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Mikes Kit List For Arctic Winter

Over the years I have had many trips studying and travelling 250km North of the Arctic Circle in Sweden and Finland. This area has a huge fascination for me as being remote and as wild as it can get. I have met many indigenousness people while in this region, who have taught me a great deal. Their resilience, confidence and ease they move through the landscape has always been at the forefront of my study. The varied tasks I have carried out are such things as herding Reindeer, dog sledding, travelling on skis and snowshoes, sleeping on frozen river ice in Quinzes and many other activities that are too many to mention.

In this time I have gathered together, used and abused a wide variety of clothing and equipment to carry out this work. To have an understanding of what kit to take, you have to have firstly an understanding of the weather, then secondly the tasks you will be carrying out and thirdly where you are going to sleep. These three questions are fundamental in gearing up to have a great, interesting memorable trip or a miserable, potentially dangerous one.

The weather is very interchangeable in the winter, I normally travel in February. The hours of light are from around 9am to 5pm with some really cold and dry conditions, expect an average of -20 celcius. However, on several occasions it has warmed to + 8 Celsius and has started to rain, with the snow turning to slush.

Then consider the task to hand. Are you going to be very static i.e. snowmobiling, ice fishing etc, or are you going to be travelling on skis, snowshoes, dog sledding or a mixture of both.

Your sleeping arrangements are also important. Are you going to be hotel /cabin based or tent / snow hole based or both.

The following kit list is what I take with me, or is already over in Sweden in storage. I spend time on snowshoes pulling a pulka and camping in a tent with a wood burning stove, while doing some ice fishing and hunting Grouse. I also hire a snow scooter and travel from cabin to cabin. Remember this is my kit list, everyone runs differently either hot or cold.


200g Top and Bottom Woolpower
400g Top and Bottom Woolpower
600g Top Woolpower
600g Woolpower Socks x 3 pairs
400g Woolpower Balaclava
Norrona Lyngen 750 Down Jacket
Fjall Raven Greenland Trousers x 2 pairs
Hestra Falt Gloves
Duluth Elk Mitts
Hestra Neoprene Adventure Glove
Duluth Winter Parka
Sealskinz Winter Hat
Norrona Recon Jacket & Trousers
Meindl Nordkap Boots
Fjall Raven Marma Anorak


Exped Downmat 9 DLX
Helsport Kongsfjorden Sleeping Bag


Helsport Varanger 4-6 with Ground Sheet and Inner
Helsport Stove


Trangia 25-6 Set
Trangia 1 Litre Meths Bottle x 2


1Litre Source Liquitainer
GSI Outdoors 1 Litre Dukjug
Steripen Pre-Filter
Steripen Adventurer
Spare Lithium Batteries

Accessories & Possibles

Life Systems Mountain First Aid Kit
Frost Knife
Leatherman Wave Multitool
Frost Crook Knife
Petzl Myo XP Head Torch & Spare Lithium Batteries
Tent & Roll Mat Repair Kit
6 Boxes of Matches Stored in a Loksak
All Spare Equipment Stored in Exped Drybags
Tool Maintenance Kit
Gransfors Small Forest Axe
Duluth Folding Saw
6 Uco 9 Hour Candles
Bahco Laplander Folding Saw
Ice Auger
Grivel Steel Blade Snow Spade
MSR Trekking Snowshoes
Silva 54 Sighting Compass ( MN Orientated )
Mobile Phone
Fire steels x 2
Wetfire x 8
Deuter 40 + 10 Backpack
Midge Net
Fishing Gear
Sewing Kit
Gaffa Tape

All this equipment plus food for the duration of the trip is hauled in a Swedish Army Pulka.

The biggest thing to remember is that any fool can be cold, wet, thirsty and hungry in any environment. Good preparation, planning and judgement are as important as good equipment and clothing.

Mike Rushton

Created On  2 Dec 2010 14:33 in Mike Kit List  -  Permalink


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