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  1. #1
    Forum Member daisy's Avatar
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    Travelling Light in Winter - Norway in March

    There are lots of minimalist travel packing lists out there - almost always for warm climates.

    How low can we go? .... Flying in and out of Berlin, travelling to Northern Norway via surface transport plus some internal flights once there. Less has got to be better but I'm having trouble convincing MrDaisy to downsize from his 25in case.

    I'm going to wait until he's at work and do a test pack .... He'd think I'd gone crazy doing it this far ahead.

    Anyone done one bag travel above the Arctic Circle?
    List under construction ....

  2. #2
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    We have fairly cold temps in winter in Montana and there are two key materials....wool shirts (long sleeve) and a down jacket. We also like the ultralight sport style hoodies. We avoid anything too thick and layer with lightweight fabrics instead.

    If you have to take winter boots the S25 will be too small. Tell Mr. Daisy to get over it. Our family all travels with the Synapse series and it's the way to pack.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by daisy View Post
    There are lots of minimalist travel packing lists out there - almost always for warm climates.

    How low can we go? .... Flying in and out of Berlin, travelling to Northern Norway via surface transport plus some internal flights once there. Less has got to be better but I'm having trouble convincing MrDaisy to downsize from his 25in case.

    I'm going to wait until he's at work and do a test pack .... He'd think I'd gone crazy doing it this far ahead.



    Anyone done one bag travel above the Arctic Circle?

    It depends on the kind of travel one does, is it going to be urban or surburban visits to touristic or cultural sites or do you plan to do some sport activity, like hiking?
    Ilkyway is from Germany and I think there are members here from northern countries, they will be able to give you the best info on what to wear and what you can buy there, for example unique scarves or other items which are ligthweight enough to be bough as souvenirs and perfect additions to the traveling wardrobe.

    For urban/surburban touristic activities, I found that layering is the key to travel light and not freezing.

    Make sure you take warm enough sleeping attire, Europeans typically do not heat their house as warm as Americans do.

    Many European airlines have weight requirements for carry-ons, it is very wise to test pack as early as possible and check the airline(s) website(s) regularly.

    Keep us posted!

    Artics trips are really dream trips for me, I would most probably have to choose the tiny window of time, just before or after the snows, to avoid mosquitoes, the most important part of the ecosystem for the baby birds, if not the peskiest part for mammals.

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    How long are you going, what sorts of things are you doing, what airline(s) are you flying, and how much access to laundry will you have? Also, how used to the cold are you?

    I was in Iceland in early April this past spring and used an A45 to one bag on Icelandair. I could have definitely packed smaller and lighter had I chosen to buy new gear and especially lighter-weight midlayers, but I didn't. I will point out that I wasn't exactly kayaking any fjords, though.

    One point to argue with the Mr.: hotel rooms and wardrobes may be smaller and so the less luggage you have, the better. If I had had a large suitcase I have no idea where I would have put it.


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  5. #5
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    25 inch rollers are a pain on trains. My experience is limited, but I bought my A30 after such a trip. A smaller checked rolling suitcase is better, but one bag without wheels is best.

    ++ On layering. A lightweight down jacket with a shell or overcoat, and the necessary gloves, hat or scarf can handle very low temps. Even a bulky coat is ok if you can wear it while traveling, but I still prefer packable layers. I can't handle a heavy coat when traveling anymore.

    A thin wool or synthetic baselayer is mandatory for outdoor adventures, but I also find them too hot most of the time when indoors. They do make warm sleepwear if you don't mind looking like a backpacker.


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  6. #6
    Forum Member terayon's Avatar
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    We're not above the Arctic circle, but I live in the middle of Canada where winter temperatures of -30C are routine; people just don't spend any significant time (five or ten minutes) outdoors without a heavy coat and proper accessories, though if you're active the entire time you can get away with less. I'm not sure how Norway compares, mind you, since it's much closer to the ocean and it sounds like you're going further north.

    YMMV, of course, but my typical winter packing list (for travel to someplace with similar weather) fits easily into an Aeronaut 45. It would include (all women's L or XL size) three long-sleeve wool shirts, one thin wool hoodie (Icebreaker Quantum, I think), one pair of pants (jeans or similar), a pair of long underwear, three sets of underwear/wool socks/bra, one hat, one pair heavy mitts, one neck warmer, and maybe one pair of shoes (running shoes or smaller), and toiletries in a 3D clear org cube. Then while traveling I wear a long sleeve wool shirt, one warm mid layer (a fleece jacket or a wool sweater, and long underwear), another pair of pants, boots and my winter jacket (usually a heavyweight down jacket), though I can cram my jacket into the A45 at the airport. With a couple of layers (including the sweater/fleece) I could also use a shell instead of the bulkier down jacket. Basically, I wear the bulky stuff and pack the thinner stuff.

