Earlier this winter I wrote about trying to get a space on Fjällräven Polar. An adventure of a lifetime. However, only 20 people would get selected from all over the world. The first person for each region was chosen on votes (the person from my region had over 20000 votes…I do not know that many people), so competition was very strong for the second place that Fjällräven selected themselves, and I did not get a place. I spend most of my blogging energy on encouraging and helping families get outdoors for adventures in nature’s playground. Either through practical advice and tips, or suggestions of where to go or what to do. However, it is a long time since I had a Mamma sized adventure, and now the idea was in my head, I was determined to try and experience a proper arctic dog sledding adventure. So, Dadda is taking parental leave for a week at the end of April, which has enabled me to book onto a week’s arctic dog sledding across the tundra with 13 other people I have never met before! And I am so excited. Eeeeeek Dadda’s never been home alone with the trio for more than a few days, so there are many new skills to teach him before I leave. Like how to work the washing machine, and the joys of the school run. However, for my part, I have never been away from any of the trio for more than 48 hours, never mind not knowing when I can be in contact with any of the four of them again. Pre child one, I would frequently go on military exercises from the length of a weekend, to a period of two weeks, but having had three children and it being over 11 years later, it will be interesting to see how I respond to this side of the challenge too.
What Is The Arctic Dog Sledding Adventure?
It is a 300km-long journey by dogsled through the Arctic wilderness. It starts from near Tromsø in Norway, driving your own dogsleds, taking care of your own dogs, preparing all your own food and setting up your own camps with tents. You have your own team of dogs whom you care for, and everything you take is in your sledge (any tips of waterproofing camera equipment or keeping batteries from loosing charge in freezing temperatures will be gratefully received). You sleep under canvas, cook your own food, and spend a week immersed in nature. My ideal environment.
At the moment the nerves and the reality of what I am doing and going on the arctic dog sledding adventure hasn’t hit home properly, and I am just hugely excited. That is if I manage to make all my plane connections. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get from southern Sweden to Northern Norway! It involves three flights each way, and not along the same routes either as it depends on the days of the week!
So why on earth do I want to do a big arctic dog sledding adventure? I love taking our little people out on their own mini outdoor adventures, teaching them skills, and encouraging their connection with nature, but I really feel it is time I could have my own adventure again. The route is through Norway. I know Norway well due to my mother’s side of the family. I adore the country, and would love to see more. I am intrigued by the wildness of the Arctic and the possibility of being so remote and immersed in nature. The sort of wilderness we will be in is not as easily accessible under your own steam, not to mention to have the experience of doing all this with a team of dogs and sleds. I would be immersed in nature for a week, learning and using a lot of new skills, and living 24/7 in my favourite place…the outdoors. It would also be a huge challenge for me. The weather conditions alone would make everyday tasks a lot harder to complete. I would have to learn on the job about an awful lot of things. However, I feel I need a challenge of this magnitude and the experience is a once in a life time opportunity. It will be a very interesting experience meeting all the other people on the trip and learning from them about their everyday lives.
If you have any tips or experience I would love to hear about them in the comments below. From packing, to equipment, to personal care, to looking after the doggies. Otherwise, expect to hear a few other posts from me before I go (nearer the time), and maybe a whole heap after 😉 !!!