The right equipment can be a requirement for getting the best out of a winter stay in Greenland. The following list is our recommendation for a packing list which you may use if you do not have personal experience with the area or the type of tour you have chosen. If you are in doubt with any details, you are more than welcome to contact Greenland Travel.
If you dream about going to Greenland in the wintertime, trying out dog sledding, experiencing the magic of the northern lights and so much more, the perfect season is from January to April. The light, a strong sun on a clear blue sky combined with the fresh, clean air urge you to try out the wonder of winter.
The temperature can be anything from minus 5 to minus 25, but because of the dry air, it doesn’t feel as cold and humid as in Europe.
About clothing in general in Greenland
Clothing in Greenland is both practical and informal, so you do not have to pack the “fine garments” in your suitcase on a trip to Greenland. Today’s great choice of outdoor clothes will let you find something which is practical, smart, and comfortable.
When packing for a winter trip to Greenland, you should think practical and isolating, both for outdoor as well as indoor clothing. The same standard of practical clothing applies on a night in a restaurant and alike.
During the Greenlandic winter, you may always be prepared for the cold. But with the right clothing and certain precautions, you can embrace the cold as an extra dimension of experiences for your trip. Since the air is rather dry, the cold temperatures do not feel as fierce as they would in Great Britain, for example. In this way, minus 15-20 degrees Celsius in Greenland can be almost quite pleasant!
Most of the travelers to Greenland during winter will spend most of the days outside to collect as many experiences as possible. This implies you should bring along the right type of clothes so you can keep warm from the top of your head to the sole of your shoe, from the innermost to the outermost layer. If you, for example, take a tour to the ice cap, you should still wear warm clothes, even though most of the trip will be on a bus.
It is always a good idea to bring a smaller day backpack on a trip to Greenland. A day backpack is a smaller backpack with a size of 20-30L. It can be used for everything from sailing trips, shorter walks, and just as a handy bag if you suddenly need one. If you have to go hiking on your trip, we recommend a backpack of approximately 30L with a hip belt and chest strap. If you spend your time in the towns, primarily, you do not need a hip belt and chest strap.
Suitcase or backpack
On most of our trips, you will not have to carry your luggage very far. You will have to handle your suitcase by yourself at airports and hotels, but in connection with transfers, it is taken from place to place by hotel staff or others. Therefore, you have the choice of bringing a suitcase or a backpack. If you are going to stay in smaller settlements, be prepared for your luggage to be transported on a truck, tractor or a similar vehicle. Therefore, you should expect that the luggage may get dusty, and the potholes in the dirt roads can be rough on a brand-new suitcase.
For travelers staying at Glacier Lodge Eqi or Ilimanaq Lodge
If you are lucky enough to stay in one of the beautiful lodges, be aware that you must carry the luggage from the boat to the cabins in a hilly area. Suitcases are not suitable. You should also be aware that since you have to carry your bag yourself, you should not pack too heavy.
For travelers to Glacier Lodge Eqi, it is possible to leave some of your luggage at the hotel for luggage storage. Therefore, we recommend that you bring a smaller backpack that you can use during your stay at Glacier Lodge Eqi.
On a round trip with a stay at Ilimanaq Lodge, naturally, you will have all your luggage with you all the way. You can choose to pack in a backpack or a larger soft bag. You can also choose to pack two smaller bags if carrying all your luggage in one bag is too heavy.
Of course, you may be able to get some help if you are traveling with tour guides in groups will, but the main rule is that you have to pack so that you or someone you are traveling with can carry it, preferably in smaller bags and not in suitcases.
The layer principle is in true effect in Greenland. The layer principle simply means that one dresses with several layers of clothing. The innermost layer helps to keep the warmth inside, but at the same time keeps away the moisture from the body. The middle layer isolates against the cold. The outermost layer protects against rain, wind, and moisture.
Of course it is not necessary to heavily invest in a great amount of new equipment when embarking on an autumn trip to Greenland, but it is still critical to pack all the possible warm clothing, such as ski clothing, padded winter pants or an old down jacket, which may be out of style, but still keeps you warm.
Underneath we have composed a packing list which can give you an idea about the items which can come in handy on a trip to Greenland.
Here we are not talking about the bras and panties, but about warmers and long, close-fitting shirts. We recommend wool since it keeps you warm even when it is moist.
Fleece trousers or heavy sweatpants
As a middle layer between the warmers and the outer layer. If you have a pair of down-lined winter pants, you can settle for warmers and the padded outer pants.
Sweater or heavy shirt
As a middle layer
Draughtproof, possibly padded and water-repellent. Should be large enough to provide enough space to wear the pair of pants underneath comfortably.
Wool or synthetic material. We do recommend wool – and you are welcome to take a couple of extra pairs hereof. If you sweat and your feet get moist, it can be heavenly to change to dry socks.
Thick woolen socks
Several pairs and choose the thickest you can get. Boots Strong Quality, with enough space for socks and moving toes. It is pleasant to own a pair of boots which allows you to wear thick socks. The sole should be made of rubber since soles made of plastic and mixed materials get very slippery in lower frost temperatures.
May reach up high on the neck with a zipper. Thick fleece or wool is recommended.
Big windproof jacket
Maybe with hood and with water-repellent material, but it should be able to ‘breathe.’
Wool or Fleece (most comfortable), perhaps a ski mask which covers the neck, forehead, chin, and cheeks.
Thick woollen gloves
Big padded mittens
Maybe of leather to wear above the thin inner gloves/woolen gloves. With two gloves as two layers, it is possible to regulate the temperature. Mittens are the best way to keep away the old from the fingers.
Great to have! Especially in long stretches of snow and on a trip to the ice cap when the sun is shining bright.
Always keep one in your pocket; the air is very dry.
Head torch (diode lamps use less battery)
Extra storage and batteries for the camera
It is always nice to bring along a few extra clothes and items on an excursion. If you currently don’t possess one, we recommend that you get one with hip belt and breast strap, approximately 30 liters.
Rental of sledding clothes for dog sled trips
Even on a shorter one-hour dog sled ride, it can get cold when sitting on a sled. In most places, it is possible to rent sealskin clothes or other warm clothes and warm boots for the sledding trip. If you do not have very warm clothes yourself, we recommend that you rent sledding equipment. Actually, it is in itself an experience to try the “original” sledding equipment.
Be sure to check whether the dog sledding clothes and boots are included in the price of the dog sled ride you have chosen. If in doubt, contact Greenland Travel.