So I just got back from a surprise birthday trip to Lapland... Crazy, I know right!! I only had approximately 3 days notice to get everything ready and packed - it was a challenge but I somehow managed it. When I usually go on holiday, I like to get really excited and research (a bit about the area we're headed to, the climate, local attractions etc) before we go but this time I didn't get a chance to look so it was a kind of figure-it-out-as-you-go type thing. It was a steep learning curve, let me tell you!
Here are some things I found out and would like to pass on so you can learn from my mistakes/be prepared:
- Don't wear mascara. I know, I know - I wanted my lashes to look all fluttery and alluring too (especially as that is like the only part of your body that won't be covered up by 3 million layers). But when your eyelashes freeze and you feel like you have conjunctivitis you'll be sorry. You'll also regret it when you walk back into the warm and the icicles melt and your mascara drips onto your face. Such a beautiful look, honestly...
- Your nostrils freeze. Yep. Not sure how, but without grossing everyone out too much, your nasal hairs seem to freeze together with any water residue up there. I'll leave it at that, however if you do want to avoid this - put a little bit of Vaseline on a cotton bud and just run it around the inside of your nostrils. Gross, I know but a frozen nose is annoying and uncomfortable.
- There is no such thing as over packing. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration but it is very easy to underestimate the cold - I know I did. Minus 25 degrees Celsius... Pfft! I ended wearing most of my clothes every day. My feet HATED me on the first day. I honestly thought they'd dropped off and I'd left them behind in the snow somewhere. I couldn't feel them, it was awful. Another helpful tip that I learnt was the saying 'cotton is rotten'. What this basically means is don't wear cotton socks, as we were at an altitude of 1000ft our feet would sweat despite the cold. Sweat freezes in cotton socks. Wool socks were an absolute life saver, I wore about 3 pairs at all times each day and my feet were still cold.
|See what I mean about melty mascara? Haha!|
- Mittens are better than gloves. Especially wool mittens and then waterproof mittens over the top. Gloves separate your fingers therefore making them colder, by wearing mittens, you are keeping the warmth of each finger together.
- Layers, layers, layers! I cannot stress this enough. If you are going as part of package, you will most likely be supplied with a sexy all-in-one thermal suit and thermal boots to keep you warm and dry. Don't assume you can just wear normal clothes underneath these. You will be cold. Very cold.
- Moisturise. Despite all the snow, the arctic circle is as dry as a desert. To keep your skin hydrated, make sure you use good moisturisers that aren't water based as they can freeze. Also, don't forget your lips - apply a good lip balm before you go outside (I used my Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm, it worked wonders).
-Don't stop moving. S Club 7 probably weren't referring to keeping warm when they sang this but it works well for Lapland. On our first day, we retreated to a little wood hut with a fire to warm up after getting so cold. But once you stop moving around, the cold feeling really sets in and becomes painful.
- Don't shower in the morning. Any water residue in your hair will cause it to freeze and it can potentially snap off (even after a good session with the hair dryer). Need I say anymore?
I hope that helps anyone who is shortly heading off to somewhere cold! If not, I hope you had a little chuckle at my expense :).