Different times of year require different clothing. Photography can be quite a static activity so keeping warm is vital.
In the autumn it can get quite cold and can be quite windy, but your usual winter clothing that you wear back home will be fine. Unless of course you live somewhere extremely warm!
In the winter it’s a whole different ball game and you the clothes you wear will determine how much you enjoy your time in Lapland.
It’s all about layers. Lots of them. And no cotton anywhere near your skin.
Start with a base layer of thermal underwear, top and bottoms. Merino is good.
On top add a fleece or warm jersey. You may want to wear two and thinner one and a thicker one. Finally you will want a good warm jacket, down is nice and light and insulates well. If you are using one of the thermal overalls provided you won’t need this.
On the bottom fleece trousers are nice followed by wind/waterproof trousers, similar to what you’d wear skiing. The snow isn’t the wet type of snow found in Southern Europe but is dry and powdery. This means you don’t really need waterproof trousers but they also tend to be windproof, which is why they are so good. If you are moving around a lot you won’t need the fleece trousers. Once again if you are using one of the thermal overalls provided you won’t need the outer layer.
On your feet you will want two pairs of socks. A nice thin pair of merino socks followed by a thicker, looser pair of woolen socks. The ones your grandma used to knit are the best…seriously. Too many pairs of socks restricts the blood flow to your feet and they will get cold. The same applies for really tight socks which is what most modern socks tend to be. It’s important to have that layer of air between the socks, that’s what keeps your feet warm.
The same system applies for your hands, two layers. The bottom layer can be thinner gloves or mittens (I prefer mittens) followed by a second pair of larger mittens. Mittens allow more air to be trapper and are therefor warmer than gloves. Obviously you will be want to have dexterity with your inner gloves so you can operate you camera. Practice at home with gloves on. I tend to photograph with my mittens on 90% of the time. Grandma mittens…awesome.
Boots. Super important. You will need winter boots. Anyone who tells you can wear hiking boots in the middle of winter in Lapland either hasn’t spent enough time there or has some amazing hiking boots! All participants on my tour are provided with winter boots unless I feel that your will be ok. Your boots must be large enough to have wiggle room for all your toes when wearing two pairs of socks.
You will need something for your neck, a scarf or a buff, and will want a good woolen hat. Your hat needs to cover your ears and shouldn’t be a loose knit type. The air gets in too easily and cools your head down. The fake fur hats which have the air flaps are great.
If you have all that you should be sorted 🙂
Not much, remember our trips are all inclusive. We do suggest you bring appropriate clothing to fit the season and a day pack to carry extra snacks and water. You will also get a recommended clothing list once your booking has been confirmed.
You will need a camera with full manual mode. A digital SLR or micro 4/3’rds is ideal. Modern compact cameras with Manual mode take fairly good shots but can often have limitations in ISO or shutter speed. If you’re unsure or have a more camera specific question please get in touch and I will help you out.
- A wide angle lens e.g. 10-20mm is great for when the northern lights are covering the sky.
- The standard kit lens, usually 18-55mm or 18-70mm, are fine.
- A zoom lens, e.g. 70-200mm or 18-200mm, is great for the remainder of the trip.
- Lens hoods are great for helping keep frost off the lens.
- Tripod. I have some basic tripods which can be borrowed on request.
- Cable release. This is optional.
- Lens cleaning cloth.
- Spare battery and media cards
If you haven’t used your camera in manual mode before it is good to make yourself familiar with it before you arrive. You will also find practicing in the dark valuable so that you don’t need to use a head lamp while shooting the northern lights.