The Best Essential Winter Hiking Gear for Sweden

Snowflakes land on my nose and melt quickly from my warmth. A chilly breeze picks up and I am happy that I bundled up in layers. This is a great time to do all kinds of things in Sweden, especially venture out into the nature. That’s why it’s great to have the right winter hiking gear for it! This article will break it down and tell you about all the right gear for the season. This winter hiking gear is useful and can come in handy in several different countries, and as the swedes say, “There’s never bad weather, only bad clothing.”

Prepare for the Cold with Winter Hiking Gear

If you plan on hiking or going on an adventure in the snow or on the wintry days, the best advice is to prepare for the cold. Even if it isn’t that cold, it’s best to have more than less. Plus, if you’re wanting to go on a long hike or a journey in the wilderness that will take some time, then I highly suggest having warm, sturdy gear. This really depends on what kind of adventure you’re planning to take on but be sure to have waterproof gear. That should be an essential when it comes to snow.

Check the Weather Before you Hike

Now, this is great to do any time of the season when you plan on going on a hike. This will help you decide what kind of winter hiking gear that’s needed for the day. If it’s a warmer day in the winter, then less layers. If it’s colder, more layers and make sure to be fully bundled up. The day of your hiking journey, check out the weather to make sure that you’re not going to be hiking in weather that you’re not prepared for.

Winter hiking gear

What Kind of Hike?

The winter hiking gear you choose really depends on what kind of hike or hikes that you’re thinking about doing. But most of the hikes, you’ll need about the same kind of gear. As long as you’re planning a hike that isn’t mountain hiking or ice climbing/ hiking, then you should be good with the regular kind of gear for winter. 

Mountain Hiking

If you want to hike the snow caps in the mountain and enjoy the wintry haze frosted over the land, then mountain hiking is calling for you! The difference for winter hiking gear when it comes to mountain hiking is more layers. Plus, you’re going to want to protect your ears and your face, since the higher you get, the more wind there will be. I highly suggest having a warm hat, like one lined with fleece and possibly a scarf that you can put over your face if need be. Plus, it can keep your neck warm as well. These are some of the things that I recommend that I used from my mountain hiking experience.

Winter Hiking Gear list:

·  Waterproof backpack

·  Weather-appropriate clothing (think moisture-wicking and layers)

·  Hiking boots or shoes

·  Plenty of food

·  Water bottle

·  Navigation tools such as a map and compass (can be on mobile)

·  First-aid kit

·  Knife or multi-tool

·  Headlamp

winter hiking gear

Hiking in Forests

Now, the good thing about taking a stroll or a hike in forests with a lot of pine trees is that you’re protected from a lot of the weather. If there’s wind, it won’t be as much of a bother to you compared to hiking in the wide open. These kinds of hikes are definitely my favorite! The forests in Sweden are beautiful and some of the areas have ancient trees. When you hike in forests, you don’t need any special gear like you do for mountain hiking or ice climbing/ hiking. Since it’s wintertime, it’s a good idea to wear gear that is waterproof. Of course, this is different if there’s no snow.

Here’s some of the gear that I’ve personally used, and I vouch for. Check it out below!

Winter Hiking Gear List:

·  Waterproof backpack

·  Weather-appropriate clothing (think moisture-wicking and layers)

·  Hiking boots or shoes

·  Plenty of food

·  Water bottle

·  Navigation tools such as a map and compass (can be on mobile)

·  First-aid kit

·  Knife or multi-tool

·  Headlamp

Ice Climbing/ Hiking

Now, if you’re an adventure seeker, this is just one of the ways to fill your appetite. The highest mountain in Sweden, Kebnekaise offers ice climbing. They loan you the gear as you climb the ice and guide you through the treacherous areas. If you’ve never ice climbed before, I suggest you go with a guide. That way, you learn the correct way and you can stay safe. Plus, many of the ice climbing trips include the right gear, so it’s one less thing for you to worry about and many of the ice climbing you can do is not allowed for you without a guide.

kebnekaise hike
Hiking to the Fjällstation, then Kebnekaise


Day pack- You want it big enough to carry all these items (2200-3500 cui)

Helmet- Protect your head

Harness – with a locking carabiner, belay device (These are essentials)

Ice tools


Plastic or leather mountaineering boots

Sunscreen, medication (if needed)

First aid kit


Winter Boots to Keep you Dry

Personally, the winter boots that I have relied on for several years is Waterproof Keen boots. I’ve had those for many years and now, they don’t work as well as they use to. So now, I have Sorel waterproof boots. These I wore when we hiked up Kebnekaise. They definitely are sturdy boots.

Waterproof Jacket is the Best

I stay nice a toasty with my layers and usually I use a rain jacket as a shell. That way, I can have a small yet nice and warm jacket underneath along with a base layer. But, if it’s just a quick outing, then I might just grab my Helly Hanson. Although, I have mixed feelings about this jacket. Just because I feel like it’s too fancy for me. But it sure keeps me warm. I used this as well when we hiked Kebnekaise.

Winter Hiking Gear: Waterproof Pants

Yet another product from Helly Hansen will do wonders. Once again, I used these waterproof pants while taking on Kebnekaise. The wind blew through my hair as I slid down the mountainside on my butt. These pants kept me dry the whole trip!

Base Layers Help Loads

My go to for base layers is Merino wool under layers. These will keep you at a good temperature and help you endure even the coldest of days. They seem to be pretty durable too, which is great if you are prone to accidents, like me.

