One of the difficulties I had when preparing for subzero is not knowing what and how much clothes to bring. Juggling between wanting to be absolutely prepared for the cold and wanting to travel with ease (without lugging heavy luggages around), this was no easy feat. Not to mention, how to look fab despite the many layers of clothing.
But the most important thing of all is.. How to be snow ready (clothed) without spending a bomb. Here’s how you CAN for less than SGD$250.
So, what’s the best way to keep warm? Is a thick layer better or is 2 thin layers better?
Layer layer layer! 2 thin layers is actually better than 1 thick layer because layers create airspaces, and airspaces act as insulation.
What are the most important areas to keep warm?
Certain parts of your body loses heat faster than others. Your upper body and head (ears included) are the most important areas to keep warm as they lose heat the fastest. Followed by your hands and feet.
How do I travel light?
Pack more thermals and socks but pack less outerwear and knits. You will change your thermals and socks on a daily basis but not the rest of your clothes as your sweat will be absorbed by your thermal layer and the rest of your layers stay relatively clean.
Here is a comprehensive list of the clothing items that I personally bought and wore on my trip to Scandinavia during Christmas 2015 / New Year 2016. The coldest I experienced was -18 degrees celsius.
– High cut to prevent snow getting in and wetting your socks
– Rubber sole (anti-slip). This is really important because I’ve heard of many people who have slipped and fell. You certainly don’t want to ruin your holiday by falling and injuring yourself.
I bought these snow boots for S$18. They had such an amazing grip on the snow and they were feather light. I did not slip or fall at all.
Heat tech socks from uniqlo: 2 for $15 (and I did wear 2 layers of socks)
2. Outer jacket
– Windproof (I swear the cold wind is like needles piercing into your skin)
– Hood optional
– Length: At least over the bum
Outer Jacket (women’s): $66
Outer jacket (men’s): $89
– Should NOT be cotton as cotton insulates poorly and retains moisture.
– Thermal top and pants both necessary.
– Thermals should not be baggy else it will be hard to layer over.
I got my thermals (top and pants) from uniqlo – heat tech, extra warm: $25 each.
*I see that they have released a newer and warmer heat tech thermal this year – the ultra warm version.
Keeping your head warm is really important. (I developed chills and a headache if I went outdoors without headgear.)
Russian fur hat: S$15
You will be so thankful if you have bought hats with ear flaps that can be fastened at your chin because beanies ride up and don’t cover the ears that well. (Sorry I look like a boy here)
Pilot hat: $16
– Gloves can be layered too, so layer on! I wore 2 layers of gloves but my fingers still froze and got numb. Perhaps 3 layers will be better.
– Just so you know, gloves are quite a hassle because it is hard to use the camera / phone / wallet etc. I ended up wearing 1 layer when using my camera and then putting my 2nd glove back on after taking photos.
– There are some places that sell touchscreen gloves, your poor hand need not freeze for you to use your phone. (Uniqlo has them)
wool gloves: $10
waterproof gloves: $8
– Legs aren’t as crucial as the top and neck as long as you don’t need to roll around in the snow. I made it out with just 1 layer (of fleece leggings) at times.
– if you need to roll around in the snow, it is advised to wear waterproof pants.
– don’t forget to add thermal pants underneath your waterproof pants.
Leggings with Fleece on the inside: $4 (I was so amazed at how warm this 1 layer of leggings were)
Waterproof pants: $31
– One mistake i made was that i brought too many tunic length sweaters. Tops should be long but not over the butt length, as you do not want that layer to get wet from contact with the snow when sitting down. Unless of course your outer jacket is super long and able to cover your butt when seated.
– Tops shouldn’t be too baggy otherwise it is hard to layer on top of it
Knit sweater: $9
– Never underestimate the power of a good scarf! Get a thick long one that you can wrap 3 full rounds with.
– I also brought along a fleece neck / mouth piece on a whim. Super grateful that I did because this saved me at -15°.
Having a taste of what it feels like to be Kakashi 😂
Thick knit scarf: $4
Most of the time you will be provided with extra outer layers along with gloves, boots and hats like so:
Here, I wore the provided jumpsuit over my own puff jacket.
Jumpsuit with own hat and scarf
– You will shed everything as the temperature indoors is around 20°. Outerjacket, gloves, hat, scarf will be shed. So if you want to look fashionable indoors, (yes, me! guilty as charged! 😂) have a nice top underneath the jacket.
– Top (3): thermal top + fleece / wool layer + waterproof outer.
($25 + $9 + $66)
– Bottom (2): thermal pants + outer waterproof pants / ski pants.
($25 + $31)
– Head & neck (2): thick scarf + hat
($4 + $15)
– Hands (2): 1 wool layer + 1 waterproof layer
($10 + $8)
– Feet (3): 2 layers of socks + boots
($15 + $18)
TOTAL PRICE S$226