Packing For A Cold Climate

Lots of people worry about packing when travelling somewhere cold.

Unless you are going hiking, or skiing I don’t find it that different.

How cold are you going to get?

When I am in colder places I spend a fair amount of time indoors in museums and cafes.

When going between indoor venues I am generally in heated public transport, in a car, or walking briskly.

A warm coat and a thicker pair of pants will generally be enough to keep me warm.

What to Take

Here are the differences between what I typically take and when I am going to a city winter holiday:

  • A warm coat rather than a light weight jacket. I wear this to board the plane, so it doesn’t count as luggage.
  • Long sleeved shirts rather than short sleeves.
  • Thicker pants rather than lightweight ones.
  • A lightweight jumper.
  • A scarf you can wear.
  • Gloves, in the pocket of your coat.

For a cold mountain holiday; like the above photo on the Athabasca Glacier, I might add:

  • A couple of vests, or plain T-shirts
  • Pair of Long Johns,
  • Down body warmer.

Bring a Brolly

I never used to take an umbrella when I travelled, but over the last couple of years I have changed my mind.

I now take a folding umbrella like this one for a few reasons.


If you are crossing a road a hood can really restrict your vision . . . . . which becomes more important when you are overseas, and might have forgotten traffic may be coming from a different direction.


In the tropics a waterproof jacket can get very hot and sweaty.

A much better combination is a T-shirt or Polo Shirt with an umbrella.

Appreciation of surroundings

When I am in a new place I am constantly looking at things around me.

With an umbrella you only have to turn your head to see things, not move your entire body.


Since I had a cancer removed from my chin I am more conscious of the effects of the sun and the umbrella can provide more shade.

Extra Weight?

Well it’s only a few hundred grams, and it fits in my coat pocket so it doesn’t count in my carry on weight total.