For my recent trip to Finland for the #HelsinkiSecret Residence, I was unsure of what all I should take to try and keep warm. In the weeks leading up to my trip, it was about 0° Fahrenheit in Helsinki, so it looked like this would be my first reeeeeally cold destination. Sure, I went to Iceland a while back, but it was in September and about 45° Fahrenheit on average. Finland would be a new kind of cold to me, but luckily when I was in Helsinki it ended up being between 20-25° Fahrenheit. It was still very cold, but not subzero temperatures like I expected.
In the weeks leading up to my departure for Finland, I stressed myself out over what all I should take to keep warm. I ended up going with the following items and I was so happy with all of these choices. They kept me warm and toasty in the cold Finnish weather. Here are 7 things that I used during my trip to Finland –
A WARM BEANIE
I’ve recently began loving beanies. I would honestly wear one every day if I could. By getting one that’s big enough, it’ll not only keep your head warm, but also your ears. I originally took my 66° North beanie with me to Finland, but on my first day in Helsinki I received a new beanie from the Finnish brand Costo. I ditched my old beanie and wore my Costo beanie for the entire trip because it was so nice. It’s made from 100% merino wool and has a fun detachable bobble on the top, so you can change the bobble colors according to your mood for the day. Costo does have a store in Helsinki, but you can also order their beanies online for € 39.
A THICK SCARF
I have quite a few scarves, but most of them are paper thin. Even my North Face scarf didn’t really keep me warm in Iceland because it’s so thin, so I went on a mission to find a thicker scarf. It turns out that it’s quite challenging to find a thick scarf that doesn’t look girly. I don’t know why it’s so difficult, but I got creative. I found a thick black scarf at none other than Walmart, but it had a pink ball on each end. So… I cut them off and made it just a black scarf. It worked like a charm and was some of the best $5 (yes, it really was just $5) that I’ve ever spent.
A GOOD JACKET
Before heading to the Arctic tundra (well, near it at least), Climashield hooked me up with an amazing Arc’teryx Fission SL Jacket with Climashield insulation. It is hands down the warmest jacket that I’ve ever owned. It’s also fully waterproof and very light, which makes it easier for me to move around in it. Due to my Spinal Muscular Atrophy, it’s always a bit of a hassle finding a good warm jacket that’s light enough so that I can still move around in it easily. This jacket was the answer to my winter prayers! This jacket is expensive ($749), but if you can afford it then I know you’ll fall in love with it.
I can’t believe that I didn’t start using these earlier in my life! For some reason, I just discovered these and now I feel like my whole life up until this point has been a waste. Hand warmers are a necessity for any winter trip to Finland! While wandering the streets of Helsinki, I just put a hand warmer in both of my gloves and they kept my hands nice and toasty. They actually get almost too hot at times, but they’ll definitely warm your hands right up. They are also pretty cheap at about $10 for 24 warmers.
As a travel blogger, being able to use my iPhone is crucial in any weather. I have to get that perfect shot and then upload it to Facebook of course. With my Outdoor Research Sensor Gloves, it’s easy to use my touchscreen iPhone while keeping my hands warm. I tried on many different brands of gloves, but these were my favorites because my fingers still easily have dexterity with these on. I will admit though that if you’ll be somewhere where it’s below 20° Fahrenheit, you might want to get a thicker pair of gloves… or you could just wear these and put a hand warmer in them. These gloves are about $30 and can be ordered online.
I was introduced to these socks while watching a video by the Vagabrothers (they have some epic YouTube videos by the way!). They talked about how much they liked these socks during their trip through Finland, so I decided to give the Smartwool socks a try. And they worked beautifully! Honestly, I’m usually not a fan of wearing socks at all, but these socks were comfortable and kept my toes warm since they’re made of wool. You can order these socks online for about $20-25 per pair.
One of the last things that I bought for my trip to Finland was a pair of Oboz boots. I love this company because they plant a tree for every pair of shoes that are sold. So, you can feel good about forking out a couple hundred dollars on a pair of boots. After all, you’re ultimately helping the environment! Some good insoles could be useful as well. These boots, along with the Smartwool socks, kept my feet very warm.
what to pack for winter in finland
That was seven of the survival tools that I took to Finland with me to brave the outdoors. Helsinki has some beautiful nature, so you will not want to be cooped up inside the entire time that you’re in the city. Instead, stock up on warm clothes and accessories (I’d also highly recommend a GoPro), and get out there and experience everything that Helsinki has to offer. As the Finns say “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”.