Get dressed for the winter in Northern Norway

Flip-flops, Bermuda shorts and mini-skirts? In summer, maybe. In winter, nope. Up north it is all about woollen socks, fleece jackets and knitted mittens in the winter. Follow a simple “dress code” and you can stay outdoors having fun for as long as you like!

You feel a lot less cold in Northern Norway in winter than you’d think. Indoor, the temperature hovers around +25C/77F, and ovens, fireplaces and underfloor heating are all on fire. Outdoors, however, you need to make some easy precautions in order to stay comfortable and enjoy it. 

Wool closest to the skin

Long underwear is best if it is made of wool – sheep’s wool or alpaca. Some synthetic fibres are also good, as they transport perspiration away from the skin. However, it is best to avoid cotton underwear as it quickly becomes wet and sweaty.

Questions regarding winter clothing

You should always check the weather forecast before going out in Northern Norway during winter. In general, you should dress accordingly to the layer on the layer principle. Always use wool as your inner layer, both jumpers, long-sleeved shirts, and socks. On a very cold day, you might add an extra fleece jumper.

Outside of your inner layer, you will have wind and waterproof jackets and pants such as Gore-Tex material or similar. Add a warm hat, a couple of warm mittens, thick woolen socks, and a solid pair of boots. If the weather forecast indicates degrees below -5 Celsius or colder you should also consider bringing your down jacket. Especially in cases where you intend to stay out for a longer time.

Remember to try your clothing first. It should be comfortable, and not to tight.

Explanation of how to dress in the Norwegian winter

Layer on layer

Wear a layer of fleece or wool on top of your underwear. The next layer should be a good top and a pair of lined, wind and waterproof trousers – topped off by a scarf around your neck. Wool socks are a must, of course. And on top of everything, wear a good winter jacket, a cap that covers your ears, mittens and solid winter shoes.

Walking on slippery ice

Rain can appear along large stretches of the coast of Northern Norway, and in winter, this rain soon freezes to ice. Naturally, this makes conditions extremely slippery. Rubber soles provide a little more grip than plastic soles. However, if you are planning on taking on some steep hills, you will need to buy crampons, which are on sale pretty much everywhere.

How to dress During activities

If you dress like this, you can be sure of staying warm even in the coldest places inland. However, it will not be enough to keep you warm during speedy activities such as riding snow scooters. On organised scooter tours, you will be provided with warm overalls, scooter boots, scooter gloves and appropriate headgear.

Regulate by adding or removing layers of clothing

People in Northern Norway always peel off a couple of layers of clothes when they come indoors. If you do so, you will not feel so cold when you step outside again. And finally, a little social anthropology: NEVER go into a private home without taking your shoes off. We are normally quite easy-going – but this is considered a terrible insult!