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The Winter Packing Guide to Tromsø, Norway

What to pack when traveling to the far North

Have you booked a trip to Tromsø, and have no idea what to bring? Don’t worry, we have created a packing guide to Tromsø to make sure you will be as comfortable as possible when traveling to the far North.


Packing Guide to Tromso: You just booked a trip to Tromsø, and now you are probably thinking “What on Earth do I need to bring?” While the weather in Tromso can be rather unpredictable, Tromsø is a rather ‘mild’ Arctic destination considering its position next to the gulf stream which brings warmer air up North. The average winter temperature in Tromso is around -4°C / 25°F, though if you have to travel inland it can get up to -25°C /-13°F. Don’t worry, the Pukka Travels team wants to make sure you will be as prepared as possible before coming to 69 degrees North.

The art of layering

 If you are similar to me, you might look at the temperatures above and not be able to articulate what that converts to in terms of layering. I am originally from Florida, so do not panic If you have zero idea what to wear, or how to wear it. Just think in layers. It is much better to layer up and be able to adjust your body temperature, rather than going all in on 1 sweater hoping that you will win against the brisk Arctic temperatures.

Under-layer: If there is anything you should not leave the house without, it is your wool, silk or synthetic base layer against your skin. Avoid cotton if possible since it does not dry out very fast, which will just make you colder. Merino wool is our favorite.

Base-layer: a ‘puffer jacket’ or something that is warm enough to keep the heat in. Usually fleece or wool is the best option to keep you very warm.

Outer-layers: On the outer-most layer, you should wear some type of well-insulated, weatherproof jacket and trousers. While your clothes may not have to be completely waterproof, we recommend dressing to stay dry. Think ‘ski gear’.

Head, neck, fingers & toes: If these parts of your body are warm, the rest will follow suit. Make sure to pack a couple pairs of wool socks (thick ones) as sometimes they get wet and then your feet will really stay cold, Gore-tex gloves/mittens with liners, an insulated hat to keep your head cold along with a scarf or neck warmer to keep the heat in. Your body will thank you later.

Shoes: Weatherproof, snow-boots are the best alternative when packing for a trip to Tromsø. A tip I learned is to buy a size slightly larger than your normal size to help keep the blood flowing, and this will leave room for thick wool socks. We provide warm slippers on-board our sailing trips to make sure your feet stay warm and dry while lounging in the saloon.

The extras

The important things to make your stay extra comfortable

Swimsuit: Your hotel, or tour may offer a hot tub or maybe even a polar plunge, so make sure to pack a bathing suit so you are able to dive right in. If you have chosen our Overnight Arctic Sailing Trip, Duen III has a hot tub that you may even be able to watch the Northern Lights from (talk about magical). 

Running shoes: You may want to run outside, or even use your hotels gym pack a pair of running shoes to wear around the hotel or packed snow.

Hand lotion & chapstick: The air here is dry, and your hands will start cracking very quickly after being here. A nice hand lotion will keep your hands soft and happy. 

Shoe spikes: The town is hilly, and can get quite slippery when walking up and down the streets. Avoid injuries by buying removable shoe spikes (they are a lifesaver). Most stores in Tromsø sell them if you are unable to buy beforehand.

Handwarmers: If you are sensitive to the cold, you may want to buy hand and feet warmers to give you that extra warmth-boost your body may need. We provide hand warmers on most of our day excursions.

Backpack: A great way to carry around your extra layers and accessories while being hand-free.

The tech-stuff

The stuff to keep you charged & ready to go

Batteries & Battery-back ups: The cold sucks the life out of your iPhone, GoPro and other camera batteries. Bring a battery back up to make sure you can always get the perfect shot no matter what temperature it is outside.

Camera to shoot the northern lights: The best way to capture the Northern lights is with a camera that enables you to adjust the shutter and aperature speed. You can read our Northern Lights guide here.

Memory Cards: Just like a roll of film, memory cards are key to capturing all of your memories.

Tri-pod: We provide a tri-pod on our Northern Lights tours, but if you want to go around town and take photos of the polar night, we suggest bringing one with a detachable head. This will save a lot of time, and keep your hands warm while outside.

Power adapters & chargers: Norway uses the same outlet as all of Europe. If you are coming from another zone, make sure to bring a power adapter to keep your tech-gear fully charged.

The Pukka Touch:

In case you are worried that you might not have it all, your warmth and comfort is our number 1 priority which is why we have clean, warm safety suits to protect you from the elements. If you are on one of our sailing tours, these suits act as a floatation suit in case of an emergency and if you are on one of our land based tours we will provide an extra layer of warmth to make sure you can withstand whatever weather may come our way. We also have extra hats, gloves and boots. So if you have nothing, just ask us in advanced to make sure we have everything you may need (don’t worry, this is included in your Pukka tour).


Read the Guide to Tromsø

Must see activities while wandering around Tromsø
Read the Guide


Perri Rothenberg

Perri Rothenberg

Digital Strategy & Partnerships

With a spirit of a true adventurer and a keen mind for communicating in the digital marketplace this burst of power has joined Pukka Travels from the USA. Perri focuses on international collaborations and online strategy for our PUKKA brands. Her favorite part about Tromsø is skiing under the Northern Lights.

Interested in writing for Pukka Travels? Contact her at: