Have you decided to embark on an Arctic adventure of a lifetime? Whether that is to view the Northern Lights or for whale watching in the Arctic waters, the Arctic Circle offers a myriad of majestic sights for you to behold and unique activities for you to experience.
Perhaps you have already booked your holiday, or maybe you are still planning it – regardless, there is an important aspect that you must consider before setting sail for an Arctic journey… essentials to pack.
The Arctic Circle is unlike your typical summer beach holiday that can be spent sunbathing and lounging on the sand or at the resort – an Arctic holiday will be like no other holiday you have ever experienced, and you must come properly prepared.
What even is the Arctic Circle, anyway?
The Arctic Circle is a line of latitude at approximately 66.5° or 66°30’ North of the Equator according to scientists. Its actual latitude is not fixed as it depends on the axial tilt of the Earth, which fluctuates; this is why there is no definite position of the Arctic Circle.
Nonetheless, it is considered one of five major circles of latitude on Earth, with the others being the Tropic of Cancer, the Equator, the Tropic of Capricorn, and the Antarctic Circle. The latter must not be confused with the Arctic Circle as these are complete opposites geographically.
Within the Arctic Circle, you will find Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and the state of Alaska in the United States (US), as areas of land. As a result, if you are planning a getaway in any of these countries (and state), it would be considered an Arctic Circle holiday.
So, what should you pack for this type of holiday?
As mentioned previously, a holiday within the Arctic Circle is not your average holiday that most people would go on. You can expect cold temperatures, even on sunny days, so you must be willing to fare against, and appropriately equipped to combat the colder climate if you are going on an Arctic adventure.
For your convenience, we have listed the following essentials that you should definitely bring with you for a holiday in the Arctic Circle:
It goes without saying that the Arctic is cold, and whilst the summer months could provide some relief, the temperatures are not your average summer day. Layers will be your best friend during your trip, so don’t forget to layer up. Thermal bases are great for helping to retain heat, and if you thought two layers would suffice, it probably won’t in the Arctic.
Layering both tops and bottoms is useful in keeping you warm on your holiday, so to avoid chattering teeth, it would be best to layer wherever you can – including doubling up your socks. For ultimate protection, wear thick but comfortable clothing pieces that will surely do their best in helping you stay warm.
It does not matter what time of year you visit the Arctic, if you are someone who is unfamiliar with freezing temperatures, we recommend bringing (or purchasing) winter accessories such as gloves, hats, and scarves.
In terms of hats, beanies are preferable, especially ones that can cover your ears to also protect your ears from the bitter cold. Thick gloves and scarves are a must, but be wary as a thick scarf could also weigh you down should you find yourself walking a lot.
Although there could be a bit of hiking or traveling by boat or other means of transportation on your trip depending on your itinerary, these are still considered luxury Arctic Circle holidays as you will be experiencing a one-of-a-kind adventure. Exploring fjords, seeing glaciers, and witnessing the aurora borealis are certainly memorable and spectacular experiences that you will never forget.
This means that you should be adventure-ready, and to achieve this, you will need to purchase those sturdy boots that are not only made for walking, but are also comfortable enough for you to wear for long periods of time. In addition to this, a waterproof jacket may also be worth bringing, but only as an additional jacket for wet conditions – don’t forget a normal thick jacket that is designed for the outdoors.
Other key essentials that may be overlooked include sunscreen and moisturizing cream or lip balm. The colder weather means that your skin can easily dry up and lose moisture, so to prevent a bad case of sunburn or dry skin, it’d be good to moisturize your skin and apply SPF.