It can get cold and therefore you need to ensure you're well wrapped up. Each members clothing requirements will differ but as a generality here are some ideas.

A shortlist..

  • Plenty of layers
  • Hat(s)
  • Gloves
  • Good pair of boots - waterproof preferable
  • Thick socks
  • Thermals if you feel the cold
  • Ice grips (similar to these)


A detailed list...

This more extensive list was prepared by Cody Brown at However, if you take a look at some of the photography workshop websites they generally post the key clothing you need.

Upper Base Layer: I recommend synthetic shirts, but anything will work really. I typically only wear short sleeve shirts and let the other layers do the insulating..

Upper Mid Layer: I like a mid weight fleece, with a hood and preferably some wind blocking abilities. I almost never take this off while I’m on the Islands. If I’m hiking around in moderate conditions this might be the only layer I have on while I’m moving. My current fleece keeps me comfortable down to about -5˚C as long as I’m moving and the wind isn’t too strong.

Upper Shell Layer: I suggest a proper waterproof jacket, with hood. It doesn’t need to be insulated, just water- and windproof. I wear this over the fleece if it’s cold and I’m doing a bit of hiking, or if it gets really windy. If I’m just standing around on a beach, it usually stays in the car/bag. You can get away with using a windproof soft-shell, which will insulate a bit more, but if it does rain, you might get a little soggy.

Upper Insulation Layer: A sufficiently insulated down/synthetic jacket, preferably with hood, but not totally necessary. I typically always have this on while outside. I have used the lighter down jackets, but find I tend to get a bit chilly if I stop moving, so prefer something a bit warmer.

Head: A beanie is a must. Preferably something fleece lined with a bit of windproof-ness (I get cold ears!). I would also recommend a light balaclava or something else to cover a bit of your face/neck if it gets windy.

Hands: Gloves are also a must. I would recommend 2 pairs: a lightweight fleece pair, if it is just a little cold but which allow you to fully work with your camera. And a heavier, ski type glove should the conditions turn towards the worst. Those mittens that you can fold back, to free your fingers can also be handy to make a quick few camera adjustments.

For my legs: I typically like to use a soft-shell and long underwear combination on days that are cold and fairly settled. If I think there might be a chance of rain or the day is particularly windy, I’ll go with a pair of hardshell (ski type) pants for a bit more protection. I will typically carry one pair of each.

Lower Hardshell Layer: Doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but I like something that is a bit more ‘normal’ looking that I can just wear on a day-to-day basis. I also like pants that have legs zips of some sort, so I can vent heat and keep from sweating while hiking mountains. Alternatively, a set of pull-over rain pants can be a cheaper solution than dedicated winter hard-shells.

Lower Soft-shell Layer: A bit more comfortable than hard-shells, but still with good wind protection. Not typically waterproof though, so no good if it rains. I usually wear a mid/heavy weight version for a bit of extra warmth.

Long Underwear: I almost always have a set of light/mid weight long underwear on while outside. This helps to separate the wind-chilled pants from your legs, while providing a bit more insulation. If you generally live in a warm climate, I would suggest getting a heavy weight pair for a bit more warmth.

Socks: Any wool/synthetic mid/heavy weight hiking type sock.

Footwear:  At a minimum, a good waterproof hiking boot will be needed. A major source of heat loss can be from your feet while standing around on ice and frozen beaches. A few times I have arrived on Lofoten after travels elsewhere, and only with some light hiking shoes and frozen toes were often my weaknessIf you don’t plan on much hiking, then I would strongly suggest a pair of insulated winter boots. They don’t need to be those giant, fur lined ones, but something with a bit of extra warmth. And make sure they are waterproof.

Gaiters: I like to wear gaiters all day long. This way I can jump down snowy slopes and not have to worry about getting snow in my shoes. Not a requirement, but definitely handy.

Micro-spikes: While I don’t use these myself, if you are not all that familiar with walking on snow – ice, then I would highly suggest a pair. There will be ice everywhere and it can often be hidden beneath a light layer of snow. I’ve taken a few spills and broken a couple pieces of gear over the years; and nearly ended up in the sea once.