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Arctic circle and not a thing to wear!
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# 1
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elsien
Old 27-11-2008, 11:45 AM
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Default Arctic circle and not a thing to wear!

Under duress ( I don't do cold) I am accompanying my mother on a northern lights trip(we hope) to Norway in February for her 70th birthday.
We will be above the Arctic circle for the full 8 days, staying on a boat, hotels and one night in an ice hotel - hypothermia is setting in just at the thought.
Can anyone advise on what sort of clothes and footwear I should take and where I can get kitted up with suitable stuff without breaking the bank.
I'm working on the lots of layers theory - thermals in small, medium, large and XL one on top of another.
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# 2
Sus1e
Old 27-11-2008, 11:54 AM
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I am going to Tromso in Northern Norway and have gone with the layering things myself.

I went to an outlet village and bought 3 sets of thermal undies from M+S (on 3for2 at about 8 each), several thin fleece tops which I will wear again anyway for about 15 each and a new thicker fleece top for 5. I also bought hat, and scarf on bogof for 5.

I then went to Costco and got a set of ski trousers and ski gloves for 30 total.

We are not going on a cruise but doing the whole thing ourselves so expect to be out walking etc a lot. So I'm also taking walking boots and thick socks.

If I get chance, I will let you know how I went and what I used/didn't and what I should have bought!
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# 3
flutterbyuk25
Old 27-11-2008, 12:30 PM
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Lidl and Aldi often have offers on ski wear/thermals this time of year so may be worth a look.

Other than that I'd wait for the sales and stock up on thermals. Or try an outlet village as Sus1e did, you can often pick up bargains.

Also, ask the travel agent/company that you booked with to advise you on suitible clothing to take.

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# 4
pboae
Old 27-11-2008, 1:18 PM
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At the Ice Hotel in Sweden they supplied us with all the clothing we needed. In other areas I had thermal socks, vests and leggings, layers of tops, a good coat and boots, and gloves. I ended up buying a thick pair of mittens when I was over there as well. They were much more effective than gloves.
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alibongo42
Old 27-11-2008, 1:23 PM
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Hope you don't mind me joining in, but I am also interested in this. I'm off to Lapland, and have all the regular gear I take skiing (plus extra thermal undies).

I was wondering about face protection! I have a hat, scarf and ear muffs, but have heard that my face will still get very cold and I might need some sort of balaclava. Anyone know if this is likely to be necessary in December?
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# 6
Rikki
Old 27-11-2008, 1:27 PM
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My OH put nivea on his face when he's outside all day.

You can also get ski suntan cream, I think the last I had was soltan. Clinique also used to do cold weather protection cream.
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# 7
Ettenna
Old 27-11-2008, 1:28 PM
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I was looking in TKMaxx the other day at the ski wear - very reasonable for salopettes, jackets & gloves.

I got my thermal undies (for watcing daughters playing football) from Tchibo.

I have got all the fun of buying ski wear for my DD trip next year.
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# 8
Rikki
Old 27-11-2008, 1:37 PM
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www.thermalsdirect.co.uk has thermals at a good price. Choice of colour and delivery is 3 per order.
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# 9
BillScarab
Old 27-11-2008, 1:40 PM
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We went to Lapland a couple of years ago. They provded thermal overusits and boots, is anything liek this provided?

What we wore was

thermal top, t-shirt, micro-fleece, fleece jacket
thermal long johns, jogging bottoms

We then wore the thermal suit over that. Head gear was a hat or balaclava.

On our feet we had normal socks with thick thermal socks over them and then boots.

Hands we had gloves with big heavy mitts over them.

EDIT try www.gooutdoors.co.uk they have some good offers on thermals and fleeces etc.
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# 10
livinginhope
Old 27-11-2008, 2:25 PM
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'My OH put nivea on his face when he's outside all day.

You can also get ski suntan cream, I think the last I had was soltan. Clinique also used to do cold weather protection cream.'


NO,NO,NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you MUST NOT put any creams on your face when going out in the arctic! they freeze on the skin and cause major problems save the creams for night time when indoors,but make sure you remove them before going out.
For outdoors you will need,non cotton base layer,it must be non cotton as the sweat doesn't stay on your skin and freeze you then put on a cotton polo neck and then maybe a fleece,although I have found with a good suit,you wont need the fleece layer.We always wear a pair of tights,then thermal socks and sometimes put some boot warmers in our boots,the one thing where you need to spend the money is gloves! a good pair of scott gloves is an absolute must,a thick hat and also a face protector that covers your nose and mouth,you may find breathing difficult without this,as the hair in your nostrils freeze and no air gets through
When we have been,the temp averages -34C that sounds cold,but you do get used to it and the scenery is so spectacular,you will forget about the cold.
Best advice is to hire a thermal suit,they are very cheap to hire locally and will be better than anything you can buy here,normally made by Scott

