Norway & Northern Lights Packing List

by Kelly

This is your ultimate Northern Lights packing list, it includes everything you need to take to Norway to see the northern lights and includes the best male and female options!

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This list includes examples of the best male and female options. What we needed to take to see the northern lights in Norway comfortably, mistakes we made and what we would take next time!

Men’s waterproof jacket

Mike in his Helly Hansen jacket perfect for a trip to Norway

A good jacket is essential. One that is waterproof, Mike took this Helly Hansen Dubliner jacket which was perfect for a trip to Norway. It was waterproof in rain and snow, it had an insulated layer that wasn’t too bulky so it could be worn in cities or out on adventures and looked good for both!

Women’s waterproof jacket

Womens Helly Hansen trench coat is fashionable and waterproof! So important for your Norway trip.

I was so jealous of Mikes Helly Hansen jacket, I took a cheaper and lighter one, which was not totally waterproof. I made it my mission to find the prettiest women’s Helly Hansen jacket and this is it! The other one I love is this Helly Hansen Aden coat, it looks really warm but not too bulky. The length is really important you want something that covers your butt so you get extra warmth. Trust me, the cold was like nothing I had experienced before!

Wool beanie

A warm beanie is a must! I loved mine which was wool knit lined with microfibre and the pom pom was removable! Perfect for when we moved to city locations that were still quite chilly. Mike loved his Helly Hansen Beanie.

Wool scarf

A warm wool scarf is also important. It doesn’t have to be full wool a blend is fine but you really want something that breathes and is super warm. This cashmere blend scarf is a great option or look out for merino wool which is excellent too. Mike took one that was too short and scratchy. Mine was wool but not big enough. Make sure it is comfortable and warm.


Good thermals are important. We bought thermals like this and they were lifesavers. We actually wore them back in Australia during winter too. They just provide a warm layer that you really notice when they are not there! I heard about fleece lined tights and took them as well but honestly they were not as good as the thermals and I wouldn’t go with out them. Mike also took thermal socks like these and they were so good I wished I had some. There are some excellent (and expensive) Norwegian brands but ours were great and not that expensive.

Snow Boots

Snow boots! I can not stress how important good snow boots are. We decided that as we were just spending about 3-4 weeks in snowy areas that we wouldn’t buy proper snow boots and just make do with some cheap ones. This was such a mistake. The pair Mike had were ok but mine almost completely fell apart by the end. After wearing them for 4 days they started leaking and would become saturated within an hour of wearing them. Getting a decent pair is crucial. The best brand is Sorel, they are made for the conditions and you will see many people wearing them. They come in all sizes and colours from all black to the tan and black and a grey colour. There are long ones, ankle ones and lots of styles. The best ones are the longer ones I think. They help to keep your legs warm and they give your ankles support in the slippery snow.


Crampons are essential! There are so important, I honestly wouldn’t go without them. It took some getting used to and you might be thinking you’ll be fine but you won’t (unless you have grown up in ice and snowy location.) I fell over constantly when I hadn’t worn them. They are not expensive and there are a few types to choose from but they are a must! While wearing them I was more confident and didn’t slip, it does take a few goes to get used to them though.

There are a few options for crampons, the simplest are the type we bought. We got these crampons from Amazon and they worked fine, although they are really tight to get on around the toe of your shoe at first but persist because if they aren’t pulled on properly they’ll pop off and you’ll lose them. These crampons have a strap to tighten which might be better, particularly as you have to take them off when you go inside some shops and restaurants as they can scratch floors. Finally this type of crampon which attaches over the toe and the back of the heel giving you grip over your whole foot. There are others that are more full on with bigger spikes and chains but these three options are generally fine for a regular visit.


Another very important item that you must get is gloves. They are essential and must be good quality. We got some cheap ones that were meant to be warm and had a little finger pad to use your phone. However they were not anywhere thick or warm enough. You can choose to do a thin wool liner glove and then a thicker waterproof glove over the top or just one thick pair. I would go with the thin wool pair and then thicker over pair next time. There were times I needed to take off my gloves to do things and having a thin pair I could leave on would be perfect. I would also look for a thin pair that had a finger tip you can take off to use your technology rather than having to take off the whole glove. The technology fingers do not work! It is the biggest marketing lie. You will end up just pulling off your glove to use your phone. These types of mittens are also pretty popular for the same reason.

Hot Hands

Hot Hands are another must take item. You can buy them for your feet, your back etc but we bought a big pack of the hand ones and used them in our shoes and gloves. I kept some in my pockets at times as well. Don’t be stingy with them, use them as much as you need! I think we brought two packs home and I regret not using them when I could have. They take some time to heat up but don’t give up on them. I really relied on them. You can get reusable ones too.


You need sunglasses to stop the glare from the snow. It can be blindingly bright. We both have Ray Ban sunglasses and love them but whatever style you choose you’ll need a good polarized pair.

Warm wool jumper

Wool is one of the best materials for the colder areas as it breathes as well as being warm, however it can be expensive so microfibre is another option many people go for. What ever you choose you need a very warm jumper. Layering is key in these cold environments. Start with the thermals, then a thin warm layer such as leggings and a thin top/sweater, followed by a thicker jumper and pants then your waterproof jacket. This way you can take off layers if you are in a warm restaurant or put on as you are outside.

Technical equipment


Our glass igloo, Arctic Snow Hotel, Lapland, Finland

You will definitely want pictures of your trip and the northern lights. We took a Fujifilm DSLR, Go Pro and our two Samsung ultras. The Samsung gave the best results! The night mode was excellent and we loved using it. There are some tips for your camera set up on our Northern Lights blog here.


You need a tripod to help you get steady photos. A mobile phone tripod is really important as well because you need to be able to stabilise for the long shutter speeds. You can generally get an adapter for DSLR tripods that will take mobile phones as well so it saves taking two tripods. We bought a cheap on that was terrible, it was stable but too short and didn’t hold a phone and DSLR so we are now investing in a much better (and taller!) option.


I would only take backpacks for our northern lights trip next time. Mike took a backpack and was able to walk to and from our accommodation easily. I took a wheeled bag and was forever dragging it through snow and ice. I also loved my little day pack which would carry all my camera gear, Mikes was great too. We bought Antler daypacks.

Is there an easy way to see the northern lights?

These tours are really highly recommended and well organised. Check out: 7 day Magic Lapland Adventure, Northern Lights Exploration – 8 days, Aurora Borealis & Glass Igloo, Land of the Northern Lights – 5 days, Northern Norway Explorer.

Where Next:

Northern Lights Lofoten

Best country to see northern lights

Things to do in Tromso, Norway

Tromsø Northern Lights Tour

Norway Road Trip

10 Best Instagram photo spots in Norway

Northern Lights in Norway Tour – Best Arctic Review

Lofoten Islands of Norway

Horse riding is a must do activity in the Lofoten Islands

Things to do in Ballstad, Lofoten

Lofoten Islands hotel, Eliassen Rorbuer

Travelling in Norway Tips

Lofoten Islands accommodation, the hidden gem that is Hattvika Lodge.

What to do in Reine, Lofoten

Gluten free in Norway

Glass Igloos, Finland – review of Artic Snow Hotel Lapland Finland

Ice Hotel Finland- our review of Artic Snow Hotel Lapland Finland

What it’s like staying at Arctic Snow Hotel Lapland, Finland

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