Warm up your Hands with Gloves/ Mittens

I’ve gone through a plethora of gloves and mittens. Some were made by my hubby’s mom, which were good. Others were from a variety of places. When it comes to gloves or mittens though, I highly recommend them being waterproof. Especially if you’re going to be playing in the snow.

Hat or Earmuffs?

There’s a business called Beyond Beanie that donates money back to Bolivia. These hats are created in Bolivia by the locals and one of them will sign the inside of your hat. Plus, one hat gives 5 meals to a kid in need in Bolivia. I have a spring and winter hat from them. Each one works great for whatever season it was created for. Besides that, I have a couple of other hats, and the best are the ones that can withstand wind. It doesn’t feel the greatest if the wind picks up and you can feel the cold air piercing in your ear. Avoid that with a nice warm winter hat.

Check out Beyond Beanie and use the 25% off code: JAMES77

Have a Snug Scarf

Both of the scarves that I have were gifts. So, I’m not really sure where they came from or who made them. But boy, are they durable and they keep me warm. I suggest fleece or a thicker cloth for dealing with the winter weather.

Backpack with rainfly

The size of your backpack really depends on how long you plan on hiking or being out in nature. If you’re just going on a day trip, then you should be fine with a daypack. But if you plan on sleeping out in nature, then you need to bring a lot more with you to have a nice night. I would suggest for a one-night campout a waterproof backpack that’s at least a 24-liter bag. Having a rainfly is essential for you backpack if it’s not waterproof.

I have about 2 different bags that I use when I’m doing hiking in fall and winter. Both of the backpacks are made by my favorite backpack company, Osprey. They have never let me down with their backpacks. I use an Osprey backpack when I travel as well. They are durable, good sizes are offered, and many of them are waterproof or have a rainfly.

Essentials for a Hike: Food/ Snacks

Now, this depends on you. What do you like to eat and to snack on? Personally, I’m a vegetarian, which means my snacks and food usually are fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Those are easier to travel with and if I plan on making food out in the wilderness, then I might bring a small propane tank with burner. Then I would some soy sauce and rice along with vegetables. Ta-da! A full meal!

Must Have a First Aid Kit

No matter how long you plan on hiking, a first aid kit is essential. No one can foresee the future. So, prepare for the unexpected and always have one with you. Especially if you’re like me and you have a little minion that goes on adventures with you. My little boy, well, he loves to get into everything. I know that I feel better having a first aid kit with me, just in case.

Handy Dandy Multi-tool

This can be handy to have since it can do so many things. A multi-tool comes with a variety of functions. So, if you needed to cut something or maybe unscrew your headlamp, this useful tool would be helpful on your hike.

Phone with Battery Charger

Let’s say that you got lost in the nature, all alone. What are you going to do? Luckily, you have your handy dandy phone. But, oh no! It’s out of battery due to the cold. What ever will you do? To avoid this scenario, don’t forget to bring a power bank with you. Then if the cold effects your battery life on your phone, you have a way to charge it. Plus, you may need your phone as your map, so that you don’t get lost.

Walk in Style with Walking Sticks

The crunch of snow underneath the stick echoes with each new step. An exhaustion washes over me as I watch people hiking the trail with walking sticks. I wished on some of the hikes that I have done that I had walking sticks. When you use these, it helps balance out your body and it preserves some of your energy.

Toasty Feet with Wool Socks

Wearing layers of socks has been my go-to for years now. I usually wear a regular pair of socks and then on top of them I wear wool socks. My mother-in-law is very talented when it comes to knitting winter socks. So, I have a few from her, which they definitely are snug and pleasant.

Headlamp For the Dark Winters

When it’s wintertime in Sweden, be ready for the days to be short. Meaning that it gets dark earlier in the day. So, in the winter, it’s essential to have a headlamp with you as you hike out in nature. This is especially true if you plan on camping. The darkness in Sweden is like no other I have seen. You can’t even see your hand in front of you face when it becomes pitch black. Nothing cuts through this black ink that overtakes the area. But wait, if you have a headlamp, use that light as if it was a lightsaber and cut through the darkness!

winter hiking gear

Hiking Gadgets

Are you wondering more about other hiking gear? Then check out my article, Hiking Gadgets. There, you’ll find more information about all kinds of items that are beneficial when it comes to hiking in all the seasons. Check it out here!

hiking gadgets

Misfit Wanders Shop

There’s some great gear in my shop that’s for traveling, the outdoors, or just for everyday life. You’ll find items for kids, essential items, gear that can life a little easier, and even a bandana for a dog. Check out Misfit Wanders shop.

I may get a commission on many of the items that I recommend. But this doesn’t change the price for you!

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About Me

Misfit Wanders

Misfit Wanders

I´m a kooky girl that likes to travel. I grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. Then moved to Northern California for about 5 years. But now, it's going on 5 years living in Sweden with my hubby and our furbabies, plus our little boy and my mom has joined our crew! Over the pandemic time, it has been hard to travel. Thus, my travel blog had been at a stand still. I started going to a University and I had a baby. Now I'm on a different kind of adventure. But my family and I plan on traveling when we can still. Traveling is something I cherish. New adventures is what keeps me moving, that and a stubbornness. I have a weird sense of humor if you haven´t figured that out from my posts. My writing can be perplexing, but I like to tell stories, and the best way is from my own experiences. So sit back and relax, as you take a spin through my hikes or enjoy following my footsteps as I wander in different countries! Most of my writings will be focused on hikes and the outdoors in Sweden.

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