    This comfortably covers general activities including spending some time outdoors in the cold (waiting for public transportation or walking around town), though if I was, say, skiing or hiking I would want some additional activity-specific clothing (snow pants, for example). It also requires doing some laundry on day 3 or 4, if the trip is longer than that.

    Your trip sounds really interesting - I'd love to see pictures when you get back!

  7. #7
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    Greetings,
    Being raised in Maine and then living in Alaska, I'm used to cold winters. Winter coats or parkas fill the closets. All bulky and heavy. Quite the conundrum for traveling light and staying warm.

    It came as quite a surprise when on a bicycle trip, where luggage space is severely limited, I discovered how warm a waterproof jacket can be. Just add a light fleece or packable down jacket and the chill is gone. Add a warm hat, gloves or mittens, and a scarf and it is nice and toasty.

    A silk or merino wool base layer worn under your daily clothes, plus the fleece or down jacket, with a rain jacket on top and voila! Bulky winter clothing is obsolete. elisa

  8. #8
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    Greetings Daisy,
    To address the 25inch bag, perhaps reminding MrDaisy of the fees for checked bags. Does he remember that although you pay once for a round trip flight, the bag fees get paid in both directions.

    Another thing that might help is adapting your packing style. My test packing was dismal before I tried one-bag travel. The bicycle trip forced me to pack better.

    I learned a lot from the OneBag website (see the link below). The "What to Pack" section changed my clothing choices. Many people pack mix and match separates, so every top matches every bottom. If you pack two complete outfits and wear one outfit (3 pants and 3 shirts), you will have nine different outfit combinations to wear.

    The section on laundry, specifically sink washing, transformed my entire travel style. Go to Leisure / Business Travel Packing List - Travel Light (One Bag)! if you want to check it out. Get MrDaisy to read it if you can.

    I hope this is helpful. Welcome to the forum! elisa

  9. #9
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    Just curious if Mr. Daisy is on board with this yet? (:

  10. #10
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    I went to Iceland in March a few years ago, a combination of urban and rural travel (it was a knitting tour so we visited sheep farms and the like). At one point we were snowed in by a blizzard in the West Fjords, so it was a pretty cold, wet trip. I carried a 32L backpack (Patagonia Chacabuco - this was before I got a "big" TB bag) and a medium Cafe Bag. My daily "uniform" was: wool leggings, a wool skirt, wool socks, long-sleeved wool crewneck top, a t-shirt, a zip-up wool sweater with hood, and a good-quality mid-thigh length packable rain shell with hood (I have a Marmot Highland Jacket that will pack into a #2 TSS). I also took a hat, a scarf, and gloves. All of my wool clothing was Smartwool merino, which was what was available to me at the time.

    My clothing packing list was basically:

    2 pairs of leggings (1 worn on the plane)
    2 long-sleeve shirts (1 worn on the plane)
    3 t-shirts (1 worn on plane)
    1 sweater
    1 rain shell
    3 pr underwear (1 worn on plane)
    1 bra (Smartwool - worn on plane)
    3 pr socks (1 worn on plane)
    1 skirt (worn on plane)

    As for shoes, I had a pair of fleece-lined Dr. Martens with a zipper - they were easy on-off at the airport and rugged enough for the country but stylish enough for the city - very comfortable and the only shoes I took.

    I washed items in the sink at night as necessary.

    I was plenty warm, and no, I am not used to cold weather - I am from Houston and get cold if it dips below 72F.

    I have found it is better to underpack - I almost always get home and discover there was something I didn't use. Unless you are going somewhere truly remote, you can get what you need where you are going if you must.

  11. #11
    Forum Member fredlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Washu View Post
    I went to Iceland in March a few years ago, a combination of urban and rural travel (it was a knitting tour so we visited sheep farms and the like)
    This sounds amazing!!


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  12. #12
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    I've been to Iceland in March, arriving in a snowstorm. Technically, we one-bagged it, but we used every extra packing option we had, from heavily layering what we wore on the plain, to wearing laden Scott-e-vests, to packing our coat pockets with our snow gloves/hats/chutes/etc. It worked, and I'd probably do it again -- we arrived in what seemed to me to be a blizzard, with stinging powder snow, and we were equipped to go out in it and search for dinner -- but it wasn't perfect.

  13. #13
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    According to my World Weather Guide, you can expect average max/min daily temperatures for March in Narvik, inside the Arctic Circle but where the Atlantic coast has the advantage of the Gulf Stream, of 1 to -5 Celsius. And there will be some variation on either side of the averages. There are several aspects to choosing clothes for such a climate: the most important is protection from wind and the wind-chill factor; then there is protection from the cold itself; but you also have to cope with warm temperatures indoors; and finally there is how much use you will get out of the clothes, especially if you're not going to be there regularly. Eighteen months ago I travelled overland to China starting at the beginning of April and going via Siberia, where I walked on Lake Baikal because the ice was so thick, and then Mongolia, where there was a constant wind from the steppes and two snow blizzards. The temperatures were similar to what you can expect in Norway. But then, after a month in China with a couple of dust storms there, I came back along the Silk Route through the deserts of Central Asia. My one bag, an Aeronaut 30, weighed 6Kg (13 1/4lb) at the start.

    My most useful article of clothing was a lightweight breathable windjacket with a hood that packed away into the collar. I wore it most days throughout the journey. In the cold it kept the wind-chill factor at bay, and the snow slid off the shower-proof surface. Underneath it I wore a pretty thick fleece jacket (TOG approx. 1.2), a woollen bob-hat that fitted inside the hood, and thick gloves. My everyday trousers were also windproof and breathable. I took a pair of leggings to wear underneath, but in fact never needed them -- when walking, my legs seemed to generate enough heat. I wore normal wool-blend socks inside walking shoes with Vibram rubber soles, thick enough to protect my feet from ice and cobbles, but still presentable enough for hotels and restaurants. On one day I wore a second pair of thin socks inside the normal ones, but my feet overheated indoors. Inside a restaurant, I could unzip my fleece or even take it off (beware pullovers -- they don't come off easily). I find baselayers under my shirt too hot when I'm indoors, and you can't take them off in public! But as a reserve for really cold weather, I also had a lightweight fleece (TOG 0.6) to wear under the thick one, and thin gloves to wear as liners, both of which I carried for more temperate climes as well.

    By the time I reached Beijing, it was clear that I would not need my cold-weather gear any more, so I left the thick fleece and gloves, the bob-hat and the leggings on my hotel bed with a tip as thanks for the service I'd had. They were not overly expensive and so were not the lightest versions available, but since I was only wearing them for a week or so I didn't feel justified in spending any more. And by giving them away I cut down on the weight of the A30 for the rest of the journey.

  14. #14
    Forum Member daisy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great replies and apologies for not replying sooner.

    Iíve had a series of tech failures and have only just gotten back on the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by SKIMT View Post

    If you have to take winter boots the S25 will be too small. Tell Mr. Daisy to get over it. Our family all travels with the Synapse series and it's the way to pack.

    Good luck!
    Still thinking about boots - Many of the tour operators for dog sledding and snowmobiling etc provide heavy outer gear including boots but will need something better than my waterproof hiking boots I think.

    I probably need something aeronaut sized plus my Synapse19 ... perhaps MrDaisy will be led by example.
    List under construction ....

  15. #15
    Forum Member daisy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    It depends on the kind of travel one does, is it going to be urban or surburban visits to touristic or cultural sites or do you plan to do some sport activity, like hiking?

    ...

    For urban/surburban touristic activities, I found that layering is the key to travel light and not freezing.

    Make sure you take warm enough sleeping attire, Europeans typically do not heat their house as warm as Americans do.

    Many European airlines have weight requirements for carry-ons, it is very wise to test pack as early as possible and check the airline(s) website(s) regularly.
    (replying post by post ... to avoid a huge multi quoted post)

    We're hoping to do some dog sledding and walking (we don't tend to hike as such but do a lot of walking when we travel).

    Planning a mix of urban (Berlin, Oslo) and smaller places plus hopefully several nights at least on the coastal ferry (Hurtigruten). There is so much to do it is hard to choose.

    We are from Australia, so the luggage allowances are less right from departure - that new backpack looks awesome - but it would need to be the "euro" version for me, plus I would need to be 20 years younger (sigh).
    List under construction ....

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