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Follow the lights tour

Griffith, Australia
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47 posts
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Follow the lights tour

Hi everyone,

I am in panic mode so I apologise if this has already been answered many times, and I'm on my phone so I can't see a great deal.

My mum (60) is heading off on her dream trip on a Northern Lights tour by herself next week. Yesterday she showed me what she has packed and I am terrified that she won't be anywhere near warm enough!!!!! We are from Australia where winters are mild and I think she is packing for that, and laughing off the forecasted -12'c (I just don't think she properly comprehends THAT cold)

Her itinerary is

Arrival- Helsinki

Day 2- Rovaniemi

Day 4- Inari

Day 6- board Ship at Kirkenes heading up to Bergen (6 nights)

Day 12- Bergen

Home

She has packed

1 pr jeans

3x light jumpers

1x skivvy

1x high boots (they look like fashion boots only)

1x sneakers

2x full merino thermals

Knitted beanie and gloves and socks

Pashmina and dress scarves

1x duffel coat

1x dress pants

1x track suit pants

I am so worried, please if you have any suggestions to pass on they would be GRATEFULLY accepted.

Do they have 2nd hand op shops in these areas if she needs to buy more clothes?

Thanking you in advance

H

Helsinki, Finland
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for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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1. Re: Follow the lights tour

Yes, we have shops of all kinds in Helsinki. Rovaniemi is also a city and quite well equipped. The pickings get thin in more rural parts of Lapland.

If your mum intends to be outside for extended periods (taking a snowmobile tour into the bush, for instance), her clothes are indeed pretty skimpy, although I understand some of the tour operators can provide extra clothing (they've seen inadequately clad tourists before). She will need something padded rather than a duffel coat, for a start. She's do well to stock up in Helsinki. Googling for "second-hand shops Helsinki" will get her an idea of where to shop in the city centre. It's a good time of year for buying 2nd-hand ski clothes, so she shouldn't have much trouble finding something suitable.

Helsinki
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for Helsinki
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2. Re: Follow the lights tour

No use for the sneakers exept inside the hotels. Does she have anything sturdier?

The list isn't hopeless. I'd maybe change some of the jumpers for smth heavier or a fleece jacket. I'd say this is a good base, a pair of knee high socks with a merino layer + track pants gets one through a city excursion even in -12. Aurorae hunting through woods for hours is a different matter, but I guess they a provided with clothing if something like that is arranged.

I second John on the jacket.

Griffith, Australia
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3. Re: Follow the lights tour

Thank you both SO SO SO much for your replies!!!!!

I will pass that on. She isn't on an 'organised' tour with a guide, she is basically going it alone. But could talk under water with a mouthful of marbles so she is not shy and will ask for help if she needs it which makes me feel a bit better.

Truly appreciate your advice and thank you again

Helen xx

Helsinki, Finland
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for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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4. Re: Follow the lights tour

You might suggest she get a feel for Lapland temperatures by putting her hand in a freezer and imagining being in those conditions (around -18C) for an hour or more. She may encounter temperatures much colder than that, actually.

Rovaniemi, Finland
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5. Re: Follow the lights tour

Ermm... We don't put people in a freezer here in Lapland.

She will be fine. It's not a Nordic expedition she will be doing, but travelling around populated areas - always within minutes from some comfy and warm interior. If she plans to take a longer safari, the company will provide a warm thermal and also ensure, that everyone is equipped well enough to take the tour. There are no reported cases of frozen tourists in Lapland.

But if temperatures get really cold - which is not likely in March - we have shops here also. You should have no problem finding a good deal on a warm jacket.

Helsinki
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for Helsinki
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6. Re: Follow the lights tour

Please advise her (or tell her locals advise) to keep an eye on the forecast. It is totally possible, that the temps drop 10 degrees suddenly and it's a big difference so it's better to be prepared.

http://www.foreca.fi/Finland/Helsinki

http://www.foreca.fi/Finland/Inari

The climate of Helsinki (and Bergen I guess) is influenced by the sea > it's more humid and windy, even lower temps feel rawer than the numbers. The climate in Inari is the mainland one that can drop very low. -12 is actually pretty mild for this time of the year in the north. + the wind (on the coast especially) makes the frost bite harder.

What I mean is, the weather in Helsinki is at the moment a piece of cake compared to Lapland and she shoudn't underestimate the later need based on the few days in Hki.

Edited: 6:40 am, February 16, 2014
Helsinki
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7. Re: Follow the lights tour

Pasi, the traveller is coming next week, not March.

Rovaniemi, Finland
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8. Re: Follow the lights tour

Next week looks mild. Temperatures could drop near -10C but there is no high pressure front around this part of a globe right now. No sudden changes to extreme cold expected.

Helsinki
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for Helsinki
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9. Re: Follow the lights tour

A few second hand stores in Helsinki:

UFF Runeberginkatu 4 or Iso Roobertinkatu 4-6

Next week one may still catch a last sales deal at the dept stores on at hte outdoor shops on Yrjönkatu.

Edited: 7:25 am, February 16, 2014
Griffith, Australia
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47 posts
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10. Re: Follow the lights tour

You guys AWESOME!!!! Thank you all so much for your help!!!!

She flew out yesterday and I managed to at least get her to take a sturdier pair of boots and my warmer coat. Everything else was a protest lol.

Also she now has a list of some shops if she needs any extra clothes etc.

Thank you again, you have eased my worry and panic HUGELY!!

H xx