What most people envision when they think winter sports and activities is the usual stuff, snowsuits, ski pants, boots, gloves or mittens and scarfs. We think about just renting gear and clothing from the local ski shop. Everyone looks the same varied solely by the color of their ski suits or goggles. For my latest WinterWonderland themed vacation to Iceland and Finland I wanted to have function ( clothing and gear that would keep me warm) but also express my personal style and personality. That meant research, shopping sales, stalking and watching prices as if I was watching the stock market. I learned something in the process that timing is everything. My trip was scheduled for mid January which is somewhat the midpoint of winter season but I had the luxury of Black Friday, Christmas Sales and After Christmas Sales not to mention end of season deals and specials.
Knowing something about the climate of where you’re going makes all the difference as well. Not all cold is the same. Iceland temperatures are similar numerically to temps in the States, like 39 degrees Fahrenheit… HOWEVER during the winter months sporadic wind storms and snow storms can be so intense as to shut the country down, shutting down roads, locking down the airport and grounding flights. That added wind also makes the temperature feel much colder than need be. Armed with this information I needed to find “cute” looks that also would be functional in this climate. Waterproof, winter boots, wind resistant and waterproof/resistant coats/jacket and raincoats for the waterfalls.
Finland I’d learn by on the job training ( meaning just by being there)… is a whole different animal when it comes to cold. Finnish Lapland while we were there hit subzero lows. I don’t know of any clothing on the market suitable for that climate. The key would be layer up and suit up. Growing up in Connecticut, working in the likes of Wisconsin or Portland couldn’t prepare me for the cold I’d face in Finland. While the outerwear I had brought with me was functional.. I surely appreciated the jumpsuits and mittens that were put over my gloves that were provided to us during our Husky Sled ride and the oh so cozy jumpsuit provided during our IceKarting excursion. You know its cold when your eyelashes freeze, eyes water and tear up uncontrollably and finger tips freeze while in gloves. Don’t let this discourage you though. This trip was nothing short of AMAZING!