What to pack for winter in Sweden
“Aren’t you freezing up there?”
“Is it going to be cold?”
“How do you keep warm?”
are some of the most asked questions since we located ourselves in the middle of beautiful Sweden. It’s winter now but we are definitely not freezing when we dress smart.
For the brave ones who conquer the Great Swedish Winters to visit, or those going on holiday in Sweden, some tips for dressing for the cold. Winter is after all not that scary 🙂
If you’re in doubt what to pack, a little list to get you started:
1) Thermal Underwear: Merino wool doesn’t need to be washed that often as synthetic fibers but the synthetic dries faster. I prefer a rather thick long sleeved merino since I rather wear good warm base layers than a thick jacket.
2) Extra fleece (or thin woolen) layer for very cold days.
3) (Woolen) sweater as mid layer. This layer has to insulate to keep you warm but should also move any moisture away from your body. If you plan winter sport activities, fleece will also be a good option as it dries faster but you need to wash it more often to keep it fresh.
4) Even on the slightly warmer days, you might like to protect your skin from the cold. Gloves will keep you warm and are still practical (and there are some especially for using your smartphone). Mittens are also possible of course but I find them very unpractical as I can just wave as an idiot but not control my camera.
5) A (double layered) hat is my first choice although I also have a thin one for warmer days. But better slightly melting than freezing, right?
6) Good warm socks, don’t forget those! In a very enthusiastic mood, thinking that it was not that cold, I went out with normal socks…but they were only good to keep my frozen toes together. You definitely what to avoid that. So again, wool will keep your feet warm and dry. I mostly wear 2 layers, one thin and one pair of good thick socks.
7) If you like playing in the snow, love taking pictures or of you’re (like me) new to skiing, you would benefit greatly from waterproof pants. I think ski pants are the most comfortable but if it’s just a short trip and you don’t want to invest, you can also wear rain-pants over sweatpants or fleece pants. When traveling even more north and you would take part in a husky safari of snowmobile trip, you will probably have the option to use a thermal suit which you wear over your base layers.
8) A decent coat to protect you from the elements will be windproof and not too short as you don’t want snow in your pants or cold wind up your spine. (For showing off piercings, one should definitely wait for the summer season.)
9) Winter boots will help you to remain standing, keep your feet warm and are not destroyed by snow, ice or salt. You better have them a size too big to be able to wear extra socks without squashed feet. Here in Dalarna, most of the days I can just wear my rain-boots with a double layer of socks.
10) I love wearing a scarf, it gives me a cozy feeling but it’s obviously practical too. When it’s very cold I often use a second in front of my face to protect my face. I also noticed that using some oily facial creme helps a lot. That’s why I also mentioned number
11) The lip balm to protect your lips both against the cold when you’re outdoors and to keep them soft afterwards. The elements can be cruel on your skin.
13) The slippers might look like a silly joke, but really, take them with you. Why? For bastu! Nothing more welcome after a cold day outdoors as the heat of a sauna.
– Balaclava. If you ever wanted to feel like a bank robber without getting in trouble. But also practical as an extra layer underneath your hat and scarf to prevent any cold air coming in.
– Mittens are clumsy but much warmer than gloves. Or you can wear them over your gloves when temperatures are really dropping.
– A flashlight is very useful when you go out at night. Not always to see more, but if you walk on the side of the road you can use it to warn cars. Winter days can be very dark up north so dropping your keys in the snow, finding the door or having a little evening stroll might be a lot less disturbing when having some light with you.