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Arctic Circle in December

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We are a family in Queensland travelling to Lapland in December for a week.Need advice as to appropriate footwear and jackets and general clothing for outdoors
for us to buy. This is out of our known experience so any help will be really appreciated.

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    Well weather averages are a low of 16 and a high of 27 (F) so it will be cold but not literally arctic - as in the 40 below or worse you can get in Siberia or the coldest parts of Canada/Alasks.

    You will need lined winter boots that keep your feet away from ice/snow, a jacket designed for those temps ( bad weather winter jackets usually list temperatures they are good for - check out eddie bauer or ll bean - warm hat, gloves, scarf and possibly the face mask used by skiers. You will also need warm pants (I prefer cords to wool), warm sweater and layers underneath (long-sleeve tees and shirts).

    It is often this cold in NYC in winter and I would never consider silk underwear like some skiers use - but I'm not often out for more than an hour or two at a time. If you will be outdoors all day you might want to consider them. The problem is that they're a pain to take on and off if you are going in and outdoors - unlike heavy outerwear.

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    Ok, I've been 3 times, different villages each time. December is a bit of a crazy time because it stays dark for most of the day and just grey when the "sun" comes up, which is just about never. Not sure where you are going but Yllas is really nice for family while Levi is a bit more for young adults, there are other villages. The locals are very friendly, just be aware that some of the other tourists are not necessarily of the same mind, you'll find the Japanese are all trying to conceive and the Russians are just avoiding their Mafia and so keep themselves. Last time I was there they had had their first crime in 20 years (an Italian)

    Clothes. You will find serious outdoor clothes for ski-doo and dog sleding is rented and normally included in the price of those special activities (and boy do you need it at -18C and 20mph into a wind you will be very cold without. So don't worry about that.

    For generally moving about you need walking boots (I wear them on the flight over), big thick socks, long-johns (no idea what these are called in Oz) you can get them in cotton (best to wick sweat away) or silk. similar on the top half, then shirt, then jumber/light fleece, possibly scarf. On the top layer you need a lined pair of trousers (Rohan winter type), puffer type jacket, puffer glothes with a long wrist (best with a leather palm at least) and hat that you can pull down over your ears or even a balaclava.

    Fow skiing, you have two types, cross country and down hill. For down hill you tend to go faster and so you want wind impervious trousers, these tend to be thick with added insulation/wicking, and the wind proof puffer jacket mentioned, for cross country, because you go slower and generate more heat just normal lined trousers (I get mine from Rohan, by then I'm a brit). Depending on weather you either wear your long johns or not. If you build up layers of insulation and wick then you can always take stuff off and stay dry, getting covered in sweat is actually dangerous so wicking is vital. I also take a back pack, or waste pack, near the villages there are little coffee stops and heated sheds (where you kindle fires etc) picnic etc

    Boots for skiing you normally rent, down hill just make sure you have a number of large thick wicking socks as down hill boots generally are painful, ski-board you tend to use soft boots that are more forgiving, cross country boots are moer like trainers (though windproof and sealed and generally fit much better, but you still need thick socks, they just will be more comfortable.

    Helmets for skiing can be rented and for children in Finland I think it is the law, the slopes around Yllas and Levi are gentle but speed kills and kids kill quick. I've seen idiots lose control on a slope and crash into kids and a 16 stone man at 30 mph does a lot of damage

    I hope that is good for a start, do take out a husky team, yes it is expensive but it is a unique feeling being towed by these happy chaps.

    In December you may not need sun glasses but at -18C and below you may want goggles to limit eyeball damage. I'd probably buy them there as they are specialist items.

    Other things
    1) Swimming togs as most hotels have a spa or access to a one near
    2) you don't need jeans, useless outside
    3) The Suomi love to dance, so take dancing gear

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