It’s been exactly a year since I boarded the plane and embarked on my arctic adventure of being one of Santa’s elves in Lapland. My friends and I have been reminiscing a lot recently and I thought I’d share ten of the things I learned whilst living in the Arctic Circle. Some are useful tips, some are interesting facts and some are just funny or random things you’d only find out if you’d been living in a tiny isolated village during winter in the Arctic Circle.
1. iPhones don’t do well in cold weather, the same goes for your fancy pants cameras with changeable lenses. In the cold, anything with a battery will lose power very quickly so if you’re on your way to meet Santa keep your phone in a pocket close to your body to keep it warm rather than checking your tinder matches.
2. The ice in Lapland isn’t actually slippy unless the temperature rises to above -5c and snow falls as sleet or icy rain. The powdery snow in Lapland is normally very dry so, when the roads are ploughed leaving behind a sheet of ice, you may expect it to be slippery but 90% of the time you can run across the road in ugg boots and shorts without fear of falling over.
3. Unfortunately, dry snow means that it’s very difficult to make decent snowballs in Lapland as the snow is so powdery. To build a strong and tall snowman you have to add water and make snow cement to keep everything stuck together so invest in some decent waterproof gloves.
4. If someone tells you that the northern lights are out DO NOT spend ten minutes wrestling with your snow suit, the lights are unpredictable and can disappear in seconds. You’ll last in your pyjamas or shorts for long enough to make sure you’ve seen them, if they’re still out five minutes later then you can wrap up and take a walk.
5. Snowmobiles can overheat, the engines are designed to be cooled by the cold air and if it’s above -10c this cooling system is less effective. If your snowmobile is overheating and won’t restart, lift up the bonnet and throw some snow on the engine and it’ll soon cool down.
6. When several elves are faced with the task of decorating a Christmas tree that’s twice their height they have to get creative about the decorating process. Sitting on one another’s shoulders will increase your reach and, if that’s still not high enough, just lob ’em as far as you can and hope they stick to some of the needles.
7. If you throw boiling water into the air when it’s below -20c outside it will freeze in the air and turn into powder before it falls to the ground. It looks really pretty and it’s a great magic trick.
8. There is a temperature at which it’s too cold for GHD’s (hair straighteners) to heat themselves up. They make an abnormal beeping noise and the light flashes orange. My bedroom was that cold at one point! You can fix the problem by sticking them up your jumper for five minutes.
9. If you fall face down in the snow and your friends decide to bury you rather than helping you up remember to pull your buff up over your face BEFORE it freezes or you will get frost nip on your cheeks. To treat mild frost nip on the face cup your hands over the area and your skin will soon warm up again.
10. No matter how often it snows, snow will always be beautiful and magical and you will still act like an excited child every time you see the flakes beginning to fall!
I had an amazing time in Lapland, it’s such a magical place with the most incredibly beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year already but I’ll be reliving all of my memories this year by re-reading all my blog posts which you can find them all under the ‘Lapland’ category if you’re interested in reliving my memories with me.