We need advice on visiting very cold places with small children...
We are hoping to make a trip to northern Sweden early next year in the hope of catching the Northern Lights and making that particular travel dream come true. We have two small children, they will be approx 2.5 years and 1 year old at the time we hope to go and we are wondering how feasible it would be with them. We would love some advice from anyone who has/has taken kids to somewhere very cold. How long at a time could we be outdoors with them? What sort of clothing/equipment would you recommend? What type of activities would work well with them? Any other tips welcome...! Thanks in advance
Hi, I grew up in northern Sweden. You don't say where in Northern Sweden, because it is a big area. If you are going north of the polar circle or to the mountains it will be colder, while down south the temperatures may not be so extreme. Generally speaking above -15 it is quite safe to be outside. Below -15 it is more problematic, below -20 it starts to be really hard for everyone. Important at this temperature to keep exposed skin from drying out. Don't wash your face in the morning, and use a fat creme on the face. Swedish children play outside and babies take their naps outside until -15. However, they need to be well dressed obviously. But tucked into a sleeping bag in the pram they are fine. For all of you good clothing is essential. You need long underpants and long-sleeved t-shirt (best is to get thermal underwear), pants and shirt, fleece jumper and a thick jacket (down is really the best) hooded. You will also need padded overpants, again down is advisable. Thick boots for the snow with a good grip sole, two layers of thick socks. Double gloves for the hands, we used down filled gloves as a second layer. A thick scarf to cover any opening. If you ski you may have some of these things, but you can buy them there too. Children love to play in the snow, popular is to go down the slope on a sled-like plastic thing, you will need to be with them as they are so small. It is necessary to keep moving, to keep warm. If you get the chance to ski that is nice, with the kids tucked into a sled. If you are in a town there will probably be indoor places for kids to play as well, as you may not be able to spend many hours outside (usually the grown ups give up first) - this is temperature dependent, at -10 you can be outside for hours, at -25 after 15 min you give up. If you are going to a hotel specializing in winter sports there will be activities both indoors and outdoors, and they may even have some stuff for borrowing (reindeer skins for example to keep you warm). Also be aware that there are very few hours of daylight (or none) during January until mid-February.
Thank you so much for your response. It's so helpful to have a knowledgeable personto help us out here. Wehaven't made a decision on exactly when/where to go so will use your points to help our planning. We will keep you posted as to our ideas and see you if have any other advice! Thanks again
nice post <snip> <snip>
[Edited: 2014 Jun 26 12:03 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No commercial links please]
[Edited: 2014 Jun 28 19:31 - Roosta:95057 - No commercial promotion in the forums, please. See TOS]
In winter, take plenty of warm clothing, including thick gloves or mittens, a scarf, a warm woolly hat, a few pairs of warm woolen socks, thick warm shoes with thick soles, thermal underwear and a thick padded jacket. Please remember that you will feel warmer wearing two or three thin layers than just one thick jumper.
You may also wish to take something to protect your face and lips from the cold dry air. Children's faces in particular should be protected by using plenty of lip balm and clothing such as balaclava hats. Also, take sunglasses as the sun rays reflected from the white snow. If you are going to use a camera, take plenty of batteries as the cold air uses the batteries a lot quicker than you are used to. Also, only take the camera out when you intend to take a picture to protect it from the cold as much as possible.
[Edited: 2014 Nov 26 06:03 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No commercial links please, privately message the blogger for further information]