Svalbard, Norway: What to pack, what to wear, and when to go [2018]

Traveling to Svalbard, Norway? If you're planning to go to Svalbard, here is some important information about when to go, what to wear, and what to pack:

When to go to Svalbard, Norway

Based on the climate and weather in Svalbard, the best time to go is July. See below for details.

What to wear/what to pack for Svalbard, Norway by month

January

January in Svalbard is beyond freezing and very snowy. The average overnight temperatures in the area are in the low 30s F (single digits C), with more than half days below 0 F (10+ below zero C). It snows about two thirds of the time.

But the colder weather doesn't bring low humidity, which is in the 70% to 80% range on average. There is frost almost every day.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Warm pants or jeans
  • Jacket or coat
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Waterproof coat
  • Socks
  • Light gloves or mittens
  • Umbrella
  • Waterproof boots
  • Standard footwear
  • Fleeces

February

In February, Svalbard can be bitter cold and very snowy. Temperatures routinely are in the low 10s F (10+ below zero C) range. At night, lows are in the single digits below 0 F (10+ below zero C).

This is also a rainy time for Svalbard, with a few of the days of the month having rain. In February, humidity reaches as high as 80%. There is frost nearly every day this month. Additionally, it is breezy.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Umbrella
  • Fleece for under jacket
  • Thermal undergarments
  • Insulated boots
  • Thick pajamas
  • Waterproof coat
  • Goggles for eye protection
  • Extreme cold weather gear
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Coveralls
  • Multiple layer jacket shell
  • Waterproof boots
  • Neck gaiter
  • High performance gloves

March

Traveling to Svalbard in March, you will notice that it is unbearably cold and very snowy. Expect it to snow about two thirds of the time.

Daytime temperatures are in the low 10s F (10+ below zero C). There is frost almost every day.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Umbrella
  • Thick pajamas
  • Neck gaiter
  • Fleece for under jacket
  • Waterproof boots
  • Coveralls
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Extreme cold weather gear
  • Thermal undergarments
  • Multiple layer jacket shell
  • High performance gloves
  • Waterproof coat
  • Goggles for eye protection
  • Insulated boots

April

April in Svalbard can be dangerously cold and very snowy. The average overnight temperatures in the area are in the single digits F (10+ below zero C). It snows about half of the time.

But the colder weather doesn't bring low humidity, which is in the 70% to 80% range on average. There is frost most days.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Goggles for eye protection
  • Thermal undergarments
  • High performance gloves
  • Insulated boots
  • Thick pajamas
  • Waterproof boots
  • Coveralls
  • Extreme cold weather gear
  • Neck gaiter
  • Umbrella
  • Multiple layer jacket shell
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Waterproof coat
  • Fleece for under jacket

May

May in Svalbard can be extremely cold and very snowy. The average overnight temperatures in the area are in the low 20s F (single digits below 0 C). It tends to rain sometimes.

It also snows about half of the time. But the colder weather doesn't bring low humidity, which is in the 70% to 80% range on average. There is frost almost every day.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Heavy jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Warm pants or jeans
  • Waterproof coat
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Cold weather footwear
  • Sweaters
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Waterproof boots
  • Heavy socks

June

If you are traveling to Svalbard in June, you will notice that it can be very chilly, somewhat snowy and somewhat rainy. Expect it to rain regularly and snow about a third of the time.

Daytime temperatures are in the high 30s F (single digits C). There is frost about half of the time.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Socks
  • Jacket or coat
  • Waterproof boots
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Light gloves or mittens
  • Waterproof coat
  • Fleeces
  • Warm pants or jeans
  • Standard footwear
  • Umbrella

July

If you are traveling to Svalbard in July, you will notice that it is pretty cool and very rainy. Expect it to rain about half of the time.

Daytime temperatures are in the 40s F (single digits C). There is frost sometimes.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Warm pants or jeans
  • Jacket or coat
  • Standard footwear
  • Rain coat
  • Fleeces
  • Socks
  • Umbrella
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Light gloves or mittens

August

In August, Svalbard can be very chilly and very rainy. Temperatures routinely are in the low 40s F (single digits C) and once in a while jump into the low 50s F (single digits C) range. At night, lows are in the high 30s F (single digits C).

This is also a rainy time for Svalbard, with more than half of the days of the month having rain. In August, humidity reaches as high as 80%. There is frost once in a while.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Socks
  • Umbrella
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Jacket or coat
  • Rain coat
  • Waterproof luggage
  • Light gloves or mittens
  • Standard footwear
  • Warm pants or jeans
  • Fleeces

September

In September, Svalbard is frigid, somewhat snowy and somewhat rainy. Temperatures routinely are in the 30s F (single digits C) range. At night, lows are in the low 30s F (single digits below 0 C).

This is also a rainy time for Svalbard, with several of the days of the month having rain. In September, humidity reaches as high as 80%. There is frost about two thirds of the time.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Light gloves or mittens
  • Fleeces
  • Warm pants or jeans
  • Umbrella
  • Jacket or coat
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Standard footwear
  • Socks
  • Waterproof coat
  • Waterproof boots

October

In October, Svalbard is beyond freezing and very snowy. Temperatures routinely are in the high 20s F (single digits below 0 C) range. At night, lows are in the high 10s F (single digits below 0 C).

This is also a rainy time for Svalbard, with a few of the days of the month having rain. In October, humidity reaches as high as 80%. There is frost almost every day of the month. Additionally, it is windy.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Sweaters
  • Gloves
  • Waterproof boots
  • Insulated boots
  • Pajamas, such as sweats
  • Thermal undergarments
  • Very heavy socks
  • Multiple layer jacket shell
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Scarf
  • Fleeces
  • Waterproof coat
  • Umbrella

November

November in Svalbard can be dangerously cold and very snowy. The average overnight temperatures in the area are in the low 10s F (10+ below zero C), with a few days below 0 F (10+ below zero C). It snows about two thirds of the time.

But the colder weather doesn't bring low humidity, which is in the 70% to 80% range on average. There is frost almost every day.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Waterproof coat
  • Gloves
  • Insulated boots
  • Pajamas, such as sweats
  • Very heavy socks
  • Umbrella
  • Multiple layer jacket shell
  • Waterproof boots
  • Sweaters
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Thermal undergarments
  • Fleeces
  • Scarf

December

December for Svalbard is biting cold and very snowy. Temperatures average in the low 10s F (10+ below zero C) during the day. There is frost almost every day. It snows about two thirds of the time.

What to wear/what to pack:

  • Neck gaiter
  • Waterproof coat
  • Coveralls
  • High performance gloves
  • Insulated boots
  • Extreme cold weather gear
  • Goggles for eye protection
  • Umbrella
  • Multiple layer jacket shell
  • If you plan to ski, ski equipment
  • Thick pajamas
  • Waterproof boots
  • Thermal undergarments
  • Fleece for under jacket

Year-round what to wear/what to pack for Svalbard, Norway

Here are some general tips on what to wear in Svalbard, as well as several items to remember to pack when traveling there.

  • A plug adadpter that supports outlet types C and F
  • A SIM card that works in Svalbard
  • If you plan to visit a church, make sure to bring appropriate clothing
  • Appropriate museum wear

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