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Real Newbie Help Please!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

This is my first post and the first forum I’ve ever posted on which isn’t car related so please forgive me if the etiquette is different!

I booked a surprise trip to Levi in Finland (Lapland) for my OH’s birthday and we go in January 2020.

It will be our first ever winter holiday and I have booked ski/snowboard hire, lift passes etc. We have only ever had a couple of lessons (him snowboarding, me skiing) and from what I’ve read (before booking) Levi is great for beginners, but what I’m starting to panic about is clothing and the cold!

Lapland is a bucket list place for me and somewhere I’ve always wanted to go but I REALLY feel the cold!

I’ve researched and researched about types of clothing/layers etc but the more I look at, the more confused I get. Please could someone help me with the best insulated/thermal clothing to help in temperatures that can reach extreme temperatures? It doesn’t help that I have health issues which affect my extremities getting numb and painful easily and not being able to regulate my temperature very well.

I have joined Sport Pursuit and bought some Smartwool socks and some Falke Maximum Warm base layers, as apparently they’re good for extreme cold, but I’m getting really anxious about how cold I’m going to be and it ruining our trip.

As above, it’s our first ever winter holiday so neither of us know what to expect. We are also planning excursions such as husky sledging although ski/snowboarding will be the majority I expect.

We have been to Snow and Rock and a really fab member of staff found us some clothing that fit us (at 5’4” I found that most trousers are too long/big for me) but would like to hear from actual users/people who have experienced extreme temperatures with their views as to what works best for them. We all know what a salesman says and what experience tells us can be completely different things.

Apologies for the essay Very Happy
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hestra mitts/ three finger gloves. Wear a wool glove underneath if baltic. Scarves are great. If you can afford them / get a deal heated socks are awesome. A comfy helmet really helps.

If it's proper cold you'll need breaks to avoid frostbite on your nose!
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Vix_81, welcome to SnowHeads snowHead

Sounds like a memorable trip but yes I hear it can get chilly around the arctic circle.

Depends how much you want to spend. Probably influenced by whether winter holidays to very cold places might become more regular for you.

If you don’t want to spend too much, then you’ll see some bargain, good quality, pre-loved gear on SnowHeads. Also there are seasonal promotions from the low cost supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl. They are especially good for base layers, which include warm and lightweight merino wool options. Glove liners, neoprene face masks, ski goggles and such like also good from there.

In fact there were neoprene face masks on clearance in one of my local stores only last week. About £3 each I think. It was over 30c at the time! I could grab some and post to you if you want. They’re brilliant in extreme cold and gold up very compact.

If money is no object and you plan frequent winter holidays, then the likes of Snow & Rock, Cotswold, Decathlon and various small specialist shops have a wide range of good kit, top brands, high spec technical clothing. They’ll happily stretch your credit card limit wink

Any time soon Sports Direct will have their winter stock in. Pretty good for reasonably priced outer layers, jackets and trousers. Graham Bell wears it on Ski Sunday, onit cant be too bad.

Also T K Maxx sometimes have very good quality gear in at fair prices.
SnowHeads usually alert everyone by posting a thread when bargains to be had in stores.

Plenty of base layers, fleece mid layer, waterproof and ideally breathable outer layer is good general advice. One thing I wouldn’t skimp on is mitts/gloves.

The Hestra range recommended above is good IMO. I prefer mitts for extreme cold, with cheap fleecy gloves inside. Some prefer silk glove liners but I find they wear out fast.

Hope that helps.
snowHead
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thought Levi is not very snowboard friendly. Lots of drag lifts.
Also thought a lot of accomodation provide relevant snow wear for being outside.

I am assuming your condition is Raynauds?
Couple of cheap snoods (you can buy fleece ones really cheap on ebay, etc. & have plenty of time for them to be posted from china!
If you really want to bust the bank on baselayer, then I would recommend Burton Expedition range. Expensive for guys but you can usually find them 1/2 the price in ladies sizes.

Take lots of single use handwarmers (usually £1 a pair). You can buy them by the box on amazon & keep them in your pocket.
If you get gloves with zips on the knuckles, then you put a warmer in each glove. Otherwise you could look at gloves that also heat using battery (worth looking at motorcyclists gloves if you go that route).

Take comfy jogging bottoms or tracksuit bottoms & try ski pants on over them. That way you have the luxury of a middle layer on your legs if its needed.

Fishing gear can also be looked at. Fishermen are out in all weather.
I know brand the ski/snowboard brand Picture used to do a downs pants range called mitty, but not sure if they still do, but fishing shops do something similar.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Welcome to SHs, @Vix_81. snowHead One tip I'd give you, not clothing related, is to book yourselves into lessons for the week - there's nothing quite as miserable as coping with poor visibility and other weather problems in an unfamiliar place when you have little idea of what to do and are tense and nervous. A couple of hours a day, preferably in the mornings, will leave you plenty of time to have fun together practicising in the afternoons (though I have to say you'd probably have more fun if you're both doing the same thing - whether it be boarding or skiing.

Clothing wise, lots of sensible advice from @PeakyB. Though I have to say that scarves are an absolute pain - fleece neck warmers which can't get lost are a better idea. Good quality second hand clothing is an excellent suggestion. Don't worry about trousers being a bit long - they'll sit on your ski boots OK - better than being too short and risking snow getting in the gap.

One of the keys to keeping warm is activity - it's amazing how quickly a little bit of walking/shuffling/scooting uphill can warm you up. For that you need to be fit. So make sure, especially if you are not very active at other times, that you do lots of relevant exercises and improve your cardio-vascular capacity before you go. Uphill mountain biking one of the best, according to my osteopath!
ski holidays     
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Make sure you have zips under the armpits in your outer jacket. You’ll be amazed how warm you suddenly get doing this and you really don’t want to take off your coat to remove base layers in -20 and expose sweaty clothes.

Make sure you get wristguards and impact shorts for him. Take a second pair of gloves or make sure you have access to heated glove heater. He will appreciate impact shorts when he sits down a lot in the snow and his bum gets wet

Get the packs off Amazon of foot and hand heaters. My partner has Reynards and she loves them.

Lessons are the best thing when you’re starting. I’d also take a golf ball to roll under your foot in the night when you’re going why do my feet hurt so much Very Happy
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
+1 re the suggestion of single-use hand and feet warmers. They can save the day, and weight nothing and cost little more than that too.
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
It is not what you wear, but where you wear it.

Everest climbers know the deal.

To stay truly warm, you need to cover up the big bloodvessels that transport heat (or cold) around the whole body.

The veins in your head, neck, wrists, and lowerback are always the ones people miss.

Wear the following and you will stay warmer.

Hat over ears.
Skimask over face.
Neck gaiter.
Wrist gaiter.
Long (very long) rollneck that falls below the butt.

It will be cold.

Try 3 layers, if it gets too frigid.

Finnish folk are very friendly.

Enjoy.
ski holidays     
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
roll naked in the snow with a friendly Finn, beating each other with birch twigs
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
If its your first trip I would go with the one use chemical hand and feet warmers. They are cheap and less faff than wired solutions needing to worry about wiring, batteries and re-charging.

As they need oxygen to work make sure you give them a good airing before stuffing into gloves/boots. They should be warm before they go in. There are various places in the boot they can go, see what suits you.

For ski boots you can also get neoprene covers that help with warmth too, not sure they have them for snowboard boots though.

Make sure your kit dries properly each night. No good trying to get warm if they are wet.

Don't discount how much a hot meal on the slopes will warm you up. That and plenty of hot chocolate breaks.

Also a helmet both protects and keeps your head warm.

As to what to wear, you could buy some clothes in resort as the shops there should have gear that suits their conditions and that locals use. Might be a bit more pricey though.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
If you suffer from Reynauds then keeping extremities warm will be very difficult - my wife has heated footbeds in her ski boots, and heated glove liners and a heated gilet from:

https://www.blazewear.com/

They are a godsend.
snow conditions     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Vix_81, welcome to 'heads !

Not going to repeat advice on clothing, all above is good stuff ( epscially handwarners - you can buy then in boxes of 10 or more from Decathlon).

This is about Husky dogs. They tend to poop while running, and since they are a team, those at the back kick up what those in the front dropped. This tends to end up in the face of the person on the front of the sled. Sitting at the back is a much cleaner option. Take it from one who thought the view from the front would be better...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
You'll need a thin balaclava under your helmet.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
If you suffer from really cold hands then either pertex/pile mitts that will fit over your gloves or a full on shell Gore-tex mountaineering gauntlet that does the same is the super warm option.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
And most (90%) of your cold issues won’t be when you’re skiing. It will be when you’re on the chair lift, freezing your bits off Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Arctic Roll wrote:
@Vix_81, welcome to 'heads !

Not going to repeat advice on clothing, all above is good stuff ( epscially handwarners - you can buy then in boxes of 10 or more from Decathlon).

This is about Husky dogs. They tend to poop while running, and since they are a team, those at the back kick up what those in the front dropped. This tends to end up in the face of the person on the front of the sled. Sitting at the back is a much cleaner option. Take it from one who thought the view from the front would be better...


Unless you go with an outfit that incorporates poo stops. My front seat view was awesome
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Arctic Roll wrote:
@Vix_81, welcome to 'heads !

Not going to repeat advice on clothing, all above is good stuff ( epscially handwarners - you can buy then in boxes of 10 or more from Decathlon).

This is about Husky dogs. They tend to poop while running, and since they are a team, those at the back kick up what those in the front dropped. This tends to end up in the face of the person on the front of the sled. Sitting at the back is a much cleaner option. Take it from one who thought the view from the front would be better...


Pack toothpicks! Toofy Grin
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Have a read through this helpful thread Newby winter clothing guide
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Thank you all so much for you suggestions and advice (particularly the tooth picks lol). I remember seeing the small heat packs in shops and thought of them when I saw gloves with zip pockets on the backs so glad they’re recommended, I like the idea of heated clothing too! I’ll pop in my local Aldi and have a look and see what they have, my mum and dad bought their snow suits in there for their trip to Iceland and they said they were warm. I’m sure I’ll be warm enough skiing, but as you say it’s going to be on the lifts I’ll feel it. We’re hoping to go ice karting too but they supply us with suits and hot drinks for that.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Aldi stuff first appears about mid Dec but then later (in Jan?) they have a second one with slightly better quality kit. Decathlon have a pretty good range of own brand stuff. Their merino base layers are good value, inc' liner gloves and skull caps to go under your helmet in extreme conditions without being too bulky.

If you suffer from cold hands you might find it's particularly bad when you put cold (+damp) gloves back on after a stop. One trick to prevent this is to tuck your gloves/mitts into the waistband of your salopetes when in a cafe to keep them warm.
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@Vix_81, A lot of good advice above, albeit some of it slightly over the top IMO. I tend to think that people grossly exaggerate how much clothing they will need, the technicality of the clothes they need and the amount they need to spend. However, if you are someone who feels the cold and you are going to Finland in January then a little extra clothing may be a good idea!

The only think I'd really emphasise is, as @ster said, ... food. Hot food is great but plenty of any food will really help.
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