Finnish winter can be cold as hell, but still many of us might say it is the most beautiful time of the year. Yes, snow-covered trees, magical pastel pink colors of the sky, golden sun light, frozen lakes and Northern Lights are magical. But if the temperature falls a raft of degrees below zero, how on earth can one survive outdoors enjoying these magnifecent views and winter activities without freezing to death?
The key to survive the winter and spend time outdoors in Finland is proper clothing. More is more, so you can’t wear too many layers, but on the other hand you should really pay attention to the materials you are using. The first layer should be something that removes perspiration away from the skin, and at the same time keeps your skin dry (for me the best option is Patagonia Capilene). The second layer will keep you warm so fleece, cotton or wool are good materials for this purpose. The third one is usually the outer layer (or, like in my case, another “second” layer to warm you up a bit more) and it should be made out of fabric that is wind- and waterproof, but also breathable and padded if the temperature gets very low. Because it really can get as low as -40 degrees celsius here in Finland. Crazy ha?
Don’t forget to pay special attention to protecting your feet, hands and head as well! I like to use a tube scarf that covers my face if needed, a beanie that protects my ears properly and roomy warm mittens. But the hardest thing for me is to keep my feet warm. That’s the one thing I struggle with all the time during the winter months and I’m a Finn, so no wonder if this is difficult for you too! But I’ve learned a few tips over the past years and one of them is feet warmers. If nothing helps (winter shoes with properly isolated soles and two pairs of warm thermal socks) and you’re still struggling with cold feet, these might be a good option for you too. Because let’s be honest – nothing will ruin the fun of hiking in epic winter scenery faster than frozen feet.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
This Finnish saying in mind we headed to Torronsuo National Park last weekend. It was freezingly cold day, -25 degrees celsius outside, but yet so freaking beautiful that we had to escape from the city to the nature. And it was sooo worth it. We spent a few hours walking on swamps along sturdy duckboard trails, climbed to a high birdwatching tower with magnificent views over the bog and relaxed by the campfire sipping delicious hot chocolate. We were mesmerized by the sun light dancing on frozen hey, speechless when the setting winter sun was coloring all the tree-tops with all the tones of red and grateful when we finally saw moon rising by the end of the day.
So did I freeze my feet this time? Yep, I sure did – because I forgot to bring my precious feet warmers with me. Lesson learned, again. I think next time I’ll be even a bit more conscious with my feet heating system and double check my backpack before heading to the wild.
Have a happy wintery week everyone! Remember; there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
PS. Me and Laura have actually quite an intimate relationship towards swamps, because we have literally met on one during the Swamp Soccer World Championships! Oh well, that’s another (funny) story, which we will surely share with you later on the blog.
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