

  20. OMG, I wish to visit Finland! But for the meantime that I’m here in Australia (and winter is coming), I will definitely consider these recommendations. I easily get feeling freezy!

    1. I don’t think you’ll need these things for an Australian winter.. unless you’re in Melbourne or Tasmania!

  21. I can imagine that it gets really cold in Finland in winter. I like the idea of tying up the gloves so you don’t loose them. Very ingenious.

  22. You can definitely get snow burns out there. I didn’t think about getting sunglasses, but it really does make a lot of sense. You would need them out there.

    1. I got the worst sunburn of my life from hiking a snowy mountain in Kazakhstan in the summer! The reflection off the snow was so intense that it hurt the eyes.

  23. It seems like it gets really cold in Finland. I have never been there before. Thanks for the survival tips to prepare. Appreciate it!!!🤗

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