In this post, I’m going to go over my packing list for a winter hike in Finland. If you’ve read my recent post about my Trip to Singapore/Malaysia then you will have seen that I went on a short day hike. I realized it was the first time I’d been on any kind of trail since the Appalachian Trail and it reminded me how much I enjoy getting out there and reconnecting with Nature.

It looks like a hiking trip to Norway could be on the cards in August. Then in October me and some of the guys I hiked the AT with are headed to Nepal to tackle the Annapurna Circuit. In the meantime, I’m going on a winter hike to Nuuksio National Park, just outside Helsinki.

Before any kind of trip, I lay out all my gear to figure out what I need to bring and make sure I’m not leaving anything behind. While I have all the gear laid out ready for the hike. I thought I’d shoot a few photos and put together a quick packing list post.


Factors to consider:

  •  It’s not super cold right now, I should be dealing with temperatures around 0c to -10c
  • There will be plenty of snow on the ground and water sources could be frozen
  • I’m only going for one night and won’t be hiking long distances so I can bring a few extras that I wouldn’t on a longer trip

Gear Requirements:

  • Suitable clothing for moderately cold weather
  • It could be icy and slippery so having some micro spikes may be necessary
  • I may not make a fire so I need to have a stove that can function in cold temperatures
  • I may want to have a fire
  • I need to have a system for melting snow if necessary
 ula ohm 2.0 with packing accessories


ULA Ohm 2.0 with trash Compactor Bag and pack cover – Should be plenty big enough to haul the gear I want to bring. If I were carrying my winter sleeping bag and more food then I’d need to step it up to a bigger pack.

Ribz Pack – Instead of using a ditty bag inside my pack for all the small stuff I’m going to use my Ribz Pack. It’s worn on the front of the body in conjunction with the backpack. It gives easy access to all the essentials like a headlamp, spare gloves, snacks, etc.

Z Packs Roll top Blast food bag to hold my food.

 packing list for a winter hike in Finland

Worn Clothing

Merrell  Winter Boots – I got these a couple of years ago when I first arrived in Finland. They’re very stiff and not super comfy to hike in but they are very warm. They will be fine for this trip as the distances covered won’t be huge.

Smartwool Hiking Socks – Good quality socks are always essential.

511 Taclite Pro Pants – I love these pants for everyday use when I need something more capable than jeans. They have a bunch of pockets, are built to last and are a mixture of cotton and polyester making them suitable for outdoor activities.

Smartwool Long Underwear Top – I love Merino wool as a base layer. The zipper opens up really wide to help with venting if I get too hot and sweaty hiking.

Generic Fleece Sweater – This thin fleece and the base layer will probably be all I need whilst hiking. It also has a large zipper to help with venting.

Headsweats Race Hat and Fleece Beanie – I prefer wearing a baseball cap hiking but will put on the beanie if it’s really cold. This cap from Headsweats is super breathable and drys quickly. The beanie will be worn around camp and to sleep in.

North Face Down Mitts and Fingerless Gloves – I get cold hands pretty easily but this combination should keep my fingers toasty.

Under Armour Boxers – In my experience Under Armour make the best underwear for active pursuits.

Merino Wool Buff – A lot of body heat can be lost at the neck so my raggedy old buff from the AT will be close at hand.

Smartwool Long Underwear Bottoms – I’m a warm hiker so I shouldn’t need to wear these hiking. I’ll keep them near the top of my pack just in case.

packed clothing on a winter hike

Packed Clothing

Warmpeace Castor Down Jacket – Picked This down jacket up on clearance a few years back. It’s a little heavy for backpacking but it’s extremely warm and will be my main insulating in camp and I’ll sleep in it if necessary.

Smartwool Long Underwear Top – Another Base layer to change into if the hiking one gets damp or I need and extra layer.

Generic Fleece Sweat Pants – These suckers are warm and cozy, I’ll throw them on inside my sleeping bag if necessary.

Heavy Sleeping Socks – Oversized wool socks.

Sleep system for a winter hike laid out


Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt – I used the awesome Revelation Quilt in some pretty cold temperatures on the AT. I have confidence that the 20F/-6C temperature rating is pretty accurate. I’ll use the quilt with all the buckles synched down tight to trap in as much body heat as possible. I can sleep in all my clothes if necessary.

Sleeping bag liner for a little extra warmth and to help keep my quilt cleaner for longer.

Exped UL Synmat 7 and Exped Air Pillow – My Exped sleeping pad is uninsulated and so I should probably bring a foam sleeping pad to go with it. But I’m not. Hopefully, I won’t be cold….


Nuuksio like many national parks in Finland has a number of Kotas (Huts) that you can stay in for free. They have a roof and are enclosed on three sides (similar to the shelters on the AT). They have a composting toilet, fire circle, and a supply of cut firewood. I’ll bring a piece of Tyvek to protect my sleeping bad from splinters or protruding nails.

msr whisperlite stove with cooking system for a winter hike

Cook Kit and Water

MSR Whisperlite liquid fuel stove.

In these kinds of temperatures, my MSR Pocket Rocket Canister stove would probably function fine but temperatures can often drop quickly.  I’ve decided to take the Whisperlite to truly represent a packing list for a winter hike in Finland.

Stainless Steel Pot – This is the pot that I used on the AT, it’s a little small for melting snow but it will do the job.

Titanium Long Handled Spoon and Pot Grabber

Two Nalgene One-Liter Bottles – Can handle boiling water better than disposable water bottles and less likely that my water will freeze.

Delta Insul Mug from Sea to Summit – For Scotch and Coffee (separately, not together..)

small accessories in the packing list for a winter hike in Finland

Everything Else

Kahtoola Micro Spikes – Nuuksio is quite a popular destination so the busier trails could be pretty heavily compacted and therefore icy. These micro spikes pull on over any shoe and provide great traction. I’ll keep them on the outside of my pack and grab them if needed.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite – Looking forward to snuggling down in my sleeping bag with a fire going and reading a good book.

Mora Knife and Fire Starting Kit – As there should be a supply of cut firewood then a basic Mora will be my knife of choice. It’s light but highly capable. My fire-starter of choice is cotton wool soaked in vaseline and a Bic lighter/fire steel for ignition.

The Princeton Tec Byte I used on the AT will be my headlamp of choice.

Panasonic Lumix G7 (not pictured) –  I’m going to bring my camera, not sure how much I’ll be shooting but may play around with some time-lapses and fire shots.

Gorilla Pod– Great little travel tripod

Thermarest Butt pad – Absolutely essential to have something to insulate you from the ground in these conditions.

Basic toiletries – Toothbrush and poop kit Hand Sanitiser

Hip flask with some good Scotch


Not pictured is my food:

    • My go-to backpacking Meal – Two bricks of ramen, tuna pouch, Sriracha, and Olive oil
    • Muesli with powdered milk and coffee for breakfast
    • Snacks – Granola Bars/Chocolate

I hope you found this packing list for a winter hike in Finland helpful. If you have any questions please drop me a line.

To see what kind of gear I’m currently using click here.

Thanks for stopping by,



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