What to bring for your Lofoten adventure: Spring, summer, fall and winter. Pack like a Norwegian – and see our recommended clothing and gear.

Lofoten has a coastal climate and because of the Gulf Stream it’s much warmer than the “north of there Arctic Circle” location suggests.

Summer in Lofoten can be anything from 8°C and hurricane-strength sideways rain, to 30°C, no wind and clear sky with 24 hour sunlight. Be ready for all of it if you want to be outdoors. Typical summer temperature is 12-20°C.

Winter in Lofoten is colder than summer, but usually not colder than -5°C, maybe -10°C. It doesn’t get super cold as it does inland, but you need good winter clothes. There may be very strong winds any time of the year.

Most of the clothing mentioned below is useful all year, so there’s not that much extra you need to bring for winter. It may be +10°C (and rain) in January too – be ready for anything.

There is some good information here: When to visit Lofoten and seasons in Lofoten.

We have added links to Amazon, etc, but recommend that you buy what you need in Lofoten. Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr in Svolvær is a nice store, and you can probably pre-order online and pick up when you arrive. You may be able to get the 25 % Norwegian VAT (tax) refunded when you leave Norway.

All year

Important: You should have a merino wool base layer. No cotton or plastic “high-tech” stuff. Buy quality merino products, and there will be absolutely no itching. Norwegians use wool, because it’s warm even when wet, and it doesn’t stink.

Everything below is nice to have, even in summer. You may not need all of it, but you’ll definitely miss it if you do.

  • A small backpack, 20-30 liters, to use on hikes, day trips, etc. Example: Osprey Talon 22.
  • Shell jacket (Gore-Tex or similar) with a hood. It should be both rain and windproof, and “breathable”. Example: Arc’teryx Alpha SV jacket (both for men and women). A rain poncho is too flimsy and not usable, unless you are going to be in a crowd at a festival.
  • Shell pants (Gore-Tex or similar), to wear if it rains or is super windy. Example: Arc’teryx Beta AR pants.
  • Warm jacket to use under the shell or on its own. Typically fleece, primaloft or similar. A hood is nice. Example: Arc’teryx Atom LT.
  • Hiking pants, typically cotton or some other quite light-weight material. Should fit under the shell pants. Example: Patagonia Venga.
  • Hiking shoes, with good soles. We think shoes are more usable than boots, since you can use them for almost everything, including some scrambling and light climbing. Wear them in before you go hiking. Example: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor.
  • Sneakers or other everyday shoes, so you can give your wet and dirty hiking shoes a break (there is a shoe dryer at Lillevik).
  • Light-weight wool sweater base layer. Example: Icebreaker Oasis 200.
  • Wool socks, long ones (yes, even in summer, just pull them down a bit when it’s not cold). Example: Falke SK4.
  • A flannel shirt can be used in a lot of situations. Example: Rab Boundary. Or a hoody, like the Patagonia P-6 Logo Uprisal Hoody.
  • Wool hat. No need for fleece lining, ear covers, etc. Just a high quality “beanie”. It can get chilly at any time of the day. Example: Arc’teryx Word Head Toque. Local brand Haddock has some nice ones.
  • Light-weight gloves or mittens. Windstopper is nice. Example. Arc’teryx Venta.
  • Neck warmer, wool. Example: Icebreaker Chute.
  • A cap (hat). Nice in the summer, and can be useful under the wool hat in winter if it’s snowing sideways. Example: Patagonia P6.


  • Swimming shorts, bathing suit or bikini.
  • Shorts (may be combined with the long wool socks when its chilly).
  • T-shirts. Wool is nice. Example: Icebreaker.
  • Running shoes for .. running, and fast hikes.
  • Mosquito repellent, either spray, roll-on or gel. Find one that contains DEET.


  • If you plan to stand still looking for the Northern lights: A down jacket is nice, even if the other layers probably are enough. We like the long parka type, with an insulated hood. Example: Arc’teryx Therme SV.
  • Wool underpants, long, base layer. Example: Icebreaker Oasis 200.
  • Extra wool sweater base layers, since you will be using it almost all the time.
  • Thick wool sweater. The “islender” (icelander) is an all-time classic. Example: Devold islender.
  • Gloves, thick with wool lining. Example: Hestra Wakayama.

Other things

  • Headlamp. A small one for summer and a more powerful now for winter. Examples: Petzl Tikka and Lupine Blika.
  • Water bottle. Nalgene is the classic, and they one made from 50 % waste: Nalgene Sustain. Or just buy a bottle of water at a grocery store, and keep it.
  • Binoculars. We have bought some Nikon Prostaff 3S 10×42 that you can borrow, but if you want something really good: Canon 15×50 with image stabilisation.
  • First aid kit. You should be able to take care of yourself as much as possible. If you need help or rescuing, it will probably be by locals volunteers.
  • If you get blisters on your feet: Compeed.
  • Dry sacks to use in the backpack. Example: Osprey. You can also buy lightweight plastic bags (bin bags) in the grocery store. It’s nice to have a dry base layer to change to at the summit.

When you go on a day trip

  • Read up in a guidebook or online. Lillevik has a nice library of guidebooks, and we also have some book recommendations on Adventures.
  • We recommend booking activities with local companies – see Adventures for that too.
  • Find out what the planned trip requires from you, don’t “just go”. There are far too many people needing help, just because they don’t know what they are doing. There are no barriers or warning signs in Norwegian nature. Tourists die at the popular Reinebringen almost every year.
  • Check the weather forecast on yr.no and be prepared. Know when not to go. Check with locals if you are not sure.
  • Bring the backpack and extra clothing for changing weather.
  • Bring water and some food. A nut and raisin mix is good – look for “nøttemix”.