Have a great time

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# 11
supermum4
Old 27-11-2008, 7:38 PM
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Hi you can put vasaline on your face as it is not a water based cream, this is what we did last dec in lapland and it stopped our cheeks going red and sore like other peoples did, ouch. hope you have a great time.
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# 12
poe.tuesday
Old 28-11-2008, 1:30 AM
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have a look here about what to wear in places like lapland and norway

www.lapland.fruitbandit.com

as for the cotton thing as a base layer, if you are not going to be active then it does not matter if you have a cotton blend etc as it is only when you sweat that cotton is a no no as it absorbs the sweat and does not draw it away from your skin, bit like having a cold wet flannel on

regarding facial creams, the reason you should not use water based creams is that they can freeze but the likelihood is slim, also, it is not advised to put any creams on your face in temps lower than about -20 as your skin does need to breath, as for suntan lotions - they ain't no sun until later on in the year, the sun only starts to come above the horizon in lat jan so in feb you may get a few hours of dim sunlight so don't bother with sun lotion or sunglasses

I would also highly recommend you get ice grips that attach to the bottom of your boots, you can get them in tchibo for under a tenner for a pair, they really will stop you from slipping on the ice and with an older person with you who maybe a little more fragile it could save broken bones
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# 13
meester
Old 28-11-2008, 1:59 AM
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Ugh.

Cold.

Still haven't found my cheap flights to Egypt yet.
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# 14
MsCrow
Old 28-11-2008, 5:51 AM
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Great thread, we're also off to Tromso so I'm reading with interest. We're also going by ourselves so will be walking about. I think my major worry is boots, I have a pair I don't mind getting snowy etc, but do I need something better?
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torbrex
Old 28-11-2008, 6:11 AM
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If it is a case of having to buy cold weather clothing can I suggest that you wait until you get to your destination. The shops there will cater for all your needs and will be in a better position to advise you of what you will need to combat the local conditions.
It is unlikely that you will freeze on your arrival and you can ask your hosts or hotel staff where the best place to shop for clothes is to be found then go shopping for a couple of hours and you will be all set for the rest of your trip.
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poe.tuesday
Old 28-11-2008, 8:40 AM
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I wouldn't buy on arrival, not only will it be expensive but you will waste time, not have the choice and you should really be repaired before you go

the stuff you get over here is fine, you just need to follow the basic rules of thin layers with a good ski coat and trousers (or all in one if you prefer), the most important thing is good gloves, hat and boots.

I prefer mittens as it gives more room for your fingers to move about and for air to circulate, as for boots, there are lots of options here but they need to have a good tread as you will be walking on a variety of surfaces including packed down show/ice - I have north face nuptse boots and they have done me well in lapland with temps in excess of -25, they are lightweight and very cumfy

there is a company in the US that has some great stuff which is also cheap, they ship over here and have live help as regards to sizing etc, http://www.sierratradingpost.com/
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Doozergirl
Old 28-11-2008, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsCrow View Post
Great thread, we're also off to Tromso so I'm reading with interest. We're also going by ourselves so will be walking about. I think my major worry is boots, I have a pair I don't mind getting snowy etc, but do I need something better?
Yes! You need proper outdoor boots with a really good thick sole. I bought mine from an outdoor shop and they are specially made for cold weather with a Thinsulate lining. My feet were lovely and warm all the time except when we were on a Reindeer ride and my feet weren't filling the shoe properly were I was sitting with my legs out in front of me. The cold air got in and honestly, even with multiple socks my feet have never been so cold and painful. I wouldn't even take a chance.

By the way, they don't get snowy like they do here because it's usually always below freezing, it's like dust - it falls straight off. There's no sludge and the heat from your feet will do nothing to melt anything sitting on your shoes. I wore my boots constantly for a week and they came back as good as brand new.
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monkeyspanner
Old 28-11-2008, 11:14 AM
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Couple of suggestions.
A neck fleece is useful which you can pull up over your mouth.
Get some hand warmer sachets from an outdoor shop.
Don't skimp on gloves and boots.

Keep your carbs intake up and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Strangely it often doesnt feel that cold because it is so dry. Watch out if is windy. We saw the lights in South Norway a few years ago, its an amazing sight.
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# 19
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Old 29-11-2008, 11:59 AM
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BBBRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!
It's making me feel cold just reading this thread!
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# 20
elsien
Old 30-12-2008, 3:44 PM
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I'd appreciate some more advice on the best footwear to take. I'm doing touristy things, not walking/trekking, but my circulation stops at my ankles at the best of times. I looked at the nuptse boots that were mentioned, but the shop assistant in blacks and the cotwold outdoor shop said they weren't windproof, and advised against. The north face shop only had boots left that were 110 and out of my pricerange. Help!

Edit - currently looking at the north face vanton boots (childrens at 50, as I have small feet. )
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Last edited by elsien; 30-12-2008 at 3:53 PM.
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