Updated: Feb 28
The Arctic Circle is a beautiful and wild place, it is also a place that is directly affected by climate.
Johan, Sami museum employee and native Norwegian, said to us "I do not know what you all think of climate change but, It should not be raining in winter here,,,, ever, we should not be able to fish in June as if it had been ready for months, it usually is just thawing out then."
When we agreed and shared our thoughts on how it should not be 37 F in December in Finnmark Norway, Johan reassured us that climate change is a fact not something you can choose to believe in or not.
It is a place with weather that changes with a blow of the bone piercing wind. Clear skies turn white with snow and back to stars in a moments notice. Snow whips over the road and makes it dance like a thousand serpents slithering towards your car. Entire city streets are turned into sheets of ice. Rivers frozen so thick that you can ride snow machines over them.
The sun not even over the horizon turns the fells, vast valleys, and fjords into brilliant oranges and pinks.
Having the illusion of a 4 hour sunset burning the sky, before finally the darkness rolls back in, silencing the landscape.
It is a place where mother nature commands her respect.
When adventuring here with only a back pack, in December and January, it is quite important what you bring along.
Here is what I brought along and tested this morning on a brisk -17 degree stroll on the frozen Deatnu river, that separates Finland from Norway.
Hat - Not a wool brimmed hat. The wind here in the Arctic does not help with hats I tend to wear. They turn into kites quite quickly, So I opted for none and the hood of the jacket.
Jacket - My H&M jacket that covers down to around mid thighs did quite well actually. Surprising when it is not rated by them for any degrees of cold
Scarf - Gifted to me just before the trip by Robin Bathke turned out to be a lifesaver.
Sweater - Again 7 years ago when I bought a thin H&M sweater I did not think I would be challenging its warmth in the Arctic, but I did.
Flannel - Borrowed from Lindsey on our walk this morning (Thin)
Uniqlo Heat Teach Long sleeve under shirt
Gloves - 7.99 Aldi Special - Not even close to good enough!
Spyder Winter Socks
Sorel winter boots - Rated to -4o F
If needed I had a few more pairs of sock and two other shirts to layer up on and I would have been tapped out.
Clearly, I would not survive a long hiking adventure in the wilderness here. But for my brief battles with mother nature to capture her arctic beauty I did just fine.