WINTER CLOTHING GUIDE,
TIPS AND RULES
WINTER SUITS EVERYBODY
Walking with snowshoes is right for you if you can walk the same distance on flat land. Snowshoes prevent you from sinking into the snow and poles give you balance. Snowshoeing is something between walking and cross-country skiing. Easy to learn and fun! You can also choose skinbased skis (OAC Kar), if you want to combine benefits of snowshoes and skis.
WINTER EXCURSIONS INCLUDE
snowshoes or skinbased skis (OAC) and poles
warm drink and snacks on longer excursions (Please inform us of any special diets at the time of booking)
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
You need own outdoor clothing and boots which are suitable for current weather. You can also rent a set (thermal overall, boots, hat, mittens), but inform us about your size min. 3 days beforehand.
Don't hesitate to ask for advice! You'll also find more info on how to dress right in this fun video from Visit Finland.
TIPS FROM LOCALS
Layers, gloves, hat, woolen socks... it's a long list! But yes, we locals really wear it all on and enjoy the winter 200 days per year. The cold is no reason to stay indoors.
In Kuusamo and in the fells, the weather changes unexpectedly (especially nowadays; climate change, you know). It can be -25C in the morning and -5 in the afternoon - or vice versa. If you compare average temperature to reality, they can be quite accurate, or deviate a lot depending on the year. So if you are not sure what to expect, ask your guide.
How we dress from December to February:
Our base layer is breathable and warm. I think merino wool is the best, but some technical underwear works well too. Cotton is the worst, it absorbs the sweat and cools you down. Remember to put on warm socks to keep your feet happy!
The mid layer is made of fleece - or again wool. Shirt - and pants as well, if you feel cold easily. If it gets too hot, you can take this layer off and put it in your backpack.
An extra layer for really low temperatures or to put on during breaks: light down jacket or vest. Moving around keeps us warm most of the time, so wearing that while snowshoeing would be too much.
Shell/outer layer: windproof layer to make your weatherproof outfit complete. The jacket can be shell or an insulated jacket.
Winter boots should be roomy enough to leave some air between your feet and the shoe itself.
Warm socks to keep your toes warm. Wool is again the best choice.
Hat or beanie: 40-50% of body heat is lost through your head.
Scarf or Buff to keep your neck warm. It also keeps the warm air inside your jacket.
Gloves, mittens: To make your mittens extra warm add thin wool or silk liners.
Take a small backpack which can hold your accessories if it gets too hot or those liner gloves you may have. That's also the place for your water bottle/thermos or snacks. If you don't have your own, ask us.
In March and April days get longer and the air is warmed by the sun. You can probably forget that extra down layer. In the afternoon snow can be quite wet, so good winter boots are essential. Don't forget sunblock and sunglasses!
Camera and mobile batteries don't like cold, so charge them well before heading out and keep your phone in a warm pocket!
So now you know how to dress up. If you go to enjoy nature without your guide, you have to follow certain rules. Most important is called Everyman's Right and extends immense freedom to roam but comes with some serious responsibilities. All people whether residing in Finland or just visiting have the right to enjoy nature anywhere in the Finnish countryside regardless of land ownership. Shortly it is mutual respect for nature, people and property. The outdoor enthusiast’s golden rule requires a desire to preserve and protect the unspoiled beauty and wonder of nature for future generations to enjoy. Read more from here.
BELOW SOME DIFFERENT OPTIONS FOR WEATHER. IT CAN REALLY BE ANYTHING:
OAC Kar skinbased skis. Made in Finland, of course.
-35 Celsius/ -31 Fahrenheit in January. Still smiling.
We walk with MSR snowshoes
-5C/23F in January. Feels like summer.
OAC skis and forest yoga
T-shirt weather in February!!! OMG!
Sun feels warm, but still 70cm of snow. April.