In a little under 2 weeks we are headed to Levi, Finland to experience all that is Lapland/ Lapp Dance. This is mind-blowingly sick. Really. Let me just run you through the facts for a minute:
- 4 days in Levi, the biggest ski resort Finland has to offer.
- a range of epic Berlin’ers playing music to a bunch of club kids, nightly.
- northern lights (I think?)
- dog sledding
- snow mobile safari
- SAUNA !
What is there not to like about this experience. Literally this could be the coolest festival type situation you’ll hit all year. Nay – EVER. But these negative temps and outdoorsy type activities have really got me thinking. How am I, an Australian who is yet to adjust to months of single digit temperatures, to survive the daily averages of -15’C.. It’s complicated, so I made a list of your Lapland must haves.
A JACKET, YOU GOOSE !
Did I even need to mention this? Sometimes the way I tackle lists is as though I am making them for idiots, not because I specifically think you are idiots – I just think everyone is an idiot. So.. Take a jacket – it needs to be filled with down, it needs to be wind proof. You know when you see people in scaling glacial type peaks – THAT’S LAPLAND.
I actually think this sort of jacket is ESSENTIAL for Berlin. But that’s probably because I’m rather soft with the winter temps. “Fucked up cold” is a very real statement you will find Bron and I muttering during winter. I’m 95% sure we wouldn’t survive without out our Svea or Woolrich coats respectively. Yes – these aren’t cheap, but if you live in Berlin you will wear this again, and then thank me. If you live in Australia…? These sorts of jackets are about as expensive as 3 really big nights out in Melbourne or Sydney – shut up.
HEAVY DUTY BOOTS
I don’t want to be a dick about how cold it is in Lapland, because: magical Christmas wonderland, Northern lights, Snowmobile Safari and actually it’s really not Laplands fault. But -15 is an average temperature. That’s terrifying. Biggest tip – you need good boots (and socks), but boot are serious. Coming back after four days in sub-zero temperatures with no toes would be:
- pretty annoying, because you would have zero balance to walk etc.
- totally avoidable because such shoes exists that you feet will stay warm/ dry.
My choice of boot is a pair of Timberlands, but this is because I have them – and they seems to make sense. However any sort of durable work boot is perfect. Snow-boots (moon boots) are probably better – but those are fucking ridiculous. You will literally never wear them again. Go for the shoe which MAY give you a multiple use case scenario.
REAL CLOTHES.. NOT PLASTIC.
WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES. If you don’t do thermals, at the very least to REAL. Real wool, real cashmire, real everything. Plastic is not warm, it’s a cheap production option. As far as thermals go, Uniqlo has these fabulous heat-tech solutions. Lots of colours, lots of cuts – and WARM-as.
HAND WARMERS, CHEERS AMAZON.
Not essential – but fun? Typically with these numbers you just crack them and they heat up. My digits ALWAYS get cold in Germany – and a set of hand warmers wouldn’t go astray. Pop them in your pocket, crack them for späters.
YOU’RE GETTING NAKED, DEAL WITH IT
I’ll tell you what is a thing in Finland – sauna. This is not really a thing for Australians. Well – not for this Australian. As a child we had a sauna in our house, my mother used it for storage. The general feeling was: why would you want to sit in your own sweat? Now you really have to understand this from the point of view that it’s barely freezing in Australia – we are constantly sitting in our own sweat. It’s not really a new concept for us, nor something we seek as a relaxing activity after sport.
So – the fact we don’t sauna somehow means we don’t get naked that freely around lots of people. As a rather conservative Australian, I am already going through anxiety about the possible naked vibes in the sauna – and this my friends is when we, deal with it. Or, pack a bikini. Probably